Okasaneko
(http://blog.hellokitty.com/okasaneko)
A Tubby Tabby, Three Konekos, and a Life with Hello Kitty and Autism

Archive for the 'Celebrations' Category

The One Who Got Away

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I wrote this a few weeks before Valentine’s Day, with the intention of posting it as soon as it was finished. Somehow, the days slipped through my fingers and I forgot.

This is for you, A -  the one who stayed - for all the Valentines you and I have been together. Even through our sometimes difficult life, I have never hand a single moment of regret with you.

hk-unbreak-my-heart2We often wax poetic over “the one who got away.” Memories are tricky that way. Like light that passes through a prism and breaks into a rainbow of colors, memories often pass through a sieve that breaks our remembrances and filters the past of its unpleasantness. And through these tinted lenses, we remember things a little differently, a little wistfully, perhaps, with a tinge of nostalgia and a bit of longing. 

We remember the good times we lost. We romanticize the hours of pining and sweet aching. We idealize the nights of wondering about an imagined future. “The one who got away” becomes our life’s ultimate unanswered “what-if?” We think about where he (or she) could be now, what he (or she) is doing at this exact moment. Is he  thinking of you too? Do you even cross his mind? We wonder if the life we lead now is where we were meant to be. We second-guess our decisions. We live in the past.

Yet, in that rose-colored haze, we often forget that “the one who got away” is usually the one who broke your heart. The one who dumped you once, even twice. The one who cheated. The one who couldn’t commit. The one who lied.

He wasn’t perfect, that much is obvious. And so what if the timing was a little bit off?  For true hearts in love, time and space are ephemeral. You would have hocked the universe just to make your relationship work; why couldn’t he have done the same?  Timing, or the lack of it, not being emotionally prepared, not being committed —  these are all cop-outs, excuses people make up to rationalize their wanton disregard of another human being’s feelings. If he was not ready to commit, why bother to go through the whole thing? The truth is, and take it from an old hand in love, it does matter who you’re with, whether he (or she) is a jerk, a coward, or just a complete fraud. Timing’s the least of your worries. 

I can’t totally promise this, but one day, “the person who will not go away” will come. This is the person who will not lie to you. Who will not make you cry. Who will not break your heart.

You and he may not be both ready but it will not matter one bit. When love comes, and I mean true love, nothing else will matter. Not your fears. Not your doubts. Not the inconsequential little things that people seem to worry so much about.

I know too that when that day comes the “what-ifs” will no longer be important. You will realize that reality is so much cooler than imagined expectations. Chuck those clouded eyeglasses for a reality check and just heave a welcome sigh of relief. Thank God, that one got away, for indeed, you are lucky.

You got away too. ♥

Bullish On The Year of The OX

Monday, January 26th, 2009

chinese-new-year-04copy

I am wearing new underwear today. Marks & Spencer has an ongoing sale and I took the opportunity to grab some new underwear for the Chinese New Year.  It isn’t red and I skipped on the gold embroidery (maybe I’ll get some of those when I turn 48, when I meet my zodiac year again, just in case), but it’s new, and I am starting the year 4706 right.

The first day of the Lunar New Year is a quiet affair today here at home. With Alex in school and A at work, Alphonse, his nannies, and I must wait for them to come home before festivities begin. It’s pretty relaxed here too, after the whirlwind of sweeping, dusting, and washing we did over the last few days. Today, there will be no cleaning for all of us, lest we sweep away some of that New Year luck.

I did my morning run this morning and I was also able to go to mass. This afternoon, I am settling down on the bed for a few lazy hours with Anthony Bourdain and Jon & Kate Plus Eight.  Before I go back to real chores, I think I’d treat myself to this lazy time. I hope you get some lazy time today too, friends.

Happy New Year!

Jumpstart To Christmas

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Only three more days before Christmas, and I realize that I have been missing in action for nearly a month. I feel old and stiff before the keyboard, my fingers are screaming “arthritis!” and my back resents the time spent sitting still. But they say blogging is like riding a bike; once you learn how, you almost never forget.

