Loss and the English Dictionary

I just visited my uncle’s wake today. He was my father’s brother. It just gave me some thoughts.

I remember writing a short oneshot a few years back about mourning over a family member. I remembered writing it something like this;

People who lost their spouses are called ‘widows’.
Children who lost their parents are called ‘orphans’.
What do you call parents who lost their child?

It is a heartbreaking experience to bury the love of your life or your mom or dad. Yet, everyone has to go through it. It is part of the circle of life.

I believe it is every parent’s worst fear to bury their child. There is this unspeakable loss for the life that you gave. Imagine what a parent must go through? Had he lacked in taking care of the child? Had he did something to ultimately cause the death of their kid? Had he not given enough guidance?

Not everyone will experience that. Yet, it is much more heartbreaking to see the end of the life that you raised. A part of a parent’s soul goes with the child.

I find it quite unfair that there is no proper term in the English language for such a situation. Yet, I could understand why. The pain must be truly unspeakable for most deny it as a possible reality. Then again, a person becomes a parent then it becomes who they are. The loss of the child does not define that. A parent will always be a parent.

I find these thoughts of mine so unprecedented because I am still quite far from being a parent myself. It is my dream though. To be a mother and to be able to conceive children. It is also my fear. To not be able to conceive or worse is to fail at being a parent altogether.

What am I saying here? Just take care of yourselves and give your folks some credit. It is very true when they say that they only want your safety and happiness. For if you suffer, to them it is a fate worst than death.

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Prices and Priorities

Remember my last post about Christmas? Wherein I said that I’d said that I rather spend my holidays at home despite having the chance to spend, say, New Year in New York.

What I totally forgot was that my job does not honour holidays. So, I was wistfully thinking that I will spend my holidays at home while my brother (he’s a flight attendant too) told me we should spend New Year in New York. I declined. Believe me, it was a VERY tempting offer. It was a free trip to New York. All I had to do was work going there. And I can get to see the ball drop in celebration of the coming of 2016 at Times Square.

I declined. I only had one reason why. I can’t leave my parents at home alone on Christmas day. What I thought was a noble idea was something highly stupid.

I was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on the 29th and come back on the 2nd of January. I will be working on New Year’s Day. I tried to work my way around it but there was no opportunity to drop the flight.

Why do I want to spend it at home so bad? Because I am so freaking scared to miss anything important. I experienced coming home from a long layover to the news that my grandfather died. I came home to the news that my dog died. I came home to the news that my father was sued. I see my folks go weaker everyday. I don’t want to miss a holiday with them because I don’t know if it will be their last. And I was not there. That I don’t know how could I accept it. Imagine that my grandfather died more than a year ago and I still could not forgive myself.

At least, I never missed a birthday. I worked during my own birthday. But, it was good. My brother arranged to work with me in that flight so that I won’t be alone.

I have listened to stories of dozens of other attendants missing important holidays, their kid’s recital, and deaths. It was the inevitable. But, it was something that I could not accept. I have successfully manipulated my schedule for the past two years. This is the first that I have failed. Who knows how many more times will I fail after that?

That is the price of the assumed prestige of jobs like ours. We can’t just go on an absence because we need to go to a PTA meeting. We can’t just call in sick. Even if we can, our conscience won’t allow it. Its part of the job. There are people depending on us. We, along with pilots, have to operate the flight because if we can’t go home then we have to bring those who will to their destination.

If I knew that I would be working, I should have just agreed to my brother and spend New Year in Time Square. At least, I will be with him and his girlfriend.

Nurses, along with doctors, have to work during the holidays because who will care for the patients. This is also a rant to those who still handle fireworks recklessly despite the numerous warnings. One misfire and you come rushing to the hospital, crying to your blown-up hand. Don’t you know that you just singlehandedly ruined your whole family’s holiday? While your nurse patches you up, he or she wishes for the opportunity that you just thrown away; to spend New Year away from the hospital.

Cheers and respect to them and to all public servants.

We all have to smile, be kind and courteous even if we want to scream our hearts out. I remember fighting the urge to have a breakdown whenever I see an elderly passenger during the time of my grandfather’s death. Bereavement leaves are only for immediate family members. And they only allow three days off. Yet, I go on as if nothing happened, internally disgusted by family members who won’t want nothing to do with their elderly. Many travel on their own, scared to be in the plane with no one to trust. Then it gets worst when I find out that no one will fetch them at the airport. You people don’t know what you are missing.

So, give us a break. I’m sure you have things hard in your life too. I’d rather that you tell me all about it than you blowing up your rage on me.

I’m still lucky. I have an awesome job. You’re still lucky. You’re watching the fireworks with your family. We still have things to be grateful for.

Christmas for the PH by the PH

I love living in the Philippines. No offense, I’m sure your country is awesome too.
We have the best, and I mean THE BEST, Christmas season in the whole world.
DISCLAIMER: I am a girl who refuses to watch the 2015 season of Cats the Musical in London even if I can and even if Nicole Scherzinger is playing the lead. That is because I don’t want to erase the memory of watching Lea Salonga portray Grizella when the musical came to the Philippines. I am a girl who refuses to use those great cosmetic brands from Sephora unless they don’t have a counterpart product at Happy Skin Philippines. I am a girl that has the complete discography of Urbandub, Up Dharma Down, Eraserheads, and Sponge Cola (all local artists) beside the albums of Coldplay, The Script, Queen, and Lady Gaga on my mp3 player. So, like how I expressed in my previous post, I am highly biased to anything Filipino.

