Thursday, September 30, 2010

old rain remembered

i was walking homeward today when suddenly the sky turned gray and rains started to fall. i've no umbrella with me so my first impulse was to run. the raindrops were small at the onset but in a couple of seconds they started to fall heavily. i had to go for cover under one of the nearest trees along the way.

i held out my hands and caught the raindrops. they burst as they hit the palms of my hands and the water slid between my fingers. i could hear them as they fell on the leaves of the tree. it was a jazzy, rhythmic beat that only the rain can do. although i have sought cover under the tree i know i can't prevent myself from being drenched. but i loved the feel of the cold raindrops on my skin. it brings back memories.

well, it was different during those times when i was just a boy. we enjoyed so simple things then. like the rain. we looked forward to the rainy days. i and my other playmates. it was a good time to cavort carefree under the skies, under the rain. running half-naked, chasing each other, swishing the water on the puddles. then scampering in all directions as unannounced thunder breaks the jazzy beat of the raindrops. the grasses along the sides of the roads are rejoicing too. time to rejuvenate themselves. time to repopulate the patch of earth left untouched by the asphalt lay.

simple life. easy life then. who would ever think that there'll come a time such as this when children would rather lock themselves up in their rooms playing video games or virtual life games rather than go outdoors to experience the gentle warmth of the sunbeams, or the soothing coolness of the moonshine, or the friendly touch of the raindrops?

perhaps there are still children who are in touch with the old ways. perhaps the children in the remote parts of the world or the third world areas still do. but the numbers are dwindling. technology is making sure of that. technology is slowly confining us to as small a space as possible. technology is building a cocoon for us. you won't need the outdoors to fly a kite! you don't need to spend bonding time with your dad or your big brother or your best friend to make the kite, test the wind, and struggle with the strings as it keeps on getting caught in the wayward branches of trees. YOU ONLY NEED A CHAIR AND A SMALL BOX FILLED WITH TECHNOLOGY!

the rain had subsided. i am drenched but i am happy. i still have the outdoors in me!

i ran to the nearest puddle and kicked the muddy water towards a clump of grasses nearby. i thought i heard them laugh at me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

computer errors & life's glitzes

i was staring for so long now at the computer screen. my fingers are poised over the keyboard, hovering, alert for the promptings of the mind to type. but my muse seems unconcerned today. nothing is coming out. no ideas are pouring. i told myself. don't force it. if you don't have anything of worth to share today then so be it. try to relax. gather your wits. inhale slowly. exhale. let the mind settle. let it flow leisurely in its meanderings. let it allow itself to select whatever it decides to dwell on. and so i did ....

well, i told myself, since i have nothing to write today let me just surf the internet. there are probably new things i'll be able to discover. and so i did. surf the web. i didn't have any particular site to go to so i just clicked on the links on the webpage that flashed on the screen. so randomly i clicked. page after page after page flashed on the screen. sometimes a picture will attract my attention. sometimes a portion of a text. but nothing ever caught my fancy that prompted me to stay and read on. kept on clicking. link after link after link. then all of a sudden a small window popped up on the screen -- " do you really want to delete all of the items on this page?" -- i was roused from my aimless browsing. i reread the warning and promptly clicked the CANCEL button. the pop up window disappeared. in a jiffy, there it was, my cue. i recognized it immediately. that's a great topic to write about ... computer errors, life's glitzes.

if only Life is like that weblink that i clicked on that will prompt you first to confirm your intended act before it executes it then i am sure that there'd be lots of suffering that will be prevented. but sadly, Life is not like that. it will not display a confirmation pop up question, even if it will result to a fatal mistake. Life is like water. it seeks its own level. it allows every one to do as one pleases. and then lets time to pass. it is not as fast as a computer program that returns results immediately. it lets time to pass. until one has forgotten what one did and then suddenly gets jolted when Life returns the fruits or results of one's actions.

"think twice." that admonition probably was a result of one wise person's recognition of the fact that Life is just that -- a great, free flowing river that does not mind what are the things that are on its course. that may hinder its course. it may be a twig or a boulder. Life does not mind. if it can't go over it, then it will try to go under it, or go around it, or if not, just keep on pushing against the obstruction and to let time obliterate it. Life just rolls along, flowing freely. without impediments. once a person had done an act, he must be prepared for the consequences of that act. Life will not offer a cancel button. Life will execute the deed.

now, because we are mostly careless and impatient, we just do, or as that famous ad says. "just do it!" and so most of the time, we suffer. now as a consolation, what's great about suffering is that it is a teacher. it is a bestower of knowledge. of wisdom. if we allow it to be! in due time, suffering will be able to develop or create in each of us our own unique virus detection programs, our own spyware or malware removal programs, so that we can at least be protected from committing the same mistakes or glitzes again as this great river called Life runs its course.

