Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Vanessa!

This post is dedicated to a very special person, my beautiful friend Vanessa.

She just celebrated her birthday last July 11. The whole world  also celebrates this special day of hers because July 11 is the “World Population Day”, isn’t that nice?

I have mentioned her name many times in my previous posts. She is a friend since high school. She is smart, gorgeous. and beautiful inside and out. Truly, she got beauty and brains. I am sure that those who know about her would agree with me.

We were classmates in high school and many times I have been to her house for lunch. Her father always cook food for them during lunchtime. The first time her father saw me, he said “Nanibeth pareho lang mo ni Vaning mga daut”. As soon as I heard him I thought “Hala kahinawayon sa papa ni Vaning uy”. They came from Cebu and I didn’t know that “daut” word means “payat or skinny” in Cebuano dialect. I thought the meaning was “masakiton” or sickly or ailing to that extent. Many times he asked my “baon” and fed it to their dog because it was already cold. He said I better eat the foods that he cooked because they are warm. I couldn’t remember how many times I had lunch at their house. Vanessa’s family knows me, they are all nice and they are all beautiful, from her parents down to her nieces and nephews. Again, I am sure those people who know her would agree with me.

She is very beautiful, talented and pretty smart. She was a consistent honor student. She was our School’s Bb. Agham during our time and she made it to be the Bb. Agham in the entire province. She was also crowned “Mutya Ng San Francisco”. You wanna bet that? And here is another thing, she sings very well and she dances gracefully too. I couldn’t forget her version in Madonna’s “Crazy For You” song and I don’t know the singer of the song “I Still Believe”. I also remember how she danced “Aricomambo” (did i spell it correctly?) during our high school days.

She studied and finished Nursing in Cebu City but every time she gets back home, we always see each other especially during high school class get together. Honestly, I am kind of bashful at her because she is a candid person and she will speak her mind about anything and about anyone. I was a kind of a wicked girl then. And for me, she was kind of an “angel” without wings and halo. But one thing I like her is that she has a sense of humor. Maybe only few people notice that but yes, she really makes me laugh on her practical jokes.

I always think of her as the luckiest person among my circle of friends and one day I told her about it and she just laughed at me and said “huna-huna ra na nimo beth uy!” She has a loving husband and has a cute and intelligent daughter. She is one of the few people who calls me Nanibeth. I fondly call her Vaning, it doesn't sound "fancy" but I just like to call her that name although many times I attempted to change it to "Van" but I always slip my tongue so I'd rather not to change it at all. Our friendship is unique in the sense that we don’t communicate very often but we still able to update each other’s lives. She has other friends too and sometimes I think that I am not in the same level compared to her other friends. Honestly, I don’t think that I was really a special friend of hers until I discovered it lately.

I admit that I was not a good friend to her in the truest sense of the word because I hurt her many times. I don’t want to elaborate my failures but I admit I did hurt her for a single reason. Maulaw jud ko sa iya. And she knows that. She told me many times that I don’t have reasons to feel that way but I just couldn’t help it. I just couldn’t really help it. Well, every time I make a mistake, most of the time I would think that I am no big deal to her so she should not care anyway or sometimes I think that that she will understand me like what she did many times. Bad me, huh?

I thought she will always be passive to my faults as she does always until one day she burst. I imagine it was like “Kapag puno na ang salop” situation. It really affected me though. I thought I was only dreaming when I read those hurting words. My body was trembling and I feel ashamed for hurting her. Honestly, I still have the same reason why I didn’t contact her when I was in Davao. When my daughter and I were in SM, she told me that Vanessa’s niece is coming to see her and I said, “Oh no! Please don’t let her see me anak because I haven’t contacted her Aunt Vanessa yet! I feel so uncomfortable that time, I was sneezing and coughing every now and then. I didn’t even wear lipstick because it will be wiped away anyway every time I sneezed. I had watery eyes and runny nose. My daughter asked me, “are you feeling so “yagit” ma? And I said, “exactly“! So she just met Vanessa’s niece and a friend in the ground floor of the mall.

And that was it. Until I came back here without sending word to her. She was so upset and I felt so bad and guilty. I discussed it with my husband and he consoled me and said he believed that Vanessa would forgive me in due time because according to him, that's what friends are for. And hubby was right!

I was really down these past few days but when I read Vanessa’s brief but concise reply to my birthday greetings to her, I feel it that she already forgave me. That made my heart feel better. And I said, “Thank you Ning” in my mind.

And I thank the Lord too for making Vanessa’s heart soften in spite of my shortcomings.

Now I am feeling a loooooot better.

Thank you Ning! Happy Returns of the Day! I wish you all the best.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Goodbye Tatay Bering

I am having too many pains lately.

Two days after my daughter checked out from the hospital, my beloved grandfather passed away. After I got the message from my sister Ivy, I felt like my heart and mind went numb. Everything seemed stopped. After a moment, I managed to scream and sob to release the pain I was feeling.

He was 96 and he was pretty tough. I couldn’t forget his birthday because it is very easy to remember, April 13, 1913. He was my mom’s father. I just talked to him last April during my short trip back home. He was in good shape. I know for sure that he’s not going to live for 10 more years but I felt like he’s gone too soon for me. I have had many plans for him. I wanted to provide him a comfortable room but the repair is still incomplete. I wanted to give him good life but I was not able to make it because I am just starting my life here in the US and I have two college students at the same time.

