At Both Ends

Hey! Let me know if I can call you.”

I checked patiently for a reply.

There was none.

Maybe he’s asleep.. or maybe…

The familiar call notification on Messenger played.

It was him.

On video.

“Hey! What’s up?”

“I heard about what happened. How are you now?”

“Yeah… we’re getting old…”

I can’t remember the last time we talked. It could have been months. It could have been a year. I’m not sure, but what I’m sure of is it’s been a while given that I can’t exactly remember.

You told me about the ‘incident’ as if it was an every day matter. Like it’s a given, given where we are now. It could have been an awkward conversation but we quickly fell into our old pattern. You with your snide, witty remarks, me with my self-depreciation humor and the tendency to wrinkle my nose while laughing.

We talked about the present and yet it felt like we were back in that small creek beside our classroom. The one we usually go to after class, right before we go our separate ways for dinner and bed time. We talked about our current struggles. And even though we’re no longer as updated as before, it felt like we were just talking about them on the roof deck of your condo, in our drunken state, while the chilly air of the wee hours touch our faces.

Things are very different now, I know, but it never felt like it during those 24 minutes of digital conversation.

That’s what I love most about our friendship. No frills, no dramas, no reading between the lines. No passive aggressiveness, no guilt trips, no secret resentments.

Most especially, we have our pause. That even though we don’t talk as much as we’d like to, we just pick up from where we left off last time. As if nothing changed even though it’s very apparent from the the aged, weathered versions of ourselves we see on our screens.

I would like to talk more but our rant fest about how shitty life is at the moment both made us at a loss for words.

“Hey, I have to go. It’s midnight here and I really need to rest.”

“Yes, I have to prep for lunch, too. The little one’s calling.”

We both said our goodbyes and I love yous, smiling at each other, miles and time zones apart. I don’t know when we’ll talk again. It might take weeks, months, or even a year. But I’m not quite bothered.

We both know that the phone rings at both ends.

It doesn’t really matter who makes the first call. The other side will always pick up.

Turning 34

The thing about having a birthday-person-husband is it slowly rubs on you, whether you like it or not. I think I’ve written about this a few years back: I’m not a birthday person but not in a grinch kind of way. I just prefer to go through the day in peace without the frivolities. But yes, I married a birthday person and we are on quarantine so I have nowhere to go. Haha!

My day officially started with a lovely greeting from my loves — the husband and the little ones. Husband surprised me once again with this sunny bouquet while Frodo and Eleven adorably watches on.

Lovely morning surprise from the husband and the grumble

Happy with this maƱanita (lol), I treated them to a Japanese lunch from one of our favorites, Boteyju — albeit in takeout boxes. I made sure I have all our favorites – even the ramen, which is now available for delivery. Yay! The little ones had a slice of chashu from the ramen, too, for their lunch. Lucky!

Birthday in Takeout Boxes

It rained hard in the afternoon, which is perfect for an afternoon nap. But as with all other birthdays, I still reported to work. Nothing else to do, nowhere to go. So byebye, nap time! I just brought my bouquet near my workstation so I’ll have something sunny and bright to look at despite the gloomy weather.

I must say this is one of the happiest birthdays that I’ve had in a while. I’m very thankful for the gift of family and friends and for the blessing of life. Even though we are on ECQ and in the middle of this pandemic, I’ve never been more hopeful, full of purpose, and feeling more alive than ever.

A different kind of Mother’s Day

Mommy, thank you for teaching me independence and resilience. You’ve always supported me in every step of the way. You’ve always been proud of me, of us, without being overbearing. In most of my problems, when I become too sad that I can’t even bring myself to cry, you cried for me; when I become too jaded to even believe, you prayed for me. And for that, I am forever grateful.

Mama, thank you for teaching me patience and grace. You made me realize that there’s strength in vulnerability and wisdom in silence. It’s so easy loving Cris because you raised him as the man that I’ve always wanted to end up with. You have accepted me as your own since the first day we met. And for that, I am forever grateful.

From both of you, I re-learned faith — not the kind that was taught in school, by my elders, or by society. It is a stronger kind of faith, a faith that resonates even if I don’t shout about it or I don’t impose it on anyone. It is the kind of faith that re-affirmed my belief in a Higher Being.

That not everything could be explained, and that’s ok. That not everything has to make sense, and that’s ok. That everything has a reason for being.

Now that we are all entering a new and exciting phase in our lives, I continuously pray that I exude your strength, resilience, and faith.

I love you both!

November 13, 2015: The day Cris proposed. The day when I said yes to having two mothers.