funny, but as i see it now, Life gives us Suffering to protect us from Life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

what a child sees

my brother's daughter approached me one time and said,"uncle, i made a picture of you. i want you to have it, but, don't be angry with me if it does not look good!" she warned me.

i smiled. "why, thank you, my dear, of course i won't be, c'mon let's see it!" i told her reassuringly.

she ran excitedly back to her study table and she handed me her drawing. she even scrawled some dedication beside my face. i laughed hard when i saw it. she squirmed.
"you don't like it?" she asked.
"of course, i do! i love it!" i hugged her tight to prove my honesty.
she smiled at this reassurance. "see, uncle, i even gave your hair back!" i glanced at my portrait again and it's true i have a full head of hair. she did not forget my eyeglasses which hovered snugly over my nose. and what's amazing is that mole on the right side of my face. even that was included!

"you can keep it," she said.

"why, thank you, bea! i hope you can draw my face again sometime" i replied.

"maybe" she said as she went back to finish her school assignment.

later that night, i looked at my portrait again. the one bea gave me. i thought to myself, well perhaps this is the most honest picture of me. this one which a child did. i remembered what they say of children. that their eyes and minds see the real picture of the world. uncluttered by the incessant worries and uncertainties that we adults have. no biases. no cover ups. just the plain truth. we have had that frame of mind before, but we lost it as we grew up. because we learned that in order to survive in this world, one needs to be condescending. one needs to allow for untruth. most often, it is untruth that dictates our lives. we are actors on this stage we call Life, that's a cliche we most often hear.

and that's why we must turn to spirituality at some point in our lives. or religion. because we must become as children again. become pure minded again. but it will be difficult of course. we will have to have a lot of undoing. but we must try, if we wish to be truthful again.

i remembered a poem i once wrote from way back -- april 22, 1995 -- when i read about this atrocious crime against a little girl named Angel:

these are really different times now
it is her Age,
one easily gleans her hideous form
and her fearsome activity and influence
in the events surrounding, unfolding.
we are raping little angels now
and we leave their mangled bodies
inside sacks or cement bags
to rot,
silently, or perhaps
to be further mangled
by speeding trucks.
i wept that time. they never were able to catch the criminal. and Angel is now forgotten. we were in that frame of mind then, we are still now and will continue to be unless ... we strive
to see as a child again.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

are you lonesome tonight?

once i attended a spiritual gathering. the people were all enthusiastic. the spiritual energy was so high. ecstatic even. i was not a member of the spiritual group but i got invited by one of my friends who was a member.

prayers were uttered. religious songs were sung. songs of praise, of thankfulness, for blessings received and for more blessings expected to come, for more problems and life's hardships expected to be resolved by the Almighty, implored to be resolved as soon as He can, if i may say so.

there were dancing, clapping of hands, tears even, rejoicing, and the incessant assurances of the pastor that prayers will be heard and help will come and things will all be right. i have to admit the pastor is a powerful speaker and i know he speaks from his heart. at that moment, i believe there is full honesty in what he is trying to convey to people. he's good at what he's saying because he believed it, and i know that he must have experienced them, those things that he were relating to us that time. at one point, i must admit, he moved me to tears, he moved me to dance, to raise my hands in praise, he made me feel confident and good inside. may the Infinite bless him always!

after the congregation, i and my friend stayed behind for some small talk together with some of the new acquaintances he had introduced me to. they were trying to recruit me to join them. i politely declined.

" brother, we know you are fond of going to spiritual gatherings, do you have a favorite religious song?" one of the new friends asked me.

i smiled and thought for a while at this surprise question. "of course," i replied.

"good. what is it? can you sing it for us?" he shot back.

"i can sing, but you don't want me to," i warned,"i have a terrible voice."

"no, no, brother, we'd like to hear the song, we might be able to use it during one of the future gatherings, c'mon, please," he cajoled me as he handed me the guitar,"what's the title of the song?"

"ok, as you please,"i said as i took the guitar,"it's called 'are you lonesome tonight?' by elvis presley."

"huh?" my new friend was dumbfounded. i can sense it. "is that a religious song, brother?"he asked. the others did not say anything as i started to run my fingers over the fretboard trying to get my proper pitch. satisfied with the key, i plucked the guitar strings carefully. i closed my eyes and focused my sight inside, at the center of my forehead. that's where the seat of the soul is, the Old Masters had taught. and i started to sing,

" are you lonesome tonight?
do you miss Me tonight?
are you sorry we drifted apart?
does your memory stray,
on that bright sunny day,
when I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
do the chairs in your parlor
seem empty and bare
do you gaze at your doorstep
and picture Me there?
is your heart filled with pain
shall I come back again
tell me, dear, are you lonesome tonight?"

