Monday, March 25, 2013

Bucket List

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We are entering the final week of Lent. Today is Palm Sunday (where Jesus entered Jerusalem and was welcomed by the Jews with palm branches) and it marks the beginning of Holy Week. A week where we commemorate our salvation through Christ's passion, death and His glorious resurrection.

I know some people gave up something for Lent. I bet they are almost rejoicing and saying, "yay! one more week and I'm finally done with my lenten sacrifice!" I can now eat chocolates, rice, meat, and be back on facebook again or back to candy crushing! hahaha. My husband excruciatingly gave up video gaming for 40 days and I'm so proud of him. One more week guys. Let's hang in there!

As for me, this year I decided not to give up anything for Lent. However, I've been religiously exercising additional work in increasing my faith to better my relationship with God. I vowed this time to go to daily mass and to recite the rosary daily as well. Also, to be soaked in scriptures and with spiritual books.

For this final and very important week of Lent, aside from what I have been already doing, I plan to add more on my "bucket list, Holy week edition!" hehe

Bucket List:

- Confession: check

- Fasting: debating between these three kinds; eating a single full meal a day, intake of only bread and water a day at dinner time and juice fasting. I read from Bo Sanchez' blog,
"You will experience a spiritual revival. When you fast, you’re telling God that He’s more important than food. So instead of eating, you spend it in prayer, reading Scripture, writing your journal, before the Blessed Sacrament, reading spiritual books... It declares that you’re dead serious about pursuing Him because you’re crazy enough to say No to something as basic as food. If you can say No to a very basic need, what else can you not do for the Lord?

- Attend all important masses this week including the Lord's Last Supper, Liturgy of Good Friday and Easter mass.

- Visita Iglesia: Our family has developed this tradition to visit 7 churches in our area over the years.

- Acts of charity: Faith without action, is dead!

- and in order to do all of this mentioned above, I have to sacrifice the things that will hinder me from my ultimate purpose of developing a deeper relationship with Christ, and it is to keep myself away from distractions. One of these is social media.

I would like to inform you that I will be MIA (missing in action) for a week from FB and Instagram and will see you on Easter Sunday! If you want to keep in touch with me, I can be reached by text or email. In me and my husband's case, viber will do! hehe

Disclaimer: My blog is not screaming "I am a good Christian, I should be praised!" Please, NO! This decision has been overly prayed and discerned for because of my love for Jesus! Everything is for His honor and glory! And I decide to share it with you my brothers and sisters as an encouragement and to tell you that you're not alone. I am with you in this journey and it is cool! It's cool especially when we do all of these out of love for Christ and not out of tradition or obligation. If you have not been practicing these things because you just simply don't know it, now is the time to do it. It's not as big of a deal compared to Christ's sacrifice and death on the cross in saving us from all of our sins.

"Who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,  for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." -1 Peter 1:5-9

May you all have a blessed and great Holy Week!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dear Lolo

Before my grandfather died, our family gathered around the ICU and was able to say our final words to him. This was what I whispered in his ear and at the same time, my eulogy for him which I would like to share.

Dear Lolo,

I am so blessed that I have a grandfather like you. 

I am very proud of how you provided for the family amazingly well.

I admire you for being so hardworking at work. 
They told us about how you juggled 2 jobs when you were younger. 
And at a very ripe age, still you were earnestly yearning to work as a volunteer for state elections.
I also admire you for being a faithful and a loving husband to Lola.
For sticking with her till the end despite of her random kasungitan to you.

I thank God for allowing us to know you and care for you in the last five years of your life.
We could not have survived financially without your help and I thank God for giving us the chance to give back and show you how grateful we are for all the help. 
Thank you for coming with me on my interview on my first job at Rolta.
You were my lucky charm. 
Thank you for giving me your Cadillac for my first year at work which made my commute convenient and allowed me to save up for my first car. 
Thank you for accepting Alan warmly and trusting to come solely with me to the Philippines on my wedding on 2011.
My list is endless and God knows how I am tremendously grateful for everything that you've done for us.

I will always remember our weekly Sunday brunch in your favorite Chinese restaurants after church, your nightly consistent check to the front and back doors to make sure they are all locked.
I will miss you around when we watch our favorite Filipino dramas at night. 
I will miss you asking me all the time everybody's last name and telling me that they're from Binan, Laguna. 
And I will miss your anticipation whenever you ask me when's Alan's next visit is.

