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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#365Planes: A 2016 Daily Project

For one of my last posts for Blogtober last 2015, I made the decision of announcing that I will be doing a daily project for the next 365 days of 2016. I am already a week in and I could not be happier.

I will not be redundant and explain everything as to why I came up with that decision. Perhaps an overview would be enough. Art. Instagram. Book. Noah Scalin. Journal. Planes. Execution. There.

Why planes?

It does seem a bit of an obvious choice since I am a flight attendant by profession. Although the concept of flying became more to me than moving from point A to point B. I invested blood, sweat, tears just to have this career. I ditched friends, art, and companionship just to be here. I have never worked so hard for anything in my entire life.

My motivation was that there was no plan B. If I fail at becoming a flight attendant then I am screwed. My family was counting on me. I was pushed to be in the airline industry and nothing else. The travel would entertain me. The service would keep me excited. The benefits would make my family secure. I had so much to lose if I failed.

Planes. I guess it signifies how one works for something so hard. This was just not a simple “I wanna be” dream. The hard work and sacrifice that people go through just for the sake of their loved ones. It is a spectacle so pure and amazing that I could compare it to looking out of the airplane window and seeing the brightest blue sky littered with the purest white clouds. Postcard perfect.

We work for the take off. We struggle to maintain altitude. We fight through the turbulence. We soar through the skies. We prepare for the landing. We pray and we hope and we beg that we do not crash and burn during the whole process.

Once we reach touchdown, we sigh and smile. Mission accomplished. Then we check and will be surprised to see how much miles have we covered and how many places have we passed through. We were certainly not the same planes that took that take off roll. The skies have a certain magic that changes us.

#365Planes is for us that works hard and will work harder until we reach our destination. It is for us who fuel ourselves with our own stories and our own intentions. It is for us who uses that fuel to move up then forward.

#365Planes is for 2016. May this year guide us as we all soar to the heavens.

For this ongoing project, please do check out my Instagram at instagram.com/cavilleta

At The Moment

It has been awhile since I last posted here. I just came from a two-week layover. I am currently suffering from Aerotitis. (Take it from a frequent flyer, people. Never ride an airplane with a cold. It’s murder.) I could not breathe from my nose and I could not hear 70% of what’s happening around me. Besides that, it felt like my face is being drilled by a dozen screwdrivers.

So now that I am back home and away from single digit degree Celsius weather and from a scarcity of meds, I can now finally treat myself. Hurrah!

First of all, I deeply apologize to my Blogmas peeps for not being able to contribute to the challenge. Two, I am also sorry for my prolonged absence. Hopefully I will be able to get back on track soon.

Fingers crossed.. Achoo!
Excuse me.

Blogtober Challenge 29: The Phoenix Effect

Three days to go before the end of October.
This is my first Thankful Thursday post.
I could not help but feel sentimental.

2013 was the best year of my existence. It is funny since it is the year after the dreaded end of the world.
September 2014 was the start of the worst year of my life. September 2015 just ended, I know. Does it mean that my worst year is over?

I am not certain. All I know that September 2015 was the start of me rising up from my own ashes.
I feel like baby Fawkes as I typed that last bit.

I have a lot to be thankful for. The mere fact that I am already on my first step of recovery is something to be thankful for.
There are a lot of things to be thankful for because I would not be recovering because of them.

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Blogtober Challenge 28: Christmas for Grown-Ups

This must be the most challenging one so far. Today’s challenge is about Christmas lists. Funny, isn’t it? The past few challenges were easy for me that I got drafts written days before the actual challenge. I have a framework for every post until the end. But, for this one, I had a blank one.

This is my first chance that I have ever experienced not having a Christmas list. I recall last year that I was wishing for any modern publication and those 4-in-1 smartphone clip lens. Now that I think of it, I made that wish because I was compelled to because of an gift exchange activity that I had with my closest friends. I got both. The year before that I wished for a specific book (can’t remember what) because of a similar activity among my training class. I got a coffee maker instead. I did not mind. 2013 was the best year of my existence anyway.

If those activities did not exist then I would not have a Christmas list to make in the first place.

During my school days, I always had an extensive list and it was more or less the same because I did not get it. I would wish for a PSP, a Sponge Cola CD, the latest phone, and other things. I got none of those during Christmas. I may be a gamer but my last portable gaming console was the Brick Game. I got the Sponge Cola CDs only within the school year when I have enough funds from all the sidetrip selling that I was doing. I never got the latest phone. Still don’t have it. I have phones that are at least 5 years behind the latest model.

I was happy nevertheless. I received things that I did not know that I wanted during Christmas (and other holidays). A candy pink Kate Spade handbag. A Doctor Who anthology book. A PS3. A wide array of coloring materials. A licensed replica of the Elder Wand. A light-up Marauders’ Map. A Twilight paperback (In my honest opinion, the series was a nice read. I am not a fan of the movies though. Sorry.) A Potatohead Family toy collection. So on and so forth. They were all amazing surprises.