I spent half of my childhood days with my grandparents. Tatay Bering was such a wonderful grandpa. When I was still young, my cousins and I gathered outside with moonlight listening to his stories. Some are interesting, funny and enchanting. I didn’t really realized how interesting his stories were until I became an adult. The interesting part was his personal experience during World War II. He was one of the loyal Filipinos who fought against the Japanese but sad to say he was not recognized by the US government unlike his other peers. I only remember one funny story he shared to us and it makes me smile every time it comes to my mind and I am sure my cousins didn’t forget it too. My favorite stories are those enchanting ones. I listened to him closely because I didn’t want to miss a single word. Those were the days when we believed about dwarfs, giants, fairies or “not like ours” so to speak.

One thing I couldn’t forget about him was when the Super Typhoon Nitang hit Surigao City and its neighboring provinces. That was the most destructive typhoon I ever experienced. There were so many animals floating in the river. Plants and trees were damaged by floodwater. Everything was damaged. My grandpa’s one and only treasure, his carabao, was nowhere to find. He presumed that the carabao was still alive because he didn’t see its body floating in the river and aside from that, he left the carabao in the farm and it was away from the river. He was checking the neighboring barangays hoping and praying to find it. And the sad part was that he just walked to and fro, with his barefoot. He was searching for it for a long time until he gave up. I could imagine how sad he was that time. The carabao was his work buddy. Now, while I am penning this post, I feel like my heart is squeezed hard. I could hardly imagine how he worked hard after the carabao was gone.

Tatay Bering loved to watch movies. I bet his favorite actor was Jackie Chan or maybe Bruce Lee. I have this guess because I knew that the neighboring “Betamax house” where he went to liked to play “Karate movies”, in fact their favorite was the “The Drunken Master”. He also loved to listen to news and drama over the radio. He was also a strong man, I remember when he was in his 60’s and he had an arm fight with one of my uncles, he won fight. No one ever messes with him because he’s got a “garote” with him all the time to defend himself.

I remember we had peanut plants in the farm. And during harvest time, Tatay gathered all his grandchildren including me, and we have this particular portion to harvest the peanuts, afterwards he is going to pay us with peanuts and many times we also sell our share to him because we wanted money.

I had fond memories of him and I will be missing him forever.

Goodbye Tatay Bering. May you rest in peace ‘tay.

We all love you.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Mom's Cry From Afar

My skinny little daughter was rushed to the hospital by her aunt Helen last Tuesday. As soon as I got her message via chikka, I started catching my breath because I felt like my heartbeat stopped for awhile. I wanted to cry but I appeased myself. I needed to stay calm. I went to the bathroom and looked my self in the mirror while talking to myself , “relax, inhale, exhale”. Hubby called Jen right away and it was my sis-in-law who answered the phone and they were in the hospital already that time. I felt relieved that she was attended by nurses and has been taken care of right away.

While I was at work, my mind was wandering. I was training a new guy for 3 nights and I became impatient with him. He was trying his best but since auditing is a complicated job, he just couldn’t get everything I taught to him and I really showed it to him that I feel frustrated every time he did something wrong. I have been working as a full time desk auditor and I have been training 5 people already to work during my days off. Those 4 people said I was such a patient trainer, well, I was not with this latest trainee, sorry for him. I also felt sorry for the guest that I sent in a certain room then found out that somebody was in there already. And I felt sorry for a guest because I had given him a wrong key for his room. My mind was really floating and that made me inefficient and ineffective worker these days.

It is really hard to be away from my kids especially in times like this. I feel like I am a useless and a crippled mother that cannot do nothing about the situation except to cry and to pray. I wanted to personally take care of Jen and to attend to her needs but I couldn’t make it. I am thousand miles away from her. Indeed, the hardest thing when you are away from your children is when they get sick and you just cant do nothing about it. Hubby was working day shift so I was alone when I get home, feeling so sad and lonely so I just cry until my eyes feel drowsy. I am feeling troubled and worry all the time and lately I only sleep 3-4 hours only. I just couldn’t get myself back to sleep when I wake up untimely. I don’t want to depend on sleeping pill because it doesn’t work to me all the time, besides, there are times when I took 2 pills before I went to bed, my head became so heavy and my eyes became smoky when I got up.

My daughter’s doctor diagnosed her to have Dengue Fever. She had 5 “platelet transfusions” to replenish the platelet that has been infected. It went down to 58 and she is texting me now that it went up to 93 already. Dengue Fever is not known here in the US because my boss and my co-employees did not know about it. I found out that they call it H- Fever or Hemorrhagic Fever here. Dengue is fatal. My family had experienced too much pains because of it. I remember when my nephew’s very young life was taken by Dengue. It was the most painful and tragic experience for me because I was there with him together with my sister Ivy when he stopped breathing. I felt like I was going to die that time too. That was happened 10 years ago, actually, this month makes it 10 years. And as far I remember, he was the first victim of Dengue Fever in the whole province of Agusan del Sur.

As I am scribbling this post, my little Jen is still in the hospital for recovery but she said she might check out tomorrow, hopefully. Thanks to my sister-in-law, my mom and my cousin for taking care of Jen.

Most of all, I thank the Lord for HIS unending blessings. Thank you Lord. I am praying for my children’s safe and comfort always. Please shield them against harm and danger.


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