Random thoughts... Happy Thoughts... Sad thoughts... Anything goes!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A bURNing Thought

When I went back to the office yesterday after lunch break, my boss called me and told me we had a visitor then pointed to my table saying look at his gift to you!

Our visitor was a former auditor who resigned from our company 3 years ago to work in their province, the marble capital of the country, but would be leaving soon to work in Bermuda. I said my “Hi” while approaching him but took a quick look at my table. There was a marble urn! I stepped back and uttered a surprised “yikes” as death immediately flashed through my mind. I believe our visitor heard me and I thanked him and said “it is beautiful” and indeed it was. But the thought of death still lingered in my mind.

I know urns have different purpose not just to put ashes of the departed but seeing the gift just made me nervous thinking “what if it was an omen of something?” My boss and I were talking on the way home and she said that he probably had no idea about it. I told her, of course I knew that (besides as I mentioned earlier urns have other purpose) just that I can’t shake my feeling.

Losing someone you love is a very uneasy feeling. Yet it is inevitable and would happen to everybody. Last night, it was still on my mind and I uttered a prayer for all members of my family. Then I asked myself also “Am I ready to die?”

I once read somewhere that we were born live…each cell of our body fight for survival (I could not put the exact thoughts, it was so long ago) and that’s precisely the purpose of pro-creation, to pass on part of ourselves to our descendants so we continue to exist and compete and participate in the survival of the fittest! I never had a chance at pro-creation and don’t think that I will ever be part of it. So how could I fight for survival? There will be NO future link to me! I will cease to exist!

But will I? I may not pass any DNA to an offspring but I sure hope to pass a part of me to others through my thoughts, words and deeds. I hope that these thoughts, words and actions shared with other people somehow bear good fruits to them that they will be encouraged to share them with the next generation. Then I would have fought for my place in the earth…

BUt have I achieved that? Am I ready to leave the earth and move on to another dimension? To another life?

I have no control on that… I’d like my end time here though to be at peace…

In the meantime, I have to shake this bURNing thought and just move on… living the best that I could...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Still Standing!

I took a bus going to work today. It was full and standing but the bus stopped on stop (they don’t normally do it when they are full) and I gladly rode it. Midway through my trip, a man 3 seats away from where I was standing motioned to me to take his seat since he was already getting off. There was a lady standing near his seat so I pointed to her and told him that the seat should be given to her and did not move anymore from where I was standing. Then when he stood, another man took his seat. This man heard me tell him about the girl but still he seated.

I smiled.

These things have been happening too often that I feel that it is not something to fret about anymore. I don’t even have to reason in my brain thinking of his justification. Just accept things and maybe just smile or sigh about them.

The event made think of a story I heard though…

A young man noted an old man standing on the bus and so stood up to offer his seat. He wasn’t really expecting a thanks but he was surprised when the old man upon seating down complained and said that people have no manners and don’t even know how to respect elders.

The young man answered him saying “Sir, why are you mad? Didn’t I give my place to you?”

And the old man retorted “Indeed you did!” Then added “But look at my wife! She is still standing!”


Anyway, here is a neat video I found on Yahoo on a couple celebrating their 83rd wedding anniversary. Certainly something to smile about :)

Cool huh?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Bipolar Happens

I have been getting a lot of mail (e-newsletter) lately from Julie Fast. She is the author of Bipolar Happens and other books on Bipolar Disorder.

Bipolar Disorder. Ever heard of it?

I didn't until about 6 years ago when I first had internet access and chat with someone in ICQ. He was from Canada and he found me in ICQ. He was a great guy and very intelligent. We talked about a lot of things and issues. At the start of our talk he would frequently talk about his new girlfriend. Even in the middle of our discussion he would mention her and I was amused. I was never into girl-boy stuff and hearing someone talk (excitedly) about relationship was different and it was interesting. But there was something strange about him. There were times that he acted very different… like I was talking with an entirely different person! Sometimes I would wonder if there was an impostor on the other end of the monitor. Still I get excited every time I see him online until one day he was acting so strange and I felt so uneasy reading the things on the screen that I shut him off. Just like that I told him I didn't want to talk and I did it when he seemed so low. I felt bad, of course but I got so scared! Then one day I found a paper where I wrote his ICQ number, name and birthday. His birthday was just a few days away and I missed him and our talks. I decided to send a greeting and an apology. And we started talking again and we got to be close friends.

He didn’t admit to me immediately that he was Bipolar (and I had no idea what that is!) but after a while he talked about it and I searched about it including Julie Fast’s website and I got to understand him better. It also explained the questions I had before.

Over the years we were talking I had seen him through different relationships (even got to greet some of them and had short talks), I was around when he didn’t want to be with anybody. I have also seen him depressed and hopeless. I like hanging out with him that even if he doesn’t show up would send him short notes and encouragement until he feels better. I have also seen his manic state. I felt that I could identify when he was hypomanic even on screen and I would ask him about it. There were times when I could see his hypomanic episode ahead of him. I’ve also seen him in a big manic episode when he undertook a big project and got so many people involved (including me, but I also liked researching for the project since it was very interesting but he wanted to put me in payroll and was discussing compensation… the last had me worried but I continued helping out). Then after a while I could feel that he was slowly slipping away… and BAMM, a great depression. I felt his pain and I hang around. That depression took a long time and I hang around until I thought he was pulling through. Slowly we were having “small” happy talks again. Then one Christmas day he emailed me that he doesn’t want to talk anymore. We had a nice talk the day before so I was shocked!