Still, I wanted to simply ease into blogging again after a month’s hiatus, and what better way to get back on the bicycle again than to do a good old-fashioned tag, Christmas style? I am “borrowing” this tag from from Amelia, Tess, and Sophie’s mom at For Better Or For Worse

Christmas Tag

1. Wrapping paper or gift bag? Wrapping paper! (This year it’s plain gold paper, and red satin bows and ribbons to finish the look.)

2. When do you put the tree up? Right after All Saints’/ All Souls’ Days

3. When do you take the tree down? Near Valentine’s Day (heehee!)

4. Eggnog? Nopes! Since we limit our casein intake (in deference to Alphonse’s GFCF diet), we prefer homemade Hawaiian punch instead. Christmas in the tropics rocks! Woohoo!

5. Favorite gift received as a child? Baby Alive, the doll that peed and poodbaby-alive

kenner_baby_alive

6. Hardest person to buy for?? My husband. He’ll be the first to tell you he doesn’t want or need anything. Gives me a headache each time I look for gifts for him. :-(

7. Easiest person to buy for? Alphonse. Bubbles do it for him. Lots of bubbles.

8. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. Most Filipino homes do. :-)

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? I used to do Christmas cards but e-cards are sooo convenient.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? A washcloth. The person who gave it simply didn’t care.

11. Favorite Christmas movie? I have two favorites- It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) starring James Stewart and  The Gift of Love (1978) starring Marie Osmond and Timothy Bottoms.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? All year round, I like to pick up gifts as I see them.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, when I receive duplicates of items I already have, but I am very particular about what I recycle and whom I give them to.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Lengua (Ox Tongue), either estofado or in mushroom sauce. I use a pressure cooker for softening the ox tongue, and because I am afraid of pressure cookers, I cook this only once a year, on Christmas Day.

15. Lights on the tree? Yes, white ones!  (A finally got them up five days before Christmas! Yay!)

16. Favorite Christmas song? “Silent Night”

17. Least favorite Christmas song? “I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus”

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? When my mother-in-law was alive, we alternated Christmas Eves between my parents and A’s. When she passed on in 2005, Christmas Eve became simply our family tradition.  Christmas Day is spent with my parents and siblings.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Rudolph, Dasher, Donner, Prancer, Comet, Cupid, Blitzen, Vixen
 
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel holding a teensy weensy Hello Kitty plush.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Carolers who demand payment for singing the same song over and over again, garbage collectors/ delivery men who give  us envelopes for “donations” each time they perform a service that is simply part of their jobs.  

our-homemade-christmas-tree-details

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? My favorite ornaments theme would still be Hello Kitty.24. Favorite Christmas dinner? Adelina’s ham, Szechuan prawns, lengua, spaghetti and fried chicken (for the kids)

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Peace in the home, at work (A’s), and in the country

The Gift

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

the-gift-01Two weeks ago, I was absolutely strapped for cash. For the first time in a really long time, I lost track of all my spending and ended up not having a lot to spare. Yes, it would have been very easy to ask my husband for more money, and I know he would have found a way to give it too, even if it hurts (he is that kind, thank You, Lord), BUT having just a smidgen of pride left, I decided not to. I thought that since I created this problem, I ought to learn from it. For the next two weeks, I decided, I would have to be content with having less than P300 in my pocket, and I would have to tighten my finances and curb any impulse to buy anything.

It sounds rather silly, thinking about my predicament, especially since so many people in our country actually do subsist on so much less. I think that was what put it in perspective for me. And so, while this little worrying thought (the persistent what-if?) nagged at the back of my head, I was able to put it aside and not dwell too much on it.

One Friday, as I did my normal thrice-weekly run, I was drawn to a chapel along my route. I heard voices singing and I felt compelled to come in to listen to mass. When Offertory came, I got what I was carrying on me (PhP200) and dropped half in the collections basket. “God, please, just take care of me,” I whispered a silent prayer. As mass ended, I felt incredibly lighter and worry-free. For the first time in days, I could even smile about my last P100 bill.

