Sunday, February 24, 2008

One more time for Papa (Nov. 3, 1938- Feb. 20, 2008)

a sax player will play the tune to this tomorrow, at Papa's funeral.

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, Ill say it clear,
Ill state my case, of which Im certain.

Ive lived a life thats full.
Ive traveled each and evry highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets, Ive had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, Im sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.

Ive loved, Ive laughed and cried.
Ive had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
No, oh no not me,
I did it my way.

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!

the other tune he will play is Julio Iglesias' "To All the Girls I've Loved Before". : )

Goodbye, Papa.

I will never forget the lessons you taught, and you will always be in my heart.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In Blackwater Woods

by Mary Oliver, American Primitive (Little, Brown and Co., 1984)

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Love remains

one of the last things Mama was doing before she had her stroke was to search the Internet for an electric wheelchair she could charge to her Medicare and send to Papa. one of her last emails to me "complained" about having to fill out so many forms online it made her head ache and her body tired... although it was palpably obvious from her tone that she was enjoying feeling useful and powerful and in some sort of control and significant contribution, too, for a change.

in the last few days here, too, during one of Papa's few waking and lucid moments, he would talk about how it was when Mama gave birth to my sister, Honey, 38 years ago, and was in critical condition due to complications. he would recall snippets of events, like how a nun came up to him and asked for donations, when he was hard pressed to pay for the hospital bills, and how the nun was so obnoxiously aggressive he snapped at her and even told her that if she weren't a nun he would slap her. (that's Papa, alright! :S ) he also recalled how he felt so scared and stressed looking for Mama's Type AB blood all over the city, and even had blood chartered in from Cebu just to save her. the other day, when Honey was with him, he finally asked how Mama was doing in Georgia, and Honey, without really telling him Mama just had a stroke and is in critical condition, told him how she's in the hospital too and suffering so.


actually, despite their polar differences in many ways and their stormy 22-year marriage (i can never recall a day of complete peace and rest, it was either up or down, amplified to the nth degree), they are also essentially alike: stubborn, willful, and passionate fighters both who won't take sh_t from anyone.

my brother, Tope, and i, recently texted about this and shared how they also basically just differed in how they expressed these same qualities: she, positively; he, negatively so. we even half-joked in our commiseration: maybe they both are really destined to be together, after all. true soulmates. : )

or maybe, we just want to comfort ourselves and make ourselves feel better with this thought, too.

somehow, though, i have started to sleep well and peacefully again.

Love remains.

in the end, or whatever happens now, i sleep with this knowing.

Love remains.

this may be their finest legacy to us three. after all is said and done and all the detours and journeys taken all around, up and down--

Love remains.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Papa and Mama

it's touch and go for Papa and Mama today.

after a bout of lucidity and extreme talkativeness yesterday afternoon, Papa's blood sugar fell dangerously low last night, his lowest ever, and he is now back to semi-sedation.

Mama hasn't come out of her drugged sleep yet for two days now. She's still in the ICU and they're also still doing dialysis on her even while she sleeps.

today would have been their 42nd wedding anniversary, if they hadn't ended their marriage in 1988.

i had difficulty sleeping again last night. until i let the hot tears flow.

it is always easier to sleep after a good, long cry.

Monday, February 04, 2008

questions of the heart

both Papa and Mama are currently in separate hospitals, with Mama in the ICU for her third stroke and Papa just out of surgery for left leg amputation due to diabetes complications-- another and more serious bout of the life-threatening diseases they both seemed to have collected separately after their marriage broke down, 20 years ago.

i go through the motions of making my visits and calls, but i don't really know what to say or do to ease their pain.

i just show up. i figure, somehow, i hope my visits and calls still help.

the other day, i found a used book for sale in the mall, something on change, loss and grief, and im reading it to help me, so i can help them, if i still can.

and then, there are the questions of my heart...

seeing them in pain breaks my heart so, is it better that they continue to live, or die now?

what are their lives about, then?

and who am i (again)?

what is my life about (again)?

what is Life about, then?

these questions haunt me most especially when im in bed at night, should be falling asleep, but can't.


they haunt me too, during the day, especially when im alone, driving.

it doesn't help that that day one week ago Papa was to be undergoing surgery and needing Type A+ blood, and it fell upon me to look for the blood, and in my nervousness, i also went in for fasting blood sugar testing, and i recently went back for my tests and found i had 221 mg/dL when the normal range is only 70-110 mg/dL!

more questions assail me...

does that mean im diabetic now too? (both Papa and Mama are)

what if i go their way soon?

what will happen to me?

who will take care of my kids?

what about B and i, and our long and lasting love?


i try to take even better care of my self now-- eating more healthily, exercising more regularly, meditating more often, feeding my mind only positive things and consciously thinking positively but-- i am also feeling so onion-skinned these days. sometimes i dread having people so close by. i am afraid that if they just so much as touch me by accident, i would totally come undone.

it's a struggle just holding my self together these days. i feel like a Lego toy with the plug-in parts all loose and unwieldy.

these days, i just want to stay even more at home, and just be close to my kids, and B...

where do i go from here, dear heart?

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Universe is Funny

for around 6 weeks now, as part of my meditations and daily affirmations, i've been creatively visualizing for a certain amount of money to flow into my life, not because i need it desperately but because it would sure help to pay off some things im currently just paying installment on, plus a few other little dreams which would really be nice if they came quicker, like visiting Mama again for her birthday in May, but with all my kids this time.

anyway, after a couple of weeks of trying out and finetuning my affirmation to aid me in my visualization, this was the affirmation i finally came up with that i was comfortable with and that resonated with me--

Thank you, God, for the $nnnnn.nn already in my life right now, quickly and effortlessly! This, or something better.

-- even as i creatively visualized my self receiving the money in a small bag i already have prepared, and going around paying off accounts happily, and having my kids and i happily boarding the plane to Atlanta and having happy times with Mama and Larry.

as what usually happens in the manifesting process, certain little "signs of land" start appearing. like my receiving in the mail two new credit cards i don't even remember applying for, but whose credit limit would allow me and the kids to already fund our one-way trip to Atlanta!

i said thank you of course to the Universe, and also reminded her that please, no more debts okay, pure income and cash would be so much more appreciated!

then Papa got hospitalized last Jan. 16, and is still in the hospital up to now, from diabetes complications. first, he was just admitted to have his 3 left small toes amputated but ended up with his needing to have his whole left leg amputated and needing a significant amount of blood transfusion. he is still recovering slowly up to now, but he seemed better yesterday, than the last 5 days after the major leg amputation.

anyway, the point is, because of Papa's health crisis, it fell upon me to temporarily manage his finances and make sure they are alright. so my last two weeks have been mostly spent going to banks and dealing with people there and counting money, either for deposit or for withdrawal.

another major "sign of land"! : ) i recognized that early on. i said to my self, thank you God, for this sign of land, further leading me to the manifesting of my heart's desire! i get to practice counting huge sums of money again and feel what it feels like : ), even as i get to practice dealing with bank people again for large sums of money!

still, the money is not my own, but Papa's.

then it just hit me yesterday while i was walking under the noonday sun-- of course, my affirmation has already come true: this is the equivalent of $nnnnn.nn (even 5x more) ALREADY IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW, isn't it?

except that the money is not mine. : ) heehee!!!

ohhhh Universe, youuuuuu!!!

so now i'm further fintetuning my affirmation--

Thank you, God, for the $nnnnn.nn already MINE and in my life right now, quickly and effortlessly! This, or something better!

be careful of what you pray for: be specific!!!

; ) : ) : )