Baby Matteo

The newest addition to our extended family, Samuel Matteo, was baptized last weekend. I am honored to be chosen as one of his godmothers. Matteo is very, very special, most especially to his parents who have long awaited his arrival. My cousin and her husband has had to endure the deaths of earlier babies and babies who were conceived but did not have heartbeats. Losing an unborn child myself, I could understand their longing, and theirs is magnified many times over. I know how it feels to have your happiness snatched from you by your fingertips.

But their happiness is very evident now as they hold their Baby Matteo close to their hearts. He is their happy ending. And who knows, there might be more after him.

Welcome baby! You are loved and cherished.

Gone too soon

We buried my 36-year old cousin over the weekend after a short but very painful battle with lung cancer that has metastasised into his bones. It was devastating, and just plain sad given that he and his only surviving brother drifted apart from our family for years ever since their parents died during their teens and early twenties. In the last couple of years, his brother sort of slowly came back to us when he got married and started a family. They become part and parcel of weddings, birthday parties and family reunions again. But, Erik, he continued to stay away.

He has actually been the loner among us. Whenever we spent time in our grandparents’ house in Batangas, he would join and play with us. Young as I was, I could already feel the aloofness. It’s like he was there but he wasn’t there. I chalk it up to personality. I could feel that he liked it though, and he didn’t feel left out at all. As we grew older and our folks had a harder time putting us together in place because our interests have already varied, some of us do keep in touch sometimes. We still see each other from time to time, introducing boyfriends and girlfriends, that kind of thing. But maybe their parents weren’t there anymore to push them a little, that started the years of isolation.

I am just glad that our family was there even for Erik’s last remaining months, weeks, days, hours and minutes before he drew his last breath. More for his living brother, that he be able to cope physically, emotionally, mentally and economically, we tried to be there. There was so much to do, so much he left behind, so many questions the answers to which he took to the grave. We literally do not know anything about the man. We still wonder up to now if there was anyone who managed to break through that shell and carefully masked facade.

Good bye Erik. We will meet again.

Full circle

Lolo celebrated his 74th birthday last weekend. We are thankful to the Lord for the second chance at life. We know that both he and Mama are feeling every bit of their age, as various aches and signs of wear and tear are surfacing more often now. As a daughter, I don’t want to admit it, but I have been negotiating with our dear God for more time. Every high blood pressure, every headache, every dizziness that come about forces me to face mortality. I don’t think I will ever be ready, and I want to do everything in my power to ensure that they stay with us longer.

So now we come full circle, with the children now taking care of their parents. They still do take care of us, mostly their grandchildren. But it has fallen on our shoulders to ensure that their needs are all met. I don’t think they will ever stop caring for the grandkids, and so it rests on us to make sure that they are in the pink of health.

Happy birthday Lolo! More happy and healthy years for you and Mama. We love you!

Bye Ate!

My bunso is really the cheerful one in the family. Even if she is not feeling well, she almost always has a ready smile for anyone (of course she still has her share of bad days). Today, for example, she had a fitful sleep because of colds and a warm temperature. She still managed to send off her older sister happily. And the grannies told me she is as excited when Ate comes home from school.

We love you a lot, my little sunshine!

Our little big Euro-Pinoy friend

Advanced happy birthday to this little guy!

What a cutie! His mom used to work with us a few years back. His dad is German, but they live in Japan right now. They’re home now and this was an advance celebration for this first birthday. It was very simple but intimate. So great to catch up with friends who have since sought other pastures. As with other gatherings, there’s always this feeling of growing old, but getting wiser too. It is them I miss a lot.

Word

Despite the minor nuisance in my life, someone will always, always love you and your craziness. I am normally uneasy about these kinds of activities, because I get stressed if things get too awkward, but it always ends up okay, and then I become thankful again. I’m sorry Lord God for the doubts and self-pity. Thank you for the constant reminder that You are by side and above me and all the things I constantly worry about.