When I got home that day, my inbox was filled with news of sales and new items for Hello Kitty collectors. I enjoyed looking at them as I browsed through pictures. I opened my network accounts, reading through news of friends and relatives. One item caught my eye and I hurriedly clicked on the link. One of my generous friends, Sonia, had held a special raffle of Hello Kitty items in honor of her birthday, and to my surprise, I had won! First prize, can you imagine that!

the-gift-02

I’ve never really been lucky in games of chance and  raffles; I’ve never won anything remotely interesting in my life from any of them (well, except for a golf cap I got as 15th consolation prize  from a Tropical Hut promo when I was 13), so this was both a blessing and a surprise. I was so giddy  with excitement that I called everyone in the house and showed them the lovely HK cosmetic carry case I had won. We jumped up and down and shrieked and laughed. Judging from our reactions, you’d think I’d have won the lotto.

That night, before I went to bed, I thought about how God really took care of me that day. Of how he gave me a gift to remind me that His love heals all worries. My troubles seem silly and petty when seen against the backdrop of the world’s greater problems, but I think of this incident as a little nudge from God, reminding me to be faithful.

So thank you, dear Sonia, for your generous gesture of sharing. And thank you, dear Lord, always, for Your gifts of friends and love in my life always.

What Kind Of World Do We Want?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

This video was created by Alex as a gift for Alphonse’s 14th birthday last November 3. We previewed this video to relatives on our family celebration last Sunday, November 9. Alex worked over this after classes, scanning old pictures, writing and rewriting the text, and threading them to become a story. I hope you like this as much as we do. My boys make me very proud.

For Sanrio Fans Club Members

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Just a last minute reminder for Sanrio Fans Club Members:

 

See you tomorrow!

Newspaper Of The Year

Monday, August 4th, 2008

For my husband A and my dear friends of the BW family (and indeed, we are a family), congratulations for bagging Newspaper of the Year. BW’s been through a lot these last couple of years, but today, 21 years past its founding, it still stands true to the ideals set forth by the late Raul Locsin, 1999 Ramon Magsaysay awardee for Journalism, founder and editor-publisher of this venerable institution.

God bless you all, guys!  

P.S. If you caught the announcements over primetime news last week, you would have seen my A on television, sitting beside Korina Sanchez, who won Newscaster of the Year. A received the award on behalf of BusinessWorld.  Yayy!!!

When God Created Fathers

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

by Erma Bombeck

When the good Lord was creating fathers He started with a tall frame.
And a female angel nearby said, “What kind of father is that? If You’re going to make children so close to the ground, why have You put fathers up so high? He won’t be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping.”
And God smiled and said, “Yes, but if I make him child-size, whom would children have to look up to?”

And when God made a father’s hands, they were large and sinewy.
And the angel shook her head sadly and said, “Do You know what You’re doing?” Large hands are clumsy. They can’t manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on ponytails or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats.”
And God smiled and said, “I know, but they’re large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day … yet small enough to cup a child’s face in his hands.”

And then God molded long slim legs and broad shoulders.
And the angel nearby had a heart attack. “Boy, this is the end of the week, all right,” she clucked, ” Do You realize You just made a father without a lap?  How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?”
And God smiled and said, “A mother needs a lap. A father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle, or hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus.”

God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had ever seen when the angel could contain herself no longer. “That’s not fair. Do You honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?”
And God smiled and said. “They’ll work. You’ll see. They’ll support a small child who wants to ‘ride a horse to Banbury Cross,’ or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill.”

God worked throughout the night, giving the father few words, but a firm, authoritative voice; eyes that saw everything, but remained calm and tolerant.
Finally, almost as an afterthought, He added tears. Then He turned to the Angel and said, “Now are you satisfied that he can love as much as a mother?”
The angel shuteth up.

~0~

A and Baby Alphonse

(A and Baby Alphonse) 

The true measure of a man’s strength is his love for his children.

“How Do I Love Thee?”

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

For the sake of A’s privacy, I have decided not to post any pictures from my birthday vacation. Instead, I would like to share the many, wonderful ways A surprised me for this special event.

The night before we left, A brought home this cake for me and the kids. (See the dedication? How sweet!) I know Hello Kitty looks a little ragged in this cake, but I was so pleased that he remembered that I loved it just the same. Besides, Keroppi looked kinda cute!

