All posts tagged: love

Sister love

My sister is on her way back to the US this evening. We accompanied her to the airport, but we didn’t stay long – just enough for us to have a couple of group hugs and have our picture taken. I have no idea when we would see each other again, Facetime aside, but I’m really hoping that I’d get to visit her and my niece (and some of my friends) in the US in two years. The past few days, we tried to spend as much time as we could with each other. Finally, we became close as sisters could ever be, sharing confidences over good food, sleeping late into the night, catching up. It was an answered prayer for me, yes, but I didn’t expect that it would only come around after the death of our father, although we have started to get close to each other long before she first left for the States. I remember my sister always giving me candies as pasalubong whenever she got home from school when I was a toddler. I …

Goodbye, Papa!

  I grew up always anticipating your coming home. I almost never saw you, never really got to be with you when I was a child. Nevertheless, I have fond memories of you the few times we were together, and some of them were among my many firsts. I remember the first time we went to Jollibee together. You were driving a dark blue Mercedes Benz–one of the perks of your job, I guess–that looked incredibly long and big to me at that time, and you allowed me to sit in the front, which was a first time too. I was quiet, but couldn’t sit still. I kept looking all around me, wondering if the view from the front would be different if I were seated at the back. When we reached Jollibee, however, I was disappointed that we did not go inside the store. I didn’t realize that I was in for a big treat – burgers could be bought from a small window without having to leave the car, not to mention we …

Valentine’s Day for OFW families

  Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Every year, since my husband went to work abroad, I have been coming up with ways to celebrate it “creatively”. Perhaps it’s not such a big deal to some families or some individuals, but we do try to make the day a little bit more special. Or, at least, I do. After all, it’s love that we are celebrating on Valentine’s Day, and I want my daughters to grow up regarding it more as a family affair than a day for lovers. So far, these are the elements that are always present when we’re celebrating the V-day: 1. Valentine’s Day card. I supply the materials and then let my kids’ creativity flow as they make the best Valentine’s Day card. 2. Cake. We just got to have something sweet, and usually, that would be a cake. It doesn’t matter if it’s store-bought or homemade. I think we’ve already tried all the flavors available at Red Ribbon, but when it’s homemade, it’s usually cheesecake or brownies because those are the ones I …

The best wedding we’ve ever attended

My husband and I celebrate two wedding anniversaries each year because we were married twice, i.e., in civil (March 21) and at church (June 28). However, because he’s an expat in Singapore while the kids and I are here in the Philippines, we no longer get to be together on either of those dates since he started working abroad. And that’s when the real challenge began. First of all, our traditional celebration consists of me cooking a pasta dish (because we all love pasta) and buying a chocolate cake. (Depending on the budget and the availability of a babysitter, sometimes hubby and I would go out on a date.) The cake, however, is always a must! It’s the only thing that’s supposed to be a permanent fixture in our celebrations, especially after hubby has gone abroad. The girls would always sing us a happy anniversary song to the tune of “Happy Birthday” and they would blow the candles on the cake together. As we have fun–though not much fun, really, for obvious reasons–we make sure that we take …

Wake-up call

I woke up at around one o’clock this morning crying because of some bad dream. In my dream, my husband and his brother died almost simultaneously at different places, but of the same cause: vehicular accident. My brother-in-law was ran over by a car, whereas my husband was ran over by a truck as he was running after my eldest daughter, trying to save her from that same truck. It was so bizarre! As soon as I started crying in my dreams, especially because of the latter, I could no longer stop myself from doing so. I lay awake in bed for a few minutes, trying to sort my feelings and the details of the dream. In the last part of my dream, as I was crying out loud, various questions ran through my head: why did it have to be my husband? How would I raise my children now, especially that I do not have a steady income of my own? Is my husband truly saved? I woke up at the last question and realized that I’ve been …

Why I no longer wear my wedding ring

I recently unearthed five rolls of unprocessed films in one of our cabinets, which I readily took to a photo processing shop to be developed. I had the pictures copied to a disk, and while I was viewing them on my computer, I saw one that really caught my attention. It has my left hand wearing my long-lost white gold wedding band. I couldn’t remember why I had that picture taken, although I suspect that it must be because of the tattoo at the back of my hand that one of my daughters must have drawn using their gel tattoo pens. Nevertheless, I am happy to have this picture now, especially that it’s the only reminder I have of the wedding rings that my husband and I used to have. It has been three years now since my husband and I lost our wedding rings. I have felt more than once the silent scorn, the doubtful thoughts of other people around me, especially women, as they stare at my bare hands, wondering if I were truly and legally married. After all, …

2011: A continuation and a new beginning

My girls and I welcomed the new year rather differently this year. Quiet, in fact. We’re all alone, away from my father and the rest of my relatives, and for the first time, away from my husband, too. I had been hoping that we could at least simultaneously celebrate it with our loved ones, virtually. Yet no one else seemed to be online, except for my husband who refused to take our invitations to video calls. Well, so much for the hope of starting over again, having a stronger family bond this year. I suppose he is still nursing a wound that I had stupidly inflicted on him a year ago. We have had good times since he learned about my little sin; in fact, he even sent me expensive gifts of perfumes and flashy mobile phones, as well as Swiss and Belgian dark chocolates both for our 7th church wedding anniversary and my birthday. He also came home for our eldest daughter’s last birthday and we all enjoyed being together as a family in …