Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some good things never (really) last...Part II

Part I:

Their affair unfortunately only lasted for 7 years. He betrayed her. What happened to him in the past, he did to a woman whose heart had decided to love him forever.

She was broken into pieces, life became meaningless, she cried and cried until no more tears came out of her eyes. She will often locked herself.  She spent most of her time inside the four corners of their room which used to be a haven for her.

It was where they became one and expressing their emotions deeply and a never ending “I love you(s)were said”.  She was very weak, she barely ate. I can imagine the predicament.

She even questioned God, why of all people, she had to suffer?  When all she wanted only was to be with the man she loved unconditionally.

I will never forget that time (still vivid at the time of writing) when her mother called me hysterically to come immediately to where they live. She managed somehow while crying to tell me what happened. I had to bring a doctor with me.  

She was found lying on her belly unconsciously in bed, with tears on her eyes, We can tell she lost weight from not eating and sleeping.  Her mom was in panic but we were thankful that she was able to discover that at once.

Thank God, my friend was revived. She lost consciousness because her body gave up, she was without food for several days, only water that she drank every now and then from the faucet in the bathroom. She thought it was the end of everything for her. But……

A beautiful gift was revealed to her. A life beating inside her body… a reminder of the beautiful memories she shared with the man she loved without any boundaries.  

Her beautiful daughter who is now 10 years old is the reason why she chose to live again, to move on and to see life as something to look forward to with happiness and hope. God is really great.

While those years were not easy, raising her daughter alone without the biological father ever seeing her even to this day, (makes me wonder really, How can anyone (mother or father) abandoned his/her own child?) she was able to endure everything, it even made her a stronger woman.

Today my friend is one hot happy mama, aside from her loving daughter who basically saved her from a devastating life, she fell in love again.  She told me there’s no guarantee it will be different from the first one and that good things may or may not last but she’s not worried anymore.

She’s ready to face whatever life brings her. She told me too that she’s the same woman who when it comes to love is willing to give everything no matter what happens because she said that’s the purpose of genuine love. Loving with nothing in mind but love in the truest sense of the word.

Borrowing a line from Napoleon Hill’s classic book “Think and Grow Rich”  this was stated “One who loves truly can never lose entirely.”

Things, good or bad never really last, though there were great stories of love, married couples celebrating 60, 65 even 75 years of marriage.

Why? The only answer I can think of is that they hold true to their promises and they kept their love alive and burning.

Some good things never (really) last...Part I

Who doesn't know Barbara Streisand and Barry Manilow? Nobody if you are in your 50's like me and who loves their kind of music.

I love their songs. I am a great fan of both artists especially Barbara Streisand who's one of the world's great singers. They popularized the song "Some good things never last" which happened to be the title of this blog. They were two of my favorite singers.
Today after almost an hour of exercise at home,  I decided to sing several songs in the karaoke that we bought in the Philippines after my husband Ton and I got married in August 17, 2007

We both love music and we love to sing. He’s a rocker while I am more of a sentimental singer. He plays guitar too. This is I guess one of those things we have in common that make us click.

I think I got my talent in singing from my mother, although my father loves to sing, unfortunately he can’t carry a tune. Whenever he sings, the people present will always teased him to be out of tune but he never really mind, he's happy he can express himself and that's what matters.  

I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers and we can all sing, runs in the family so they say. If my memory serves me right, it was when I was in high school that I noticed I can sing. I remembered one of the songs that I always sing was Inseparable by R&B singer Natalie Cole. I love that song.

At some point in my life, it became sort of a profession for me for the simple reason that I was being paid to sing. That was when singing in the karaoke was the hype. I was able to go to Japan because of my talent in singing. 

Although I wasn’t very successful professionally in this category, during those years that I was singing, I knew I made an impact in the hearts of the people who in one way or another have heard me singing my heart out.  

Anyway…if I continue telling the stories related to this hobby of mine, this blog should have been titled – My love of Singing or Singing my heart out. :)

Why the title “ Some good things never (really) last” ? Because when I sang it today, I was carried away and tears just ran down my face even before the song was finished.

I can’t help but remember my mother. She’s one of the best things that ever happened to me, in our family’s life and she died untimely.