Surprise Birthday Cake

A then asked me to pose for the camera, but I didn’t know he pulled a prank on me until I reviewed the pictures for uploading. :-)

 Fourteen?

See how he switched the numbers from 41 to 14? Funny man, but he later made up for this by saying he has loved me since we were 14. Ahhh, what could be sweeter than that?

The cake would literally prove to be just the “icing” for my birthday celebrations as A had more surprises up his sleeve.  

At exactly midnight of May 31, just before he and I went to bed, he pulled out two more boxes from I-don’t-know-where-he-hid-them.

Midnight surprises

I was confused why he would give me another SD card until I opened the beautifully wrapped gift. Imagine my astonishment when I saw this-

Wowoweee!

“AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” I shrieked and jumped and hyperventilated for joy!

And when I settled down from the screaming and the jumping, he gave me yet another one…

 Four million dollar love

A beautiful hello kitty-red Crumpler camera bag! How many more surprises can my heart take?

A and I then spent another hour fiddling with the camera and taking shots of each other. I fell asleep that night, wrapped in his arms, with the camera manual draped over my chest.

Over the next few days, as A and I enjoyed our brief vacation, he never failed to pull a surprise or two on me. They weren’t always  “over-the-moon” kind of surprises, though. Sometimes, it would be the simplest little thing, like a bar of chocolate or a bottle of Coke zero (”Coke is outrageously pricey in hotels,” he repeatedly reminded me. So one time, I ordered this very exotic tasting juice from room service, proud that I did not order Coke, and when the bill came, the juice was worth almost PhP600! I went back to Coke zero brought elsewhere, haha. But I digress…)

Most of the time, it was just the way he made his presence felt to me, like how, after 17 years of marriage, he still moves over to the side of traffic when we cross streets, or how he always gives me first dibs on the better pillow. Or how he starts and ends our days with “I love you.”

I Love You To Infinity Signed

If I had honestly thought that by the third day, he had pulled enough surprises, I was in for a bigger shock. A knew that Hello Kitty would not be too far behind when my birthday comes every year, so he also whipped up this Kitty bag of goodies for me: three different Hello Kitty NDS lite styluses (reminder to self: plural of stylus is styli or styluses, but I like the latter better), a HK lunch bag, a metal water bottle, a pencil case (which can also double as PSP case) and stationery staples in pink and red.  

Kitty birthday surprises

How can you not love a man who feels secure shopping for Hello Kittys? 

Just this week, a few days after we came back, A brought this home for me. His gift, he says, for my birthday. “But you’ve given me so much already,” I cried out. “For your wee feet,” he jested and smiled broadly as once again, the house was filled with screams and thumps of heavy-butt jumping.

Wee Feet

I’ve always loved Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems and when I was young, I took to heart Sonnet 43 of her Sonnets from the Portuguese. I always prayed that when I meet the man of my heart, he would love me this same way.

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”

He already does. Am I not a lucky woman indeed? 

Because You Loved Me

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

My Mom

My mom’s birthday is today.  A very young-looking, beautiful 62, she is an accomplished businesswoman in her own right (Go, Reliv, Go!), grandmother of four, mother of five, and wife to a much-loved man.

Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you!

~0~

I wrote this eight years ago in honor of the most important person who shaped my life- my Mom.

My Mom, My Hero

My mother regrets that toward the end of her days, when people ask her what she has to show for, all she has is a house full of children and grandchildren.

At the age of 18, my mother married my 23 year-old dad. It was 1964. Groomed since birth to believe that every woman’s destiny was to be a mother and a wife and nothing else, my mother strongly resented having to subjugate her desires to please everyone else. She wanted to study, but her parents, relics of a forgotten era, thought education was sorely wasted on women. They refused to subsidized her education. She worked and studied for a while, but the money she earned was barely enough for her own needs. Each day, she struggled desperately against her parents and tried to make something of herself against their wishes. She took care of herself and her siblings, and she went to school, often hungry, often without books, pen, or even paper. It was a hard life, with little pleasure and little of everything else.

