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.

Postcard to Self: Bicol

Being in a different place gives you a different perspective in life, sometimes to the point of a much needed realization. So I started this travel habit of sending postcards to myself.

It’s like having a time travelling journal. You get to write down your current thoughts and a few weeks later, your future self gets to read them. The romanticism of it all speaks volume to me.

So imagine my disappointment when I couldn’t find a single postcard in Legazpi when I vacationed there. Plenty of cards for Boracay, Davao, and Cebu but our conical beauty was missing. Drats!

However, I’m not one to break a budding habit just yet. I’m going to use one of my photos instead (which I hope is close enough to the commercially sold ones) as my postcard to self.

Quitinan, Camalig, Albay

Dear, Future Dada.

I hope that as you get old, you cling to good memories more. Let her presence be a reminder of your happy childhood, of a home that you can always retreat to when living in the city gets too stressful.

Life will sometimes be hard, like a bumpy and tiring tricycle ride. Life will sometimes scare you, like claps of lightning and thunder on a rainy night.

But through it all, you will always have a family who will enjoy that tiring and bumpy ride with you. You will always have him to hug when the lightning strikes too close.

You will always have your rainbow. Your Phoenix will surely come.

Love,

Presently Hopeful Dada

P.S. She’s truly majestic, isn’t she?

 

These were my exact thoughts while we’re on our way back from an afternoon hike at Quitinday Hills. We rented a tricycle to and fro, and the ride back to the main town got a little scary. It was raining hard, almost a storm, and lightning bolts were illuminating the dark, cloudy skies. But despite the difficult and scary journey, we got back safe and happy. And that’s what matters most.

Same as in life…