This I say to you. I am NOT biased when I say that we have the best Christmas. Officially, the Christmas season here starts in the middle of September until halfway through February the following year. You read it, people. We celebrate Christmas for half a year. Even if it is Valentine’s Day, it is still Christmas! The season starts at the 100-day countdown to Christmas Day and ends when no one is talking about or celebrating Christmas anymore which happens by halfway to the end of February.

Why is Christmas the BEST in the PH

1. We have exclusive Christmas season delicacies
2. We have lights everywhere
3. We have our own version of the Christmas lantern
4. We have an international festival dedicated to that lantern
5. Christmas bazaars everywhere
6. Pop-up Christmas theme locations
7. Parties everywhere
8. Singing and concerts everywhere
9. The cheap becomes cheaper
10. Exclusive (I think) Christian traditions
11. Gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts.

I could make a whole set of blog entries out of the Filipino Christmas season. Hm, I’ll do just that!

Now, you see why I love Christmas more than my own birthday?
As a Filipino, it may be weird but NONE of the items above can define why I love Christmas. Although, it may help but Christmas has a different meaning for me.

When I was a child, I would sit by our Christmas tree at home. Just that. I like how tall it was compared to my height. I like how the decorations were placed on the plastic leafy branches. What I like best were the fairy lights snaking up and around the tree. I would squint my eyes and stare into the lights until they appeared blurred and bursting. Then, I would pretend that they were stars. I would sometimes reach to hold the light and pretend that I was touching an actual star. There were times when I would not squint my eyes but still hold the tiny light bulb between my index finger and thumb. I would fascinate myself with how red my fingertips would look like due to the translucence of my own skin. Then, I would pretend that I had fire powers.

When I was a child, I always get excited when it was already time to decorate the house. It was not like I involved myself in the theme and planning. My mom was part of that. I was already happy with opening the box of decorations or with handing to my Mom the specific flower decoration that she needed to attach to the staircase wreath. If I was lucky, I would be given the task of spreading those thin icicle like confetti around the Christmas tree branches, making sure that it looked evenly distributed.

When I was a child, I was excited whenever we would go to the mall. It was not because we can go Christmas shopping. We were brought up with the mentality of not buying what we wanted. I was excited because we will get to see the Christmas decorations in the mall and the costumed attendants and the Christmas section of the home department of the mall.

When I was a child, I was excited for the yearly clan reunion. It was the only time of the year that I get to see my cousins and aunts and uncles. We would eat homemade catered dinner, play party games, and sing.

When I was a child, I was excited for Christmas Eve (The Filipino equivalent of Christmas morning). At the strike of twelve, the whole family would eat the grand feast that our parents made for us while watching a holiday TV special or a movie. Then, we would go to the Christmas tree and open our presents. Then, we would sleep and when we wake up then we eat the leftover Christmas meal and go out of the house.

When I was a child, I was excited to sit at the window seat of any vehicle. I always kept my eye out for the Christmas lights decorated on the houses and street lamps as we pass by.

A decade later, I am still excited. Christmas is important to me because it was the time of the year that I am forcefully reminded that I am still a child. I am a child that still lets her mind wander. I am a child that still gets fascinated by lights and colors. I am a child that still looks forward to the company of family. I am a child that still loves the simple things.

That is what Christmas is to me. It is the season that amplifies who I am as a person. I still get tingles whenever I read stories and listen to music. I still get amused at accent colors and the latest Christmas themes. Even I can spend Christmas in London or watch the ball drop in Times Square, NY during New Year’s Eve, as long as there is a family waiting for me at home then I will be spending Christmas and New Year at home. I just pray that I would stay the same during the next and the next holiday season.

Do you feel the same about Christmas? What does Christmas mean to you? What are the best parts of your holiday rituals? Tell me all about it.

Blogtober Challenge 10: Twist. Lick. Dunk.

The tenth Blogtober Challenge is about a review of my favorite.

I am loyal to only one brand. You would not find me consuming any of its competitors.

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Challenging A Bestseller Challenges Me Back: For One More Day

A Review on Mitch Albom’s For One More Day

I am inexplicably in love with books. If most are addicted to shopping for clothes, my wallet always attends a losing battle whenever I am inside a bookstore. If there is a sickness for it then I have it. The downside is that I have not read a book for a year. I have been busy. It is a lousy excuse, I know.

So anyway, I decided to pick up a book from my large shelf of unread finds. I was all like what is the deal with Mitch Albom? So, I picked up For One More Day. I bought it on a whim at a thrift shop a few months back. The latest publication that I ever read was Divergent. I am not aware of how these modern authors write. So I wanted to see what is the big deal.

Half a day and a whole book read later, I was lying across my bed, staring at the paper plane mobile hanging above me. I was crying.

One tear fell from each outer corner of my eyes. Their journey was painfully slow as they travelled down my temple then behind my ear to the finish line of my nape. It was like a race between a snail and a turtle. I had to go up to my room, the tears were already threatening to fall as I was reading the last few pages of the book. I did not want to make a fuss of being noticed by my mom while I was reading on the couch in the living room.

I stayed there for a good seven minutes before I collected myself and went back downstairs, leaving the book on my bed.

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