My Dearest, Husband.

Let me start with an apology.

I ruined your prized Lewis Hamilton shirt. The one that you’re saving for the Singapore Grand Prix this September. The one that was gifted by our valonqar.

I don’t know what’s worse:

(1) Me being so scatterbrained as of late that I tossed it in the washing machine (I was the one who told you to strictly hand wash it because the dryer will ruin it)

Or

(2) You, not even the slightest angry at me.

“Polly, you tossed it in the wash… the print’s melted a bit…”, you said matter-of-factly.

You’ve always been that way with me.

Patient.

Kind…

When we lost Ezra, I was in a very difficult place. So difficult that I made it all about me. Blinded, I failed to see that you were hurting as much as I did.

Heck, it must have been worse for you seeing your wife having difficulty moving on. You probably felt that you not only lost Ezra, but on the brink of losing me, as well.

I read something recently that strongly resonated with me: “You wreck your own life and then, very gently, you wreck the lives of those around you”.

I hope I haven’t wrecked you yet in any way. I hope that I haven’t dampened your spirit.

You’re helping me recover, little by little. You were there for me in every tear, every frustration, every anxiety attack, every insecurity, every back-to-square-one…

Every.single.red line.

And for that, I am very thankful.

My pain is your pain. My loss is equally your loss.

That I should not forget.

You would’ve been a great Papa to Ezra.

I love you.

Happy Father’s Day.

Always and Forever,

Your Wife

Karaoke Hits

Dear Sister,

Let me tell you about that one Christmas when our Mother cried because of a karaoke. You know that one baby picture that you keep in your phone? The one with you on a shiny, pink dress with a black karaoke behind you? Yes, that’s the one. Well, not quite, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

As you know, we had a very simple life growing up. So “normal” household things like karaokes is not something that we naturally had.

Mommy was teaching at an elementary private school at that time and preparing for her classroom Christmas party. She wanted the party to be livelier for the kids but our ancient dial radio won’t do. It does not even have a fully working speaker and cassette tape jack.

And so, she decided to borrow our neighbor’s karaoke. He agreed right away. It was just for a day, anyway.

But this story is not that simple.

On the day of the party, Mommy went to the neighbor’s to pick up the karaoke. But it was his sister who answered and, apparently, she’s not aware of his brother’s deal with Mommy. So she said some things which hurt our mother deeply.

She went back to the house in tears; half-hurt, half-self pity. I really don’t know. She didn’t say much. Even when the boy neighbor went to our house and was offering to lend their karaoke again. He apparently forgot to inform his big sister. She probably didn’t mean to sound mean.

But our Mother wouldn’t take it. I guess when you have not much material things in life, your pride is the only thing you hold on to.

The world did not stop. The day went by. The party was over. And Mommy went home, happier than when she left. She said that her co-teacher in the next room just blasted her karaoke so it can be heard in Mommy’s room. When you have a roomful of gifts and Christmas decors, the kids won’t really mind if you don’t have your own music in the room.

In the evening, there was another party in our baranggay. There was a raffle and Mommy dropped entries equally under our names. Kuya, me, and you – a tiny baby without a care in her world.

Perhaps the middle child syndrome is so strong that it resonated even in mundane things such as raffle draws. Kuya won something; I can no longer remember. I did not.

And you, little sister, won the grand price. A brand new karaoke!

The moment it was announced, Kuya and I ran back home. Kuya shouting,

“Mommy, di ka na mang-uuram kina bleep!”

“Mommy you no longer have to borrow from the neighbors!”

Mom got teary eyed again. But this time, out of happiness.

Nat Geo Earth Day Run 2018

Earlier this year, I decided to go back to running to have a healthier body and mind. One of the first things I did is to register for this event to start conditioning myself that “hey! this is happening!”. I told some of my friends about it and encourage them to register for the event, too. I find it’s always more fun and encouraging to do any type of exercise with friends.

Weeks before the actual run I have established a regular running routine. After office, I would usually go round and round our office compound before heading home. Therapeutic after a long stressful day at work. On weekends, I would go to my college’s campus for longer runs with fresher air and scenery. It’s one of my favorite places so I get energized when I’m there.

Now on to the nitty-gritty…

I wasn’t fully prepared for this run despite establishing a routine early on. Two weeks before the event, I reached a plateau and wasn’t able to do a regular practice.¬†All I managed was an easy 3KM run the day before. I was also not eating healthy which I felt contributed to my sluggishness. And the scariest part? I didn’t get to sleep the night before. No sleep at all.

I contemplated on just skipping because who in her right mind would go run 10KM without proper sleep? Answer: ME.

I know it borders on stupidity but all I was thinking was how I will, yet again, flake on another goal that I set for myself. And how my friends, who I dragged into participating in this run, would think of me.

With my idiocy and pride, I dragged myself out of bed and prepped for the run. The husband made me promise that I wouldn’t push myself too hard and just walk whenever I feel something’s up. He was supposed to bring Mr. Frodo with him so they’ll cheer for me at the Finish line but we decided against it. At least he would be fully available to tend to me if anything happens.

And so it happened. I stood by my promise, so much so that the run felt like alay lakad. I ran a full 1KM before I stopped for a brisk walk. The run was just starting and I’m already feeling some tingling all over my body. I have a long way to go and I couldn’t risk it. So I created a pattern — run as long as I can on a comfortable pace and then brisk walk for a whole minute. I was literally counting the walking seconds in my head. I think after that I haven’t managed a non-stop run for a full KM. It was really a struggle.

But yes, I did it. I got to the Finish line without any injury, thankyouverymuch. 200M away from the Finish, there’s this guy who cheered us on, asking us to go run the remaining distance.

POTR_ Nat Geo 2018

So I tried. To my chagrin.

There’s a long queue of runners waiting to pass thru the Finish! I found it ridiculous because I always loved breaking into a sprint towards the Finish line. But in this race, no. I can’t imagine how it must have felt for the 21KM runners who are serious with their PRs.

Luckily, an organizer beside us said that we can pass thru the Finish just to get our chip time then just go back to the end of the (continuously growing) line to get our medals. So I did and fortunately I was able to find a much shorter queue where the medals are being handed out. Despite the Finish line fiasco, I felt so happy when my medal was worn on my neck.

We initially planned on getting breakfast but I was no longer in the right condition to stay on. My body is begging me to go home and get rest. I slept until afternoon feeling much better after.

Despite my story ending in good, I would like to warn everyone that you should never do this to yourself. It’s better to skip the run altogether than put yourself at risk. Better yet, train properly and regularly so you won’t lose sleep getting too worried that you are not prepared.