She met my dad at 17 and fell in love with him. Less than a year later, when he proposed marriage to her, she said yes. She had kids one after the other. By the time she was 25, she had five little kids all below the age of seven. My dad had a tough time trying to get his business off the ground so he spent a lot of time in the makeshift office-cum-factory where he did manual labor from dawn till dusk. Mom was left pretty much alone to care for us.

In the beginning, when finances were tight, my mom put her dreams on hold for all of us. Money that could be spent fro her dreams was money for her children’s food, clothing, and yes, education. The one thing she was deprived of and that she wanted most was the one thing she would insist for all her children- a good education.

So each year, as a new school year commenced, my mother would wrap her dreams for herself all over again and pin her hopes on us, as if we would be able to satiate the burning ambition that raged inside her. The first time she saw her children’s schoolbooks, neatly bound in plastic and arranged in brand-new bags, she wept openly. She remembered all the times she wanted, nay, craved, for new books and bags, for a pair of black shoes, for pen and paper, and was denied of them. She prayed that her children be spared of the same “hunger” that she had grown up with.

Mom and 5 year-old meWhen I was five, I began to realize that behind my mom’s perpetually sunny disposition was a sadness that she could not mask very well. The tension was etched in the sinews of her limbs when she hugged or smothered us with kisses. I could not understand. She was happy when my dad was around, and even happier when all five of us were clowning around her. But late at night, I often heard her muffled cries and my parents’ whispered voices. In the morning, it would seem as I imagined the entire thing, and she would be up again, making us breakfast, back to her cheery self, back to the smiling, giggly, beautiful mommy we all loved.

I found the truth from a maid’s wagging tongue. Everyone knew it, she whispered conspiratorially to me. It was the talk of our little town. My paternal grandmother disliked my mother because she was not “good” enough for my dad. What made it more difficult for her was the fact that my grnadmother lived in the house right behind us and mom had to bear with hurtful criticism and unfounded gossip every day. Mom pleaded with my dad to move, but dad loved his family too much. He worked tirelessly to support his widowed mother and his siblings. He begged for mom’s patience. He asked my mom with bear with them gracefully and to bear them no ill will. He assured her that they would learn to love her once they got to know her. They will soon see what he found so special in her, he promised. But they never did.

Because we were my mom’s children, we never felt we quite fit in with my cousins. My cousins were always seen as more important, more beautiful, brighter, or smarter than we were. When we were very young, we tried hard to please my father’s family, but all they gave us were patronizing smiles and pats on the head. I have no memories of being hugged or kissed by any of them. Often, my grandmother would make fun of my flat nose or my chinky eyes, openly favoring my cousins’ long lashes and aquiline nose. I never cried, thought I bottled up all the hurt till my heart turned into stone.

My mom knew that we hurt from our relatives’ rejection and she gave us kisses and hugs to make up for it. She taught us to hold the pain, to realize its enormity in our young lives, and to use it to make us stronger. She always gently reminded us that as long as we loved ourselves, no other person could hurt us again. Often the five of us would fall asleep all around her, a tumble of legs and arms, as she sang us songs to heal our wonded hearts.

Growing up, I have a lotof memories of moms’ special moments with each of us. Her childhood stories made up a lot of our afternoons. She read little Jasmine stories in different voices. She told Jeff and John war adventures and ghastly ghost stories passed on to her by her father. She watched intently, half in fascination and half in horror, as Joee performed a complex spidergirl routine of climbing walls and jumping off high places. Many afternoons were spent baking us cakes and letting us lick the spoons clean of batter. She had a gift for making good food and she made us all kinds of treats. Nights, she braided three little girls’ long hair and set them in curlers. She stayed up late when exams were around the corner, making reviewers and sample tests for my siblings, all in long hand. She brought us to school every moining, putting her make-up on while the car was moving, at the same time running through her checklist of other things that needed to be done. She was just ALWAYS there.

When my dad suffered four strokes in a span of a year almost nine years ago, our family was devastated. Twice in those four times, the emergency room physicians had turned us away from looking on as they struggled valiantly to save his life. Dad spent many months in critical care. Mom and I stayed in the hospital with him, and she fed him, bathed him, and loved him even when he was too out of it to know. One night, long after the steady stream of visitors had gone, I asked her what she thought our future would be. I remember her reply, for it is something that struck me deeply. She said, “I’m not afraid. I’ll take your dad any way I can. I just want him alive.” 

