Silver, Sam and Ki2

Every morning when I get up, they’re either just loafing around me or are stretching their limber huggable bodies. They show me and my mom unequivocal love. Happiness is always found whenever I’m with them. Their needs are few – food, affection, a walk around the block or to the park, a trip to the doctor, a ride to the grocery or spa. When I’m back from work, Silver can tell that my car is near. Sam is ready with his colored balls. When I’m not around they simply sleep, play, and eat. Everyday, they wait for me to come home. They’re patient and kind. They don’t have an iota of anger or hatred (unless of course provoked). They’re the epitome what pure joy and trust are. They exude so much faithfulness, you can’t help that they’re man’s best friend.

If only all human beings can learn the love, kindness and faithfulness of our pets, when it comes to relationships, it would be a better world we live in.

Their undivided attention and love tell us how much they love us more than themselves. They will sacrifice themselves for us. And it’s painful when they go ahead of us. Their unqualified love is the kind that we humans lack.

They’re my stress relievers. Thanks for the undivided love guys!

The break up and the heart break

When someone breaks up with you, don’t you wish you lost those painful feelings as fast as you lost him or her?

I understand the pain. Been there. Done that. Every relationship will have its rollercoaster ride. There will be days when everything looks all great. Then there are days that look all grey.

It’s always easier to qualify and say that whenever we get into a relationship and fall in love, we need to only love as much as the other. But that isn’t what relationships are about. And that’s not what love is.

Love should be free flowing and without restrictions. It should be as deep as it can be so that we feel it to the core. And every day, every moment, a relationship is a work in progress.

And when things don’t work out, maybe it’s just not meant to be. You see, no matter how some of us try, the universe will always collude with destiny to find the one.

There’s an old saying that

It’s better to have loved and loss than never having to have loved at all”.

Whom do you fight for?

Henry Ford properly puts it in perspective in his quote, “when everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”.

Life and love will always have challenges in life. We need to prioritize who gets the attention during those gruelling days when you need to decide which one is your priority.

It’s an odd balance especially when you need to decide between making a living or making a life. They’re two opposite diatribes. Let’s face it. Most, of not all of us, go to work for the money. Career usually takes a bit of a back seat. If the pay is good, who cares about career? And that usually ends up disappointing and disastrously because the focus of making a living is the money. Well, essentially nothing wrong with that but think about it. That’s the same paradigm most of our OFWs (overseas foreign workers) take. They leave their family in search of better living because the salaries in the Philippines are a pittance. I’ve seen families broken and lives shattered because of “making a living”.

I get that it’s useless to make a life when you have mouths to feed or obligations to fulfill. Making a life, after all, is a dream or an ambition. The drive for this is more for the idealistic people. But dreaming for the ideal world is a worthy goal. While it may not be financially remunerating, the uphill climb is most rewarding especially when you get to your objective.

Whom do you fight for? That’s an odd title. But think about it. It matters why we do what we do each day. And when we know whom we fight for, the answer to making a living or making a life, will come clearly when we are faced with decisions in life and love.

As for me, even at my age, I’m fighting for myself. I’m always willing to evolve…into a better me.

Pages

“There comes a time in your life when you have to choose between turning the page or closing the book”

I’ve always believed that whatever decisions we make is a choice we are responsible for.

Whether it’s over career, life, love or business, it’s one that’s made because we want a better us. We need to walk away from all the stressful drama and useless foibles in our lives in order to find peace.

When you wake up each day having nothing to look forward to, you know it’s time to move on. But it does not mean you do it overnight. It entails some reflection, some planning, and yes, some time off all the useless battles you don’t need to fight. The important answer is whatever we decide on should make us happy. When you’re happy, the stars align to make your life journey a memorable one.

It’s a fair reminder that we know which battles need to be fought. After all, not all heroes end up with a monument built or sainthood bestowed.

It’s a beautiful reminder that we should be able to discern when to walk away or when to fight for what is right.

Signs

Do you believe that certain life decisions are made based on signs? I do. And it’s not because we leave making important decisions to the wind or to chance. It’s because you think of others when you need to make decisions in life.

When things are not going your way or when you’re in an unusual rough situation, many of us rely on “signs” to guide us in our decision.

This is true for many resolutions in our lives. Whether it is love, career, friendship or finance, we wait for a sign to point us in the direction (right or wrong). But yes, we throw our resolve to the wind. And pray that the universe align with our dreams.

When things don’t work out as planned we become disappointed, or get hurt in the process. And so after waiting for that mystical “sign” again, for better outcomes in our lives.

As my partner would always say to me, “it’s a sign“.

Some of us find love and fall out of love based on “signs”. You feel that he’s the one because the stars align and the cosmos collided for the moment to happen.

Then of course, there are relations that don’t work out. Too much anger and stress between parties are not productive to the growth of either one in that relationship.

So what happened to signs? Well here’s a short and practical tip that never fails when the signs fail us:

When you lose your respect, it’s the biggest sign that it’s time.

Yes

You remember the first proposal? It may have been in a quiet room just the two of you or it may have been at an odd venue at the most unexpected moment. Doing the most unexpected to hear the three-letter word from the love of your life.

Some of us go to the extent of adding a wow factor to the occasion. From something as simple as proposing under the moonlight or for those who have the means, at a chalet in the Alps on a beautiful winter morning.

Ours was a concert for Mariah Carey 15 years ago. It came as simple as it could. After dating more than a few months, we decided to take it to another level.