What’s happening in our life, past and present, whether good or bad were and are the results of the choices we made.  Most of the stories relating to the above title were stories of love, one of the greatest emotions we have, in fact for me, it’s the best of all human emotions.

All of us regardless of who we are, have somehow felt this strong emotion to someone and we were loved back as well. Most of the relationships especially nowadays doesn’t really last forever or (is it better to say) that long? 

Is there such a thing as “forever” ? I still believe it still exist...but to be honest,  saying that has a hint of doubt in it. 

One of my closest friends had a tragic memory of her first love. She and the father of her daughter met abroad. It was in the church (good omen?) that they met.

He asked her name, he was very handsome she told me, in fact a lot of girls were after him and she was very proud saying this whenever we hang out “ Sorry girls,(with matching chinned up and posing with both hands in her waist)  he chose me with a laugh”  but I can tell she was just very happy.

When they met, right then and there she knew immediately deep inside her heart that they will be together “for the rest of their lives”.

She came on his life at the right time, he was then in the midst of love crisis because the mother of his 2 kids who was left in his homeland betrayed him and spent all the money he was sending to them.

That was really a heartbreaking situation.  She told me there was even an instance when he thought of committing suicide. She witnessed how he was so badly affected by what happened.

He was so devastated but was very thankful too that he met my beautiful friend at the time when he was so vulnerable and needed someone to somehow ease the pain and loneliness he was experiencing.

And they fell in love, very deeply for each other.  I have witnessed how happy they were, everyone around them can actually see that love shining in their eyes. He was very protective of her, both of them were so caring for each other.

They compliment each other. They did lots of good things together, had great memories captured which were reminders of a once beautiful love story. 

She never doubted and I had no doubt too based on what I saw and what my friend was telling me that their relationship for sure will stand the test of time. But it wasn’t the case…..

Part II -

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Joy and Pain of being a Mother

Women especially mothers say unless a woman became a mother, she will not feel and experience the joy and happiness, loneliness and the pain of becoming one. Anybody (ladies and women) can relate to me in situations like when having arguments with our moms, they would always say, “ You will understand everything once you become a mother” for which I did and for sure a lot of you will agree with me.

I became a mom for the first time when I was 27 and the second time 10 years after. I was blessed with a son and a daughter. Before the birth of my daughter, my mother supported me a lot taking care of my first born, Justin Raphael.

She was present in my son’s life, she was like the second mother to him back then, I wasn’t around him most of the time because I needed to work and went abroad twice.

I had and still having my shares of joy and pain being a mom but for now I will talk about the person who gave me life and who have loved me until the last breath of her life - my dearest mother.

Who she was....  

She has a beautiful name - Leonila and was fondly called Lila or Lilay, She was not different from any mother whose priorities were her family and the good of her children. She was not perfect but who is anyway. What I know is that she had loved her man and us, her children.

Her memoir.... 

Remembering her always brings tears in my eyes, and every now and then sobbing.  If I can just turn back the hands of time I will but she is long gone more than 9 years ago.  But if that can be possible I am still hoping one day to wake up seeing her so that I can make up for everything I have done to her that brought her pain and sorrow.

I've  learned long enough that we should always make the most of what we do with our life whether aspiring for success or just caring and loving, doing and giving our best because we don't want to regret anything at the end. It's never a good situation to be in.

I wasn’t  the best daughter she had. I was the 2nd child. Just like many of the mother and daughter relationships, ours was not perfect. There were a lot of arguments, which sometimes led to yelling and not talking for a few days which I guess was a normal part of a mother and daughter relationship  but there were also moments of happiness and joy.

Two of which were when I graduated from college and became a registered nurse. We were six children and I was the only one who completed school. They were proud of me, my mom especially. You can see how she held her head up high with a smile every time I was given honors and awards and she has to do that on stage. 

Almost all of us would say our mom is the best. That holds true for me too,  Lilay is the best mother in the world. She was very kind, generous and so industrious. She loved to cook, she gave us the most delicious food ever. That was what mattered to her. We were a middle family but she didn’t mind putting a lot of food on the table. Her children were her first priority.

