the last time i checked my emails was at a net cafe last sunday, near the hospital, the day before Papa's second and -- hopefully -- final heart operation. i arrived home today to find my inbox has grown another 202 emails in just four days! que horror!
well, at least, 150 of them are butterfly business-based, so they didn't require replying to as much as they required monitoring. the rest were my usual subscription newsletter emails and a few personal emails from family and friends.
still i can't help thinking that my wishful thinking while in the ship on the way home-- to spend a day or two leisurely settling in to my life here again before plunging into it full force-- will remain just that, wishful thinking.
the ship was supposed to dock at the Bacolod port by 1 p.m., but we were delayed by another two hours because of engine trouble. Thea and Bea, who were at the port with Paolo and Papa's second wife-- who fetched us (my two kid stepsisters and i) in the family car--decided to go home to wait for me instead because of the intense heat at the port. Papa's second wife told me how paolo valiantly and adamantly held on, telling her he wanted to greet me at the port itself, no matter how uncomfortable it was and no matter how long it took.
Even if it takes tomorrow, I'll wait for my Mama, that's what she told me little Paolo said. : )
when we arrived, Paolo hugged me so tight it brought tears to all our eyes. in the car, he sat on my lap and continued to embrace me all throughout, telling me how God answered his prayers, because he prayed that i'd come on the 28th, a day before his 7th birthday. : )
we got home at around 3:30p.m., but what i thought would be a slow easing in to my old life did not come to pass. after the kids opened their homecoming presents from me and settled in to playing with their new toys and art materials, i thought to check and warm up the car, which hasn't been touched in two weeks.
to my dismay, i found the oil at a dangerously low level, and remembered that the gas might be running low too. but i was down to my last 200 pesos too, and so i had to drive out to check the ATM if my butterfly biz commission and my university salary had come in.
thankfully both were there, and so i withdrew the maximum amount for the day and proceeded to the gas station to have the car refueled full tank and the oil refilled full tank too. then, remembering that the maid told me how the kids have been going without their usual favorite snack foods the past two weeks as the ex only brought in the basic groceries and meal items, i thought to do some quick grocery shopping at the nearest mall.
little Bea went with me. i was also concerned when the maid and Thea told me how she fell off our bed the day before, head first on to the floor, and how she vomitted afterwards. she's okay now but i told her we're going to the doctor first thing tomorrow. i'm also concerned to see her sniffling and coughing, and how her fine brownish silken hair had grown much too long and unkempt. so when we got to the mall, i took her to our favorite beauty parlor to have her hair and nails trimmed, which brought a big grin to her face. i also brought her the usual pediatric meds for her runny nose and cough, and her favorite pizza and ice cream cone, after which she dutifully assisted me in my shopping for their snack items and out-of-stock toiletries at home. next i bought a special chicken and pasta dinner, and some ice cream, for us, as a sort of homecoming celebration and a pre-birthday party for Paolo tonight.
i still have to unpack but the pc and the net calls me, especially after i got text messages from my uncle in New Jersey and my mom in Georgia, to go check my emails ASAP for a series of rush orders i had to facilitate with our supplier here.
and that's when i found my 202 emails.
now, even as i go through my emails one by one to clean up my inboxes, i look up and see bills pouring out of the wall bills envelope. i make a mental note to my self to do that later tonight, preparing my payments so i can pay them tomorrow, even as i also go to some other offices tomorrow to process papers for updating our mortgage, taking out a new cellphone so i can finally give my present one to Thea, and even go to some offices at the university to submit some papers and meet with some people on really urgent matters-- even while im still officially on vacation leave!!! i remind my self too, to enrol the kids for the next schoolyear, and to take them to the dentist for our annual free prophylaxis, before my current schoolyear's health care privileges expire. and how about my phd long-overdue papers which i have to submit in a week, before we meet with our professor?
phew. it's back to multi-tasking mode again.
life presses on, despite my wish for a more leisurely kind of settling in. i have been gone for two weeks and so much has happened to me and in me outside my usual life here.
i feel disoriented.
well, i always do after coming home from travelling, especially if the things i've done while away are not the usual things i do in my regular life here. but this has been the longest time i've been away from the kids -- aside from my 3-week trip to Hungary and Romania in 2001, but i was still with their father then, and not with their father now-- so the feeling of disorientation is graver, i guess.
i am still me, and yet not me anymore, and also more me.
one of these days, when i get a sense of where i really am again, perhaps, i will write about it here. along with that promised blog on the various trips i've taken lately.
till then, my heart.