I still did not want to let go thinking he was just in his depression but I had to respect his wishes, right? I did try and we got to talk again and he told me he had an operation and was in a new relationship, then out of a relationship. We would talk nicely and then he would tell me to quit talking. He was harsh. I wasn't really mad but it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t really helping out hanging around and was probably making it harder for him. I guess sometimes you don’t really help by being around.

It has been a long time. I still wonder how he is from time to time. I wondered if I should write him again and ask how he is but I realize that doing so would only be for my own satisfaction of knowing how he is since I wouldn’t really be able to do anything anyway…

Reading about Julie’s mails and seeing her interview in her blog made me wonder once again how my friend and his family is. I know how hard it had been for his parents as well since his mom and I also wrote each other occasionally. When someone has Bipolar or any sickness (even vices and problems for that matter) most times the family is also affected. I believe all would want the best for their families and friends but sometimes you can’t really do so much, no matter how much you want to. I guess each has a life to live and you don’t really know how you are going to be woven into it. You try to give the best you can give but sometimes the best you can give the person is your fervent prayer.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Forbidden Tree

In the garden of eve
Was the most beautiful tree
Though anybody could take a look and see
Only its gardener could tend and let it be
It is after all the forbidden tree!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fast and Feast

Today is ash Wednesday, the first day of lent, a fasting and abstinence day for Christians. Tonight is also the eve of the Chinese New Year, full of festivities for the Chinese community in our country. Ongpin Street which is beside Binondo Church where I attended my Ash Wednesday mass has been full of activities the past days, especially today. There are so many people buying tikoy (gelatinous rice cake), fruits not just to eat but to put in your doors to ward of bad luck, charms and even gelatins in fruit shaped plastics arranged as fruit bowl.

A day of fasting and then feasting…

Two contrasting things...

Yet I found this posted in the church’s bulletin board, very appropriate for the season…

Fast from criticism, and feast on praise.
Fast from self-pity, and feast on joy.
Fast from ill-temper, and feast on peace.
Fast from resentment, and feast on contentment.
Fast from jealousy, and feast on love.
Fast from prize, and feast on humility.
Fast from selfishness, and feast on service.
Fast from fear, and feast on faith.

This fasting and feasting is good for the spirit!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Lola Feling

Today is the 10th year death anniversary of Lola Feling, my paternal grandmother. She died just a few weeks after papa died. She was 89 when she died. She was the last of my grandparents to leave us.

When my father died, his 2 sisters in the USA went home. That was the first time my other aunt had been back to the country after such a long time… more than 30 years. She did not have a chance to see my father alive but she was able to see my grandmother alive. Although, they were able to see each other in the USA since my grandmother stayed with my other aunt for a long time, they were not able to spend so much time together.

My grandmother migrated to the US in the early 80’s I think. She was popular wherever State my aunt’s family stayed since she was a nice and kind woman who had lots of stories to tell. She stayed in the US for quite a while and even got her citizenship. But USA is not her home! Her heart is here… well not even Manila but our province!

She wanted to go back but my aunt wanted her there, probably thinking that life is better there. One time she fell and went into coma. My aunt was scared and only when she whispered in her ear that she can come home did she regain consciousness.

She was happy to be back. People in the province were happy to have her back. And I would come to the province often then. Every time I was there she would tell a lot of stories and I would listen. Sometimes I’d see my aunt making faces since she says that it is the Nth time Lola was telling it. I didn’t mind. I guess that’s the advantage of being a bit forgetful, I enjoyed her stories and think something new every time she says it. I enjoy feeling her emotion as she tells her stories. I always loved reading and listening to stories and could easily get entertained listening to stories of long ago. I enjoyed listening to her adventures, those of my grandfather’s, our ascendants, the people from the place… simple stories of value to her.

I got to join some of her prayers too. Ohhh she prayed a lot… she prayed constantly… she prayed silently.

She was sick a lot already during the last days of her life. In fact she was also in grave condition when my father got sick and went into coma that my aunt could not leave her. When my father died and my aunt had to leave she only told her that papa was sick. When she got back there after my father’s funeral together my other aunts, they still did not tell her papa died. Finally one night they told her and she told them she knew. She said papa came to her and told her. Was it in her dream, a gut feel or a real visit of papa’s spirit? I don’t really know. But she knew that papa was gone.

She left when her children were not by her bedside. I guess she did not want them to see her suffering in her last breath. She did suffer a bit but she went in peace.

She was ready to meet her master… and her husband and son who went ahead of her.

We knew that how much she loved her home here but her new home is far better than we could ever offer and that’s where she’ll happily stay for all eternity!