I was happy nevertheless. I was raised not to get attached to material things. If I did not get what I want then it was okay. There is always a next time. If not, then something better will always come.

At the end of the day or in this case the year, I may not get what I wanted but I get what I needed.

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree with enough recognition to make my parents smile with glee whenever they talk about my schooling to others. I am getting healthier and healthier each year. I got the job of our dreams as a family. I live in our family-owned house. I never begged for scraps. I was born into a family of five. We are still five in the family. I grew up with my folks always at home.

Perhaps, that is why I learned to not make Christmas wishes. I have no need to ask for what I need. I’m just lucky, I guess.

I am a hypocrite if I will say that I do not aspire material things anymore. I want a portable Bluetooth speaker. I want a portable Android-compatible keyboard with a detachable MicroUSB cord. I still want a phone but not the latest but the one that feels as if it was designed personally for me. I want a car. I want my own residential unit. I want a replica of David Tennant’s Doctor’s brown trenchcoat (Imagine walking or running around London wearing it. Ahh). I want a pair of Nike Fly Knits.

Why am I not asking them for Christmas? Because I know I will have them someday so there is no need. Plus, I doubt I would have any of them by Christmas.

I love Christmas. I love it more than my own birthday. So, for this Christmas, I am making a Christmas list. This is not because I am compelled by this task. It is because I am compelled by the experiences that I have gone through this past two years.

1. I wish for the optimum health possible for my family for years to come.

My grandfather died last year. I knew that day would come eventually. I thought I was prepared. More than a year later, I still lament when I think of him. I don’t think that I could take it if I lose another family member. Don’t mind me. I’d wager my own health for the assurance of a long lifespan for each member of our family.

2. I wish for more opportunities for the Philippines and its people.

Like I said before, we have great potential. I will be extremely glad if more Filipinos get recognized nationally and internationally not only because of their beauty but also of their intellect, talent, and skill. I will also be extremely glad if the Filipino people will help one another in lifting each other up for a better nation for more generations to come. As of the current, the Philippines is number one in the list of most corrupt nations, worst traffic schemes, and worst airports. Good, right?

3. I wish for more environmental consciousness and action worldwide.

Ever since, I have been eco-conscious. I throw my garbage in the right places. I avoid plastic and styrofoam. I maximize paper. I recycle things. I upcycle. Things had been unsettling. This time last year, I remember shivering to the bone when I am in Korea. I remember wrapping myself in a blanket during the evening at home. I remember wearing a leather jacket because I want to and not because I need to. This year, I can roam around the cold parts of the world with less layers than I did last year. I break a sweat whenever I am home despite the rainy season. It is even too hot for me to wear long sleeves. What more a jacket? Is it because I am getting used to the cold? Is it because the world is getting hotter? Please God, make it the former.

The United Nations has recently launched the Global Goals worldwide campaign. If you have an advocacy that you are passionate about then please do go check it out. Honestly, you don’t need to be passionate. A little concern goes a long way.

So, that is my 2015 Christmas wishlist. I will have my toes crossed and my fingers working to have it fulfilled. I believe that wishes are just words if you don’t take action.

What is your wish list this Christmas?

Blogtober Challenge 18: I Should Have Known

Forgive me for sounding redundant. The next challenge for Blogtober is that I share some things that I should have known five years ago.

I was 18 years old five years ago. Looking back, I realized that the girl from five years ago does not exist anymore.

I have learned and experienced so much during the course of five years that it evolved me into the person that I am today.

Those are things that if my 18-year-old knew and experienced during that time then she would be distraught beyond her mind.

So, no. As with the future, I have no  to foresee or in this case to undo my past. There is nothing that I would wish to inform my younger self.

There is a reason why and when things happen. I believe that whatever achievement or trial that we experience in whatever point of our life is timed at that moment for a reason.

Sure, I could easily tell my younger self all the preparations and solutions that she should take in the future. I could easily tell her the mistakes that I made and how she should avoid such.

But, I won’t.

I told you. I do not like to know what is about to happen. Where is the fun in that? That is like playing an RPG game while reading it’s complete guide and following it to the last letter. You may achieve happily ever after but the experience would not be as fulfilling as if you figured things out for yourself.

Call it spoiler-phobia if you will.

How about you? What are your thoughts on what to say to your younger self?

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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Blogtober Challenge 4: Tick tock, Life Runs Out

Who would have know that I can survive four days of this blogging challenge. The question for today is “What is left on your bucket list?”

Lucky for me, I just had written an official bucket list of mine a few months ago. I always thought that lists like that and New Year resolutions are something that should not only be put in paper. I had no plans of making any bucket lists. That was before the time that I could see that I will not accomplish anything “bucket list” worthy. My perception started to change when I was already on my first job. Funny how the feeling of working hard, earning money, and providing for the family can change a person. Next that I knew, I had this feeling that I could accomplish anything. I had received this hope that I could actually amount to something. This is my hope of living a life well-spent. So, I decided to write my initial bucket list a few months back. Who knows? I might add some more. I thought that it was about time.

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