Category Archives: Poignant

Finding the good in goodbye

A few days after my grandmother was cremated, I posted this photo on Facebook with a long and emotional caption. It garnered a lot of “Likes” than average. I was deeply touched.

But a comment from a former college classmate struck me the most:

Leo, I was afraid of losing my lola, too. When Papa told me she had cancer, I didn’t know what to think or do. I just felt sick in the pit of my stomach and wanted to scream until I can scream no more.

My lola’s condition deteriorated quickly—and so was my religious faith. I was lost. I felt like I was abandoned in the middle of nowhere with nothing to get me by. Everyday was a nightmare –a torturous one.

During those dark times, nothing made sense to me anymore. How could someone so kind be inflicted with such illness? What have she done to deserve this? I was angry and bitter and saw only negativity on all things. Before I knew it, I made no effort to pray or hear mass. I often fronted my happy, perky self but underneath, I had a whirlwind of emotions.

It was extremely difficult to watch my grandmother struggle for dear life. Cancer gave her hell and it took its own sweet time doing so.

When my lola passed away last September 23rd, I was heartbroken. It was inevitable, I know. I should have accepted the fact long ago that she’ll be leaving us sooner or later. But I was in denial because I loved her too much.

Two months after, I’m still on the road to acceptance. I’d like to think that maybe there really is a reason behind her passing. Someday, I’ll find what the reason is. Someday.

Leo, I hope you assure your grandmother that you love her. Find every opportunity to show how much you care.  Pamper her, spoil her.. Make every moment count. Those are just the few priceless things you could give that will keep her spirits high.

Keep the faith,

ODP

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Filed under Family, Poignant

#ThankYouSteve

Overdue post. Please forgive the writer.

***

There are two things that surprised me about Steve Jobs’ passing: 1) Because I didn’t know that he was battling pancreatic cancer, and 2) He had a huge following.The latter was the most intriguing. For three straight days, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were flooded with his quotes, copied verbatim from his various speeches and interviews from the past.

Naturally, the first thing I did after learning the news was to log on to Apple‘s website. A black-and-white photo of Jobs’ was plastered on the homepage. Goosebumps.

They couldn’t have said it better.

People close to me know how much of a music freak  I am. I even remember asking my parents for a Sony Walkman for my 11th birthday. At 16, I saved up and bought a Discman with my salary from my first job. I loved both gadgets but the bulkiness and the constantly changing of batteries bit bothered me.

I got my first MP3 player, a 2 GB 2nd generation silver iPod Nano, after college. It was the best gadget I owned EVER. I cannot fully emphasize how great it is, scrunching in 500 or more songs in my pocket. Pure. Genius.

Then I lost it (accidentally left it inside a jeepney) and got myself an 8 GB 3rd generation iPod Nano. Featured the same thing as the first but with video playback. Thanks to this clever little thing, I finished all seasons of That 70’s Show. Also made my long commutes to and from home, enduring.

In memoriam: My 3rd generation iPod Nano looking sassy and smart

Then again, I was mugged sometime on December 2009. Long story. My latest ‘baby’ now is this purple 16 GB 4th generation iPod Nano. Still serving me well like a dependable soldier.

Bottom line is, none of my round-the-clock music fix won’t be possible if Jobs’ hadn’t pushed enough to develop devices like these. He did it. Hell yeah, he did it!

This is the last I saw of Jobs. I think I caught a snippet of this on CNN several months ago. He looked frail, yes, but he still delivered his speech with such enthusiasm like he normally does in his keynote addresses. Great guy. No wonder millions upon millions spend their cash on his merchandise.

Carlo got word that the Power Mac Center at Greenbelt 3 propped up a signboard to commemorate Jobs’ repose. I immediately invited Pixie if she wanted to come along after work and scribble a message there for Steve.

Steve Jobs, my life is beautiful as it is. Thank you for making it a hundred times better with your creations. You will still rock in the hearts of many Apple product-users like me.

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Filed under Music, Poignant

Missing her. Again.

What a strong woman my  grandmother is. Here’s a short clip of her, smiling despite her sickness. This was the day after she learned she had stage 4 lung cancer. Sigh. I miss her terribly. It has been exactly 42 days since she left us.

I knew she was trying to stay strong for us. She wanted to keep fighting. Her body weakened each day but her willpower was just.. WOW. Every day was struggle but it wasn’t enough reason to give  up. She was given 4 months to live, yet she survived until her 8th month.

Look at her.. Is this a portrait of a person who has cancer? I love her smile.

My nephew, Gab, couldn’t sit still for a photo. He tried to wriggle free of Lola’s grip here. She also loved the little critter to bits.

Haay. Excuse me, I need to blow my nose.

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Filed under Family, Happy, Poignant

I remember..

..How you used to send me your voice tapes from Italy, telling what you’re doing and how much you miss and love me.

..How you used to assure me that you’re coming home soon and that you cannot wait for that time to come.

..How I used to launch into a crying fit whenever we drop you off the airport.

..How you used to bring home numerous Barbie dolls for me. Those babies didn’t come cheap but I had a massive collection then, thanks to you.

..How you used to lastly pick my pasalubong from your luggage bag for a more dramatic effect.

..How you used to teach me basic Italian phrases.

..How you used to speak Italian ever so fluently, leaving me always in awe.

..How my cousins used hate me because I was your favorite apo.