Lastly, forgive me for nitpicking the food you eat just because we don't want your health to suffer.

When time comes you meet Jesus and God face to face, please pray and intercede for us, to continue to bless our family, to strengthen Lola, Tita Ida, Tito Butch and my mom especially in this time of grief, to bless Jovy, Jonah and Chris with their studies, to bless me and my husband in our marriage and bless us with healthy children. 

Thank you Lolo.

May you eternally rest in peace.

I love you so much!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lolo celebrates birth in the hospital :(

This morning, I thought of plotting a blog post in honor of one of the most special men in my life, my grandfather. It would be his birthday this Sunday, March 3rd. I had already collated in my mind all the happy and memorable thoughts we've shared. He was going to be the star of my blog and it was gonna be a good one. That was what I thought. 

In the evening, after some quality time spent with a girl friend of mine, my night was capped with a phone call from my sister while I was driving on my way home. She said "Lolo was rushed to the ER at Emory Hospital." My heart started to pound hard and my body started to shake. I was absolutely terrified by the news and the freezing weather didn't help at all. I rushed to the hospital immediately but got lost for a bit due to the restlessness of my heart and mind. I constantly prayed and prayed that it wouldn't be anything serious. That just like last Sunday, he only tripped and fell because he woke up in the middle of his sleep. No life and death situation kind of scenario. After all, there weren't any signs of discomfort nor pain from him at all. He got no complaints. He did fine all week. 

Anyway, I'm writing this blog because I decided to be the courier of the news. I am sure all of my Lolo's relatives across the globe are all worried for him so as much as I don't want to do this, someone has to break the news. 

He's in a very critical condition. 

What happened? That night, my aunt already tucked Lolo to bed. Everybody thought he was sleeping safe and sound. Then my aunt heard a loud sound that came from my Lolo and Lola's room. She hurriedly went down and was surprised to see my Lola sitting on the floor. My aunt initially seeked to help Lola cos she was the weaker between the two of them. Then my Lola spoke up and pointed to my Lolo that is lying flat on the wooden floor. Luckily, out of a burst of emotion and energy, my Lola at age 91 immediately thought of banging her walker hard against the wooden floor and that caught my aunt's immediate attention.

So according to my aunt, my Lolo lost consciousness and fell on the ground 'before or after' going to the bathroom. Not really sure. Then my aunt found them and she called everyone in the house for help. The scenario was pretty much just like in the movies. Jovy called 911. The operator instructed my uncle to do CPR and my aunt to do mouth to mouth resuscitation. Then he was put in an ambulance and was rushed to the ER. My mom described to me how he wasn't breathing, how cold and how pale he was. Just the thought of it makes me really break down. Poor Lolo :(

Now he's in the ICU with life support. For now, aside from our prayers and deep faith in God, that is his savior, which tries to pro-long his life until his youngest daughter, my Aunt Clair, arrives here probably on Monday. She took an emergency flight from Manila to Atlanta. I'm sure it's a trip that she's been dreading to happen. 

I'm not trying to break anyone's heart but the doctor said that there's really just a tiny bit of chance of survival. Even if his heart comes back to normal, the doctor said (and I hope I am conveying this correctly out of all the scientific terms mentioned) because his brain didn't get oxygen for like 25-30 minutes before he was taken to the hospital, his brain might not have survived. He had CT scan and they said the issue didn't come from the brain. The problem resulted from his heart. It just stopped beating. But again, we're not exactly sure yet. Will update you further next time. 

Right now he's in a coma. The nurse said, in her long time experience with patients with this case, they might be unconscious but they can hear the people around him. So I know for sure you're still with us and your soul is just wandering the lobbies of this hospital. (Sana po di kayo naligaw.) I have so much to say to you Lolo and will talk to you over and over until you get annoyed with me because we all want you to just wake up. It's your birthday tomorrow and we still want you around. Look at Lola, she's still here with us. As usual we will take you to a fine Chinese restaurant and will buy you lotto and scratch cards and get ready to scratch till you drop. 

We miraculously seek for your special mercy oh God! 

Look at his eyes all welled up. I'm pretty sure he can hear us and he's sad too cos we're all sad.