She didn’t have the best life, the best husband and marriage, the best children but she was happy. She probably wished a happier life but she was contented. And that was why when she stopped working, I thought she stopped living. She was a secretary and a good typist in a government office.  Back then there was no IBM or computer yet, but I was amazed how she used it with ease and fast with the fingers of her hands typing the right letters with the good old typewriter. It was her best friend. 

My mother had to stop working because of her age, I can’t remember anymore but it was I guess  before her retirement age when that happened.  I knew she wasn’t ready with that, she loved her job so much, she was used to have her own money.  It made her very unhappy.

There was no doubt she was worried of her children although most of us were having our own family, but I guess mostly for her favorite son,  my eldest brother who had a difficult life and my mom always came to his rescue. She was also very concerned about us even if we have our own life but she was just that, like most of the moms I know, never stops loving and caring.

Paralyzing condition....

Then all of a sudden, she had to stay at home which she was not used to. She wanted  to dress up for work, making herself presentable. I remembered using her make up and trying her high heels when I was young. My mom was beautiful and had maintained her charm and sexiness. Did I tell you too that she was a good dancer? My father and her were a beautiful dancing couple back in their younger days.

I was sure then she missed what she did almost half of her life. She felt she was useless, she lost interest in almost everything. She will just sit on her chair and watch television the whole day. I wasn’t very sure what she thought back then, probably thinking she deserved not doing anything because she worked almost all her life.  

We would tell her it will not be good for her health, sitting all day doing nothing. But she refused to believe that. She stood in her belief that it will do no harm to her. Again I wasn’t sure what was on her mind but she seemed happy because whenever I went there to visit her, she always wore a smile on her face or was she just pretending? I should have known better.

But she never complained. She never said a lot during those days. She was contented the way she was or I thought so. Every now and then, I would give her a whole body massage, it was good for blood circulation and she would always tell me she felt much better. She always had that beautiful smile and a caring look in her eyes..oh how I missed her so much. 

Eventually, she barely could stand alone or walk anymore without holding on to things like walls and chairs. Every now and then we would be angry with her because she was so stubborn, she just did what she did. Then finally, it got to her, the no activity affected her whole being.

The doctor’s diagnosis at first was Parkinson’s Disease and she was given medications, but then she appeared to be having some paralysis in her body, particularly the hands and feet because they were stiff, so we took her again to a different doctor and was diagnosed to have TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack or mini stroke) she undergone several examinations and  this time was given the right medications.

But it didn’t help her that long. The damage was so severe already and one evening, she had the last attack. My father went to where my children and I live, but before that I heard a voice calling my name  from outside, I was sure it was my mother’s voice but that can’t be and then it hit me when my father knocked at the door and told me and my children the devastating news saying while crying "your mother was taken to the hospital".....

The Last Breath.....

I was shocked, crying while on our way to the hospital and at the same time praying deeply to God,  to allow her to live still so I can make up for the lost time that I was supposed to be her private nurse. I stayed by her side, whispered to her ears that I was so sorry for all the pain I caused her in the past, asking for forgiveness, regretting the times I was not with her.

She looked at my eyes and I was sure she wanted to say something but instead she just put a smile in her face and I felt her never ending love and I knew then she forgave me.  I decided to go to our church to pray to GOD with all my heart to give her another chance to live but saying too “Let your will be done” and I just lifted up everything to HIM.

But in my heart I was hoping and somehow expecting a miracle. I returned to the hospital and my sister was crying, uttering “ "Inay has left us already”. I went to her, hugged her lifeless body tightly and sobbed.  

My realization....

During those difficult times, I realized I should have been around her. But I was having some difficult issues too about my personal life so I wasn’t there so much to care for her which I’ve regretted so much but the realization was too late.

There were even times when I would blame myself partly because of that and tears will just run down my face,  but I need these moments to ease the pain lingering in times when we reflect on what had happened to us in the past.  I know the past should be left behind but I guess it will be like that every now and then because people we love dearly will always be an important part of ourselves. 

Our Inay,(Tagalog term for mom) as we fondly called her, will always be remembered and loved and she will forever  remain in our hearts. She was just like all mothers, (except maybe for some) whose love for her children is  incomparable to anything in this world.  

"Just like the love and pain and the sufferings felt by Mary the mother of Jesus Christ when her son was born and later crucified and died". 