I’m sure most of us are suckers for “happily ever afters”. We fall in love with love itself. Which may be both a good and bad thing at the same time. Good thing if the love story has a happy ending. Bad if it’s a temporary yes and plans fall apart eventually.

Falling in love is a wonderful feeling. But it doesn’t mean that we fall in love just because we need to. Or saying yes because of the sexual attraction.

It’s a beautiful reminder than saying yes is committing to the relationship come hell or high water. It’s during the worst of times that the relation is tested and surviving those worst of times make these relations end with #forever stories.

What’s your love story?

The letter my dad would have written

He passed away at an early age. 59. Gone too soon. And gone too quickly. There were no long goodbyes. It was a quick and painless passing.

I’m sure if he had the time to say his final farewell, he would have written this:

To my loving wife and children,

I will be gone soon. Sooner than you would all have imagined. I am sorry that I won’t be able to celebrate many other occasions especially seeing my grandchildren grow up to be good, God-fearing, and respectable people in society.

To my wife, thank you for being there for me and taking care of me after my stroke. I know that it was difficult to carry the burden of having to suddenly become the breadwinner in the family. I’m sorry that I needed to go ahead earlier than you. But I will always watch over you and will wait for you. Some day, we will be both together again. You will always be my one and only. I love you so much.

To my children, I have accomplished what I needed to as your father. There were days that we may not have been together, but I needed to provide for all of you. I know giving you the best education even when I needed to borrow money for tuition was the best decision I ever made in life. I am proud of what you have both become.

To my daughter, I am sad that your husband had passed away earlier than me. And it pained me deeply to have been sick when you were at your lowest point in life. But you are strong like me. Take care of those beautiful grandchildren of mine.

To my son who never wanted to be a doctor, thank you for taking on my dream. I am proud of who you are today. I will be gone soon. Take care of everyone whom I will leave behind. They will be your responsibility now.

I love you all. It is painful for me to say goodbye. And so, I won’t. I’ll make you all remember me by quietly going in the middle of night while you’re all asleep.

What I leave behind will be the memories and the love we all shared. Take care and respect each other. Fight the good fight. I raised you all to respect your dignities. Your character will be your defining moments.

Until we meet again,

Dad

The single life

There are people who prefer to remain single. Their life. Their choice. Their happiness.

There’s really nothing wrong with wanting to stay single. You get to do what you want, when you want to, where and how you want it done, without having to be accountable in a relationship.

Many jump into a relationship not out of love and commitment but because they think that being in a relationship is the norm. One should not get into a relation just because of the need to.

“It takes a strong person to remain single in a world that is accustomed to settling with anything just to say they have something.”

It’s important to remember being in a relationship isn’t all about the good times alone. You roll with the punches as well. So if you’re looking for a relationship in a magical world it’s best you stay single.

So is being single so bad?

We just need to embrace what we have decided to be in life. Live life the best you can. Love is found in the people around you and these are the small joys we often take for granted.

Being single has its own blessings.

Dear Carla and Charles

How time flew. And how you’ve both grown into wonderful adults. You may not be perfect in all things, but to me, you’ve done yourselves proud. And that is enough perfection for me. And your mom.

The circumstances of your growing up is a million miles different from the “ordinary family”. The extraordinary circumstances of our losses in life was a painful pill to swallow for all of us, and your mom mostly. But the story of our lives needs to be celebrated and shared because in spite of these circumstances, we all did just fine.

With the early passing of your dad, both families needed to pull together. Kudos to your mom who needed to raise both of you in the dual role as father and mother.

I am writing this for you to remind you of family and the ties that bind us together. Your growing up years were the most challenging. Emotionally and financially, we were now all providers. I don’t write this to say that you owe your family anything. It is out of love that we provide. And out of love that we will sacrifice for your future. All I ask is that someday you pay it forward.

We’re all proud of who you’ve both become today. A friendly advise from someone who has been on the road less travelled. Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s impossible because all things are possible. Go for it. I will be here to catch you at that worst moment in your lives. Most of all, don’t forget the virtue of humility. Stay grounded and focused on happiness in the journey to the goals in life.

One day, you too will have your own family. Treat them well. Be the inspiration to their lives. And most of all, write your stories and help people write theirs. The chapters of your lives may be their book.

Love always

Unkie

Love letter to my sister

Do you remember the time when we fought like cats and dogs? I think it’s normal between siblings that there’s what they call “sibling rivalry”. I think it was more of attention-grabbing than anything else. It was weird that we really didn’t fight much as we were growing up. Weirder that we had only each other to run to when we had problems. Weirdest that even as siblings, we shared more of our world than other families would.

Yes. As we grew older the challenges in life became struggles. In hindsight, these struggles made us stronger. Made us closer. Made us believe that even as a small family, we can overcome many things despite the difficulties life threw at us. The scars are visible, yet they serve as our reminders that we fought hard. And we fought well.

It was ironic that you found a Christmas card I gave you 29 years ago.

I know that the passing of Edward was difficult particularly when you were pregnant with Charles. We were all devastated with that loss. As a family, we overcame the uncertainties and well, God provided, and the kids are now grown up and living decent lives.

You’ve accomplished your purpose and perhaps, I’ve accomplished mine.

I still keep my part of the promise. Because we’re family. And Family is all about love.

I am writing this for you, to remind us that resilience in times of adversity can win. And there are small victories in our relative joys in life.

And I’m sharing our story so that others can believe in the magic of discovering happiness even during the worst of days.

With much love,