Shortly after, dad’s relatives took over his business and disowned us. My mother patiently nursed him to full health, but the emotional pain he suffered pushed him into deep depression. Mom took over the reins of the family while my dad recovered. She became the rock that anchored us together. She kneaded and baked bread till the weary hours of the morning to keep the money coming in. In those times of hardships, she taught us to hold on to our faith. Praying over dad constantly, she taught him to forsake his material loss and empty his pain to the Lord. For close to five years, she was the sole spirit that buoyed our flagging hopes.

I shared a lot with my mom. When I was young, we kept each other company during nights when dad stayed up late to close shop. Some Saturdays, the three of us would be up at two in the morning, eating pâté  and bread and discussing the day’s events with each other. I liked hanging around her, watching her put on make-up. She was always beautiful, always glamorous. I liked watching her choose clothes and try them on, one by one. She in turn, loved taking pictures of me- pictures of my first day in medical school, my high school prom, my first date, my first serious boyfriend. She wrote me letters every so often, tackling sensitive issues like crushes, my changing body, falling in love, premarital sex, and yes, the undying theme of excellence. For a long time, she was my best friend. She was always my soft place to fall on.

Mom taught me to reach for my dreams very early in life. She taught me courage when the pretty girls in grade school bullied me senselessly. She taught me to fight back not with my fists but with my brains. She encouraged to to try out for things I wanted to do, like ballet and gymnastics, even when my pudgy body seemed oout of sync with te requirements of the dance. The important thing, she continuously emphasized, was that I was not afraid to try new things, to see diffeerent perspectives, to take on bigger challenges.

I understand now that I was a favored child. I was not beautiful the way my sisters were. I was timid and soft-spoken, taciturn, quiet and aloof. But I loved my parents unabashedly and they, in turn, showered me with more love than I could imagine. Yet one day, I did something that hurt them deeply. I turned my back on medicine.

Mom pinned all her hopes on her first daughter. She placed her dreams of being somebody other than a wife and mother squarely on my shoulders. It was not a burden, I believe that still, but after a time, I came to realize tnat I could not fulfill my spirit in the way everyone expected me to. On the day I told her I was putting my career on indefinite hold, my mother wept once again. I carried that image of her for a long time, my mom slumped in her arms, weeping quietly, trying to make sense of my decision. We carried on a running conversation days after; she repeatedly asked me questions, I parried her with shrugs and smiles. After a while, I just stopped explaining. I een stopped listening. I know I hurt her by my seeming eagerness to throw away years of their sacrifice, just when the star I’ve reached for  was almost at hand.

And so, my mom sees herself as a failure in a lot of ways. All she has is a house full of children and grandchildren to show for her 54 years.

But you see, mom, you are not a failure. You are my hero. You were always my hero. I took a step back from medicine because I wanted to be there for my children, the way you were when I was growing up. I wanted to look back on children’s early days and remember afternoons spent telling them stories. I didn’t want them to miss any moment with me. I grew up whole and healed because you were there. I didn’t want Alex and Alphonse to grow up on me. Their bandaged shins would not wait. Their little spills and tumbles needed a mother’s kiss. I wanted to be there with them as they started their monrnings and still be there at night to tuck them in. I wanted them to remember songs I taught them. I wanted to be you.Mom and Adult Me

Life is too short to waste on regrets. You haven’t wasted your life. Mom. Even as I write this, I am passing on your legacy to my children. They will always know how it is to be loved. My dreams were made on the kisses you showered me, on the letters you sent me throughout my young life, on the the faith you showed your short, pudgy, unbeautiful daughter. You always knew I was good enough to be anything I wanted to be.

Don’t worry about me, mom. I may have taken a detour in life, but today, I am doing the things I love. I have made a real home with my husband. Each day, I am blessed with opportunities to help two boys reach perfection. I write about faith and trust and belief. I write about truth and family. I write about love. And I live it everyday.

You will always be my hero, mom.

And all because you loved me.