Mothers do not mind about the hardships of raising a family and children, she’s always able to carry the burden, enduring the pain but appreciates joy and happiness even with little things, contented with just loving her children and doing everything to give them the best life she could ever give.

Why am I sharing this story?   

In the hope that whoever reads this will come to the realization that our mothers, "these amazing women" shouldn’t be taken for granted, they should be given deep respect, genuine love and care because their sacrifices as a mother are exceptional and their devotion and love for their children surpasses any difficulties and pain they experienced while loving their children unconditionally.

Grab every opportunity to say the words " I love you very much Mom or however you call her, and tell her "you are the best mother in the world" while hugging her tightly, a smile will be planted in her lips and her heart will be filled with joy and happiness.

I will leave you (for now) with these parting words, which is stated in the fifth of the Ten Commandments: 

“Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. — Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

By remembering this with all our hearts coupled with action, I firmly believe and without a doubt,  we will all be blessed by our loving ALMIGHTY GOD.

What have you done today? Did you tell your mom "I love you". Please do, she will be very happy and you too. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Power of Being Financially Stable

People who are financially stable have all the power not to worry about nothing when it comes to procuring material things because they are capable of paying anything they want.

Aside from their ability to pay the fixed expenses such as mortgage, insurance and other household expenses, they are also capable of doing whatever they want because of the power brought about by having money. These people are no doubt happy in terms of satisfying their wants and desires.

While the opposite has always fears and worries because of a lack of money or have just barely enough to pay the bills, there is nothing left to buy some extra, whatever that is.

This isn't the situation one would like to be in, unless a person is happy and thankful with whatever he has and counting his blessings, it is most of the time annoying and frustrating.

There are a lot of ways to have this important power. While the people who were born with rich parents do not have to worry per se about money, they should also be on guard on how they should be handling the assets given to them.

Since there is no permanency of anything in this world except change, they should be armed with the knowledge and skills on how to protect themselves from being rich and able to being bankrupt.

Ordinary people like me and many others for that matter have all the abilities and capabilities to acquire this very important power.

Lucky are those who have learned the skills taught to them by their parents or significant others when they were young and able to understand the importance of saving and acquiring money and using it wisely and profitably.

But what about those who were given the chance to know about these skills but were not put to use and were regarded at the time a not very important issue, those knowledge were just put aside and they let the "don't care" attitude and procrastination empowered them.

Depending on how we look at things, a life of bare existence is in my opinion not at all deserved by anyone. All of us are entitled to live a life where we can say we have enough to satisfy our needs and have extra to afford some luxury, in that way we will be happy.

If we are aiming for more, it will be up to us to do more in order to acquire more.

They say it is never too late to learn anything, while this is true, more often than not, when it comes to money matters, it's just the case, we find ourselves barely living for existence because we didn't learn nor apply it early in our lives.

That's why money is one of the most essential and important necessities in life.

Below are  few simple tips to start acquiring the power of being financially stable.

1. Start at an early age - our parents should set aside a percentage of what they earn for each of their children deposited in a bank or invested in an insurance. The moment we become students we should be taught the importance of having the power to do anything in the future because we have money.

2. If no.1 is not established, the saving habit should be started the moment we start earning from the first job we have. We can start setting aside a percentage of what we earn and what we think is applicable, not sacrificing any needs that we may have. Experts say the least we can do is at least 10% but starting with what we can, say 2% is what matters, the important aspect is that we establish the habit and eventually building up on it.  Both no. 1 and no. 2 tips should be left untouched and allowed to grow or invested unless urgently needed.

3. Study, read books, (ex: The Richest Man in Babylon a classic by George S. Clason, this book talks about laws or foundations  we can follow to start acquiring money) ask money experts, research, learn, understand and apply them and we will be on our way to a rewarding life of no fear and no worry. A life with the power to do anything because we built ourselves financial stability.

All of us deserves a good life. Good life for me is a life where we are not in shortage of anything and we can afford some simple luxuries in life.

It may mean different for you but it is up to us to take it to the next level and make it better and exceptional.

Just don't stop and don't lose hope because we all have the power to choose and make the best decision to achieve the life we want.