..How I used to lay my head on your lap, doing nothing while you caress my face and touch my long lashes.

..How I used to watch you teach ballroom. I was very, very proud of you and thought, “Wow, my lola’s so badass!”

..How you inspired me to dance at such a tender age and continue to do so as I type this.

..The time you dressed me in a tutu and watched in pride and amusement as I twirled around the room like a ballerina wannabe.

..That proud look on your face whenever you see me dancing at school, front line.

..How we used to look at your old photos from the different countries you have set your feet on, each having an interesting story to tell.

..How we used to chuckle at your showgirl costumes.

..How I never get tired hearing about your adventures and the people you have met abroad.

..How your face lights up and breaks into a smile when I come visit you.

..How you used whip up the best authentic Italian dishes in the entire universe.

..How I was heartbroken when you gave your full attention to my baby sister when she came along.

..How I used to cry when I realized I wasn’t the favorite anymore.

..How you would defend me when other people put me down.

..How you waved and gazed lovingly at me during my college graduation march, crying tears of joy the entire time.

..How you used to shower me with hugs and kisses.

..How you used to travel from Quezon City to Manila just to queue up and “order” your favorite Jollibee meal from me.

..How you would still give me presents—never mind if I’m already in my twenties and capable of buying stuff on my own.

..How you remained generous and kind until the very end.

..How you braved cancer just to be with us a bit longer.

..How you prayed and prayed and prayed. Your sickness wasn’t a hindrance to remain faithful to the Lord.

..How you still thought of us despite your sickness.

..How you didn’t ask for anything in return.

..How you lived a fruitful and meaningful life in a span of 83 years. Mission accomplished!

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Filed under Happy, Poignant

Aftermath

The news of my lola’s passing still came quite of shock. She has been battling lung cancer for the past half year yet I still haven’t fully come into terms with the fact that she’ll be leaving us sooner or later. I was severely in denial.

My father rung me while I was with my friends at SM Makati Foodcourt. Everything was in slow-mo when he uttered these words:

“Wala na si lola.”

I felt like someone just dunked my head into a bucket of icy water. I stood frozen for a second and then broke down in front of a couple of my friends and a Jollibee crew. It wasn’t the most convenient place to receive such grave news–amid the loud chattering of diners and bright lights.

I’m thankful that I was with my close peers at a time like that; Their attempts to squeeze out a smile from me cushioned the impact. It was such a relief to talk to people who truly cares.

I miss my lola so much. ‘Miss’ is an understatement, actually. She was such a dear person to me and was a huge, HUGE part of who I am today.

Friends, please whisper a prayer for my lola. It’ll keep her company on her journey to her Creator.

Lola, I know you’re reading this kasi may unlimited Internet naman dyan sa heaven. I know God has already welcomed you with open arms and a spanking new laptop as a welcoming gift. Ni-request ko din kay God to set my blog as your Internet browser’s  homepage.

Anyway, I’ve said this to you and I will say it again: I LOVE YOU. I’ll always be your granddaughter and nothing can take that away from me.

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Filed under Poignant

4 things that’ll be missed

I get distracted easily. Too easy for my liking, actually. I may appear poker-faced and passive on the surface but heck, the slightest clink of a spoon in a colleague’s coffee mug is enough to snap me out of my uh, creative focus. Thankfully, a move to another office building and a couple of months back helped me tone down my mild case of ADHD. I suddenly was raring to come to work and get my writing oiled in the hinges.

But the fun was short-lived. Just last week, my colleagues and I were subjected AGAIN to move our stuff onto the 5th floor. I grimaced as I inspected the unoccupied floor space; Right then and there, I knew my “problem” would worsen. It looked like a cramped classroom that was about to be filled with rowdy, rambunctious kids. I heaved a sigh and wished my copywriting skills good luck.

I long for my work desk at the 3rd floor as I type this. Allow me to list down in pictures why I’m feeling such longing:

1. Window seat. Gazing at a portion of Makati outside always calms my hyperactive thoughts.

2. Yellow lighting. Everything’s in faint sepia when the lights are on.

3. Spacious leg room. Perfect for the wa-poise, upong-bahay positions.

4. Roomy desk. I have a LOT of office paraphernalia yet they all sit nicely and uncluttered.

Not a lot of people understand the woes of a writer. You have to live and breathe writing to comprehend why wordsmiths tend to look for a comfortable spot so they can string coherent sentences—especially for those like me who have deadlines to beat on a five-day work week. We’re maarte like that.

If you’re a writer reading this, I am toasting my steaming mug of Swiss Miss to us. We’ll have our day someday.

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Filed under Looking Back, Poignant

They gave up on me

These Sony earphones–bought for me by the boyfriend as a pasalubong all the way from scorching Dubai–decided to stop doing its job together one morning. I remember it so vividly; I was tuning out the horrors of Manila commute with  Fall Out Boy’s I Don’t Care when suddenly music wasn’t coming out from the right bud anymore. It was abrupt, unlike my previous pairs that went through a static-ky phase first before giving in.

Thank you. You have served me very well for the past six months.

It has been days of going through with just one functioning bud. DAYS. It’s like walking with one leg without crutches. I need music. I need my ever-reliable portable escape. Help, my life support system is falling apart!

This is sad moment. Someone console me with chocolates and Banapple pancakes.

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Filed under Music, Poignant