i opened my eyes. they were all looking at me. incredulously. the question was there, it was just unexpressed by anyone -- how can that be a religious song? i decided to answer that unexpressed question. "brothers, i said,"that was to me a great spiritual song. why? well, you might not have realized this, but the songs we were singing during the last concluded gathering were all songs coming from us for the Almighty, but this one i sang, try to savor the words, close your eyes with me, as i sing it again, go inside you, think, no, feel, and you'll see!"

i closed my eyes again and started to pluck the guitar once more. i don't know if they ever followed my advise to close their eyes, but i was so fired up now just as i always feel every time i hear or sing this song. i sang the song again, as solemnly as i can ... pretty soon, i can hear the others humming the song, hmmmm, hmmm, hmmm,. i let the last notes of the guitar trail off as i opened my eyes. i know a slight hint of tears had formed at the corners of my eyes.

they were all smiling now. faces radiant, i don't know why, but they look different. i know they realized what i had meant.

"brother," my new friend said," you are right! that is a GREAT song. it is the Almighty that is singing to us this time, it is as if He is showing His willingness to comfort us, we only need to be honest, and tell Him 'Yes, my Lord, i am lonesome tonight' and He will be there!"

i tapped him on the shoulders, and i saw he had formed tears at the corners of his eyes too! the others were still smiling at me. i know, they don't need to say it. it's crazy, but this love song by elvis presley, to me this is a Love Song from the Great Creator, the Divine Person whom we may address as Father or Mother or Beloved.

at night, when i feel lonesome, i hum this tune, or sing it as solemnly as i could, and i feel comforted. i close my eyes, i silently whisper in my heart -- my Beloved, i am lonesome, please return to me --

the Beloved comes to me and i sleep contentedly.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

" don't grow old ... "

it was near the end of my shift when i received this call. during one of those periods in a typical call center's workday when calls come in trickles and one's mind starts to wander and march ahead to what one needs to do after work -- visit a friend, window-shop in a mall, or actually step inside a favorite restaurant and pig out on some glorious food normally reserved to be eaten only if there is a special occassion.

"i need to close my account," her voice is soft as if she is whispering over the phone, "i need to close my account," she repeated without me prompting her to do so. i noticed this hesitancy in her voice. i strained my ears to listen to her carefully.

"why? what's the matter?" i tried to sound as concerned as i can.

"i won't be able to afford this anymore," she replied."in fact, i won't be able to afford anything anymore. my husband had died and i will no longer receive his pension. mine is not sufficient enough to sustain my needs." she continued. now there is a hint of sadness in her words.

"i am alone now, i'm selling this house and i'll be moving in with my daughter. and she has her own account for your service so i don't need to keep my account anymore,"she explained," oh, i don't want to leave this house, i don't want to sell it, me and my husband has lots of fond memories in this house,"she exclaimed.

before i can say anything she blurted out again,"but i can't help it, i am old now, and none of my children wants to live with me, they have their own families to attend to now. oh, it will be difficult to live with any of them, i wont be able to do things that i am accustomed to do in this house. it's different if you will live in a house which is not yours, even if you're with one of your children."

"i agree with that,"i was able to squeeze in,"no matter how small your house is, the feeling is different. a man is a king in his own home,"i quoted. i don't know where i read this but the words were forced out of my mouth.

she is sobbing now over the phone. i can't help but picture her in my mind -- an old lady in a very big house, with lots of furniture inside, lots of pictures hanging on the walls, silent witnesses of happy days long gone, amusing herself with her favorite television game show, passing the time away by herself.

" i think my daughter will transfer me soon to a nursing home,"she suddenly confided to me, she is really crying now, i can sense fear in her hoarse voice," i don't want to go ..." her voice trailed off.

i don't know what to say. "now, now, why will she do that? i know she loves you!" i reassured her.

"she does, i know,"she answered back,"but she wont be able to take care of me. she has her own family to attend to now,"she sighed. she is still weeping. oh, how sad she was! but this is america. i reminded myself. this is an american reality.

i really don't have anything to say now. in my job we have parameters to meet, to keep. one of those is the handling time for a call. i have to meet the standard handling time. i cannot allow a call to be long.

"at the onset,"i told her,"you said you want to close your account. i'm sorry to hear this, but it's your decision. i have to connect your call now to our permanent disconnection team so you can formally terminate your account. kindly hold, i will transfer your call to this group."

"ok, i'm sorry,"she replied apologetically, still sobbing.

"no problem,"i said," i'm transferring your call now."

before i pressed the transfer button i heard her whisper on the phone."thank you, if you can help it, don't grow old." and she was gone ....

i would have said to her i can't do that. i can't fight time. i can't fight nature.

but .... i can age gracefully. i can be alone but not feel unhappy. and if my child will not take care of me i will seek refuge elsewhere. to where Love is Unending, and Love is Unbending. i have great faