Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Looking Back at 2015

It's the afternoon of the 31st. The year is ending so differently than how I pictured it would when it started last year.

Good things and not so good things....blessings and blessings in disguise.

Tonight I'd like to go back to the things I've done and been through this year.

January, February and March

I saw and heard Sofia's heartbeat. I walked in a bubble of joy and anticipation.

at five weeks

April, May and June

I learned that Sofia had hydrops (the presence of fluid in more than two compartments of the body) and would likely not survive. All my waking moments were spent in prayer. I expected a miracle. I gave birth four months too early. She went home to Heaven while I lay sleeping.  You may read The story of her birth here.  I spent my days and nights crying and sniffing my shirt where my milk had leaked. My husband turned a year older. I started writing letters to my dear Sofie.

last ultrasound taken a few hours before she was born

July, August, and September

I went back to work. My son and I turned another year older. I still cried every day but I gained back the strength to smile, to laugh and to sing. I learned that my son could write songs and beautiful ones at that. I started making notebooks and called them Clairedori. Our dog gave birth. We sold the male pups and kept the female.

my son's birthday celebration

October, November and December

I attended my former husband's wedding. My son played A Thousand Years on his violin for the bridal march. I enjoyed listening to my son play the guitar with his cousins and uncle in his father's side.  I experienced the most excruciating pain in my abdomen because of a kidney stone. I went back to my hometown to visit my grandparents' grave.  I went out of the country and walked the most number of steps I have ever walked in my entire life.  We celebrated our third wedding anniversary.    My son received the sacrament of confirmation. I had a chance to have a real conversation with my former husband's wife and surprisingly enjoyed it. My parents celebrated their forty-third. Someone stole my iPhone and because I knew it was someone in my workplace, I had never felt so violated. I  underwent shockwave therapy to shatter my kidney stone into pieces. I stayed in the hospital for one night.

Christmas Eve was beautiful. Everything I cooked and prepared was delicious. Our tiny house was filled with conversation and laughter among loved ones.  Faces were bright like our tree. Our stomachs were stuffed with good food and our hearts with love.

Christmas day was blessed and started with a holy mass celebrated by Bishop Ongtioco of the diocese of Cubao.  We remembered Sofia's 8the month in Heaven with a delicious chocolate cake at Mary Grace, watched a movie and ended the day with a light midnight snack at Shangri-La Hotel.

As you can see, it was a year filled with both joy and sadness, anticipation and broken hearts but it still was a blessed year...just not in the way I would expect a blessed year to be or feel.

It still was a blessed year because my family is in tact. My dear Sofia may have gone back to Heaven but we didn't lose her. She is with us every day.  We have three angels in Heaven. All of whom make me want to work extra hard to get to Heaven.  God must love me so much!

 My son is here, although full of mood swings, he is my source of pride and happiness. He is my life and I thank God for keeping him healthy and safe.

I am blessed with a loving and thoughtful husband. He strives so hard to make me happy. His and my son's safety and health (along with mine) are things I am thankful for every day.

My mom and my dad are still here and though both are ageing and both are so much weaker than they used to be, both are still productive and mobile. They have given me so much, sacrificed so much for me and for my sister and now for their grandchildren. I thank God for them and for their long life.

My sister is here, and though I don't get to spend as much time as I want to spend with her, I am thankful that she's here to share short chats and laughter with, to help me when I need her. I am thankful for the blessings she receives and for her generosity.

I am also blessed with a nephew who has brought us joy with his naughty antics. I love him and thank God for him.

I thank God for all those we love, and for those who love us.

I thank God for my son's father, for the relationship that they have. His health and safety are my son's treasures. And I pray for the success of his new marriage.

I am thankful for my friends, those who have been with me throughout the years, those people who offered prayers for Sofie and who continue to pray for me. I am so touched and I feel so blessed for having them.

I thank God for the doctors and nurses who took care of me and my dear Sofia, for their genuine concern and empathy. They have given me a new respect for their profession.

And that's basically how my year went and the priceless blessings I received from God this past year.

How was yours? I hope you feel as blessed as I do.

Happy New Year!  Let's all have a safe one.  God bless us all.  Cheers!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

What Christmas Looked Like this Year

This is the day after Christmas.  I woke up late due to the fact that I slept at past 2 am last night or should I say this morning? I spent half of my waking hours in bed and the other half of it looking for a new phone case and protector.

So I guess you have an idea of what I got for Christmas.  Yes, I have a new phone!  A new phone isn't usually a big deal for me unlike for most people.  It's just that my iPhone was stolen a few weeks before Christmas and I have been using an old Nokia phone since then.  

Anyway, it's 12:21 am and I am now in danger of waking up too late again for the 9am Mass later but I just wanted to give you an idea of what Christmas looked like for me this year.

Christmas Eve with my favorite nephew, Emilio

My son opening the present given by my sister.
I wasn't able to take a picture of my son and the present we gave him. But he loved it because it was a new guitar.
caldereta, crispy pata, herbed chicken, shrimp pesto, leche flan, buko pandan -- unbelievably yummy meal I prepared for Noche Buena Feast, shared with my sister's family, our parents and my in-laws.

We woke up early the next day so we could attend the 10:30 mass. We had to be at the church one hour before because the bishop of the diocese was the celebrant and we figured we wouldn't have a parking space if we arrived just in time.

Hunnybed, Toots, Dad and I then drove to SM Aura after the mass to watch Star Wars because my son and Hunnybed wanted to watch it badly. While waiting for the showing, we shared a chocolate cake at Mary Grace to celebrate Sofia's 8th month in Heaven.

It was my first time to see a Star Wars episode. It was okay but I don't understand the fuss about it.

We dropped by Shangri-La Hotel for a late night tea before going home.
Christmas Day at Mary Grace and Shangri-La Hotel Edsa
My son, with Star Trek's android.  Don't know its name even after watching the movie with my son, Ruel and my dad yesterday.  Sorry, Star Trek fans....
So you see, Christmas Day was different this year because this is the first Time we went to see a movie on Christmas Day.

And this is me, with my newly opened gift.

So that's how my Christmas looked like.  How did yours?

Have a blessed season everyone!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Sixteenth Letter to Sofia

Dearest Sofie,

Merry Christmas and happy 8th month in Heaven.

I miss you specially last night and today.  There were times when I couldn't help but cry. It was hard to wrap presents without thinking that I should have been wrapping something for you had you been here with us.

We offered mass for you today.  I prayed to God to kiss you and your siblings for me.
Then, we went to watch Star Wars because your Dad and Kuya wanted to watch it so badly even on Christmas Day. While waiting for the movie to start, we celebrated your 8th month in Heaven with my new favorite chocolate cake from Mary Grace.  We were supposed to celebrate at home but there were no more seats in the earlier screenings.  We were able to get tickets for the 8:00 show and waiting till the movie ended and till we got back home would have been to late for such celebration.

I just got back home and it's actually 2:00 am of the 26th.  But since I haven't slept, for me, it still Christmas day and I just didn't want to go to sleep without letting you know that I had you in my thoughts all and your siblings.  Kiss them and hug them for me.

I miss you so much, Sofie!  And  I love you... all three of you!

Flying hugs and kisses to Heaven,

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Random Thoughts on the 23rd

It's the night of the 23rd and there's nothing I want to blog about except for a few random thoughts.

1. I am listening to Christmas music as I write this but I just can't seem to put myself in the mood for Christmas.  For some who read my Why Christmas Doesn't Feel the Same this Year post, I'm sure you understand what I mean.  It's the 23rd and the house is not decked for Christmas.  I wanted to decorate it, but I just couldn't get into that mood of decorating.  The garland I usually decorate the stairs with is missing and I didn't even try to look for it or to replace it with a new one.  I put the tree up just a week ago.  After hanging the last tree decor, I suddenly realized I have not sung at all.   I have been putting the tree up for twenty one years now and I always without fail unconsciously sing, "O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree" over and over even if those are the only words I know from the song and I just continue with "lalalalalala"  while decorating.  But this year, I was able to put up the tree without singing or humming any tune.  I hope next Christmas,  the joy will be rekindled in my heart.

2. I made a promise to a certain young lady that I will be making my Clairedori for her but due to my activities this December I have not yet started on the main notebook.  I have to make three, one for her and two more for two other young ladies whose moms are friends with hers and who are also both close to me.  So now you understand why I have to make two more.

3. I still can't get over the fact that the Miss Universe host made a mistake in calling the winner.  I am quite happy for our candidate who came out to be the real winner and quite sorry too for Miss Colombia who was decrowned only minutes after she was crowned.  But if it was me, I wouldn't have waited for Miss Universe 2014 to remove the crown from my head.  Someone taking the crown off my head is what will make it more embarrassing for me.  I would have taken it off  myself and placed it on the real winner's head, hugged her and congratulated her.   That's what I was thinking all the while Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines were waiting for what seemed like an eternity.  But that's just me.  I mean different people would have different reactions given the circumstances.

4. I have a few more gifts to buy and a few more to wrap and it's very stressful for me.  The Christmas rush is stressful enough without me having to go to the ladies room every ten minutes.  I have just had my shockwave two days ago and the procedure plus all the water and medicine I have to take are making me want to just live in the comfort of my own toilet for maybe a week.

5. I miss my dear Sofia so much! This should have been her first Christmas.  We should have been so happy and excited. All the preparations should have meant so much.  But now, thinking about what should have been, what could have been, I just feel so empty, so sad and so frustrated.

So these are my thoughts this night of the 23rd.  I hope I can find the time and the mood to write again in time for Christmas.

Enjoy the festivities!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fifteenth Letter to Sofia

My dear Sofie,

I just came home from a three-day retreat.  A retreat is when we leave everything to go to a quiet place usually close to nature and there we pray, reflect and listen to God.

In one of our first activities, we were asked to write the blessings that we received this 2015, all the things that gave us happiness. And there we also wrote all the things that made us sad.  This 2015, the happiest moments that I had mostly had something to do with you.  When I first saw your heart beating, I was so happy.  There was new life growing inside of me and nothing could beat that feeling of joy and hope mixed beautifully together. All those moments I heard your strong heartbeat gave me so much happiness.  I knew that you were there, growing, holding on until the time was right for us to meet face to face.

My lowest moment (and of course, your dad's) was when you left us to go back home to God.  I don't think I will ever be able to find the words to describe the mixed feeling of sadness, grief, disappointment, frustration, guilt, anger, and of lost hopes and dreams.

We were asked to fold our paper to a smaller size, to cup our hands and place the paper on our palms. The speaker said, "Close your eyes and feel the angels of God coming down from heaven.  They embrace you, they take your paper from your hands and offer it at the foot of the cross."  The moment she talked about angels coming down, I saw you and your two siblings.  I saw the three of you surrounding me.  It was so beautiful and my tears flowed down heavily from my eyes, down my cheeks, dripping down my chin and falling on my shirt.  My eyes were like an overflowing well.  My tears fell like they never did before because at that moment, I felt that I was with you...with all three of you.  I felt your presence and at that moment, my heart was full.

I miss you so much my sweet Sofie!   I think about you every day and I will never stop doing so. Tell your siblings I miss them too.  I love you all.

Flying hugs and kisses to Heaven,


Friday, December 4, 2015

Three Years as Mr. and Mrs.

Hello friends!  I am back from a very exhausting journey outside the country.  I'm still contemplating whether or not I will tell you all about that.

But this, I'm sure I want everyone to know....

My Hunny Bed and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary on the 2nd of December.  He took me and Tootsieroll on a very quick trip outside the country and on the 2nd of December, right after landing at the airport, we drove directly to Tagaytay-- the charming little town where we got married three years ago.  We attended the late afternoon mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, the same church where we exchanged our vows. We booked the same  family suite where my parents, Toots and I slept  the night before the wedding.

My Hunny Bed and Tootsieroll in our suite

During dinner on the 2nd, a few hours after we came from the airport.  I looked so haggard!
my son, enjoying his chicken
I have always loved Tagaytay, and no matter how many times I have been there, and no matter how many times I have stared at the volcano and the lake that surrounds it, I still feel magic when I'm there. But this time, I didn't enjoy Tagaytay at all, I was just so exhausted... too exhausted.   I guess it was wrong to have gone out of the country too close to our anniversary.

I wanted to get Starbucks coffee with my Hunnybed on the night of the 2nd (just like we did on our second night as husband and wife)

first Starbucks coffee with my husband (December 3, 2012)

but I was just too tired.

I have always wanted to see the first rays of morning on the lake again just like on our first dawn as Mr. and Mrs.

first dawn as Mr. and Mrs. (December 3, 3012)

but I was too tired I forgot all about it. 

Even the cold breezy December night that Tagaytay is famous for and the reason many Filipinos flock to Tagaytay at this time of the year, failed to put a smile on my face.  If anything, it just made me feel uncomfortable.  I just wanted to escape it all and sleep.

It just wasn't right to be in my favorite place, with two of my most favorite people, on my favorite date, and not feel anything except exhaustion and the need for sleep.

Sad to say, that our 3rd anniversary was a happy occasion but it  didn't make me feel the way I wanted to feel.

Oh well....with God's grace and loving mercy, I'm sure there are still a lot of wedding anniversaries in store for us.  It's just so sad that I waited for a whole year for it, with joyful anticipation and it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to be.  And now I have to wait for another year. :(

Thank you, God for giving me a loving man who always tries his best to make me happy!  I want to have a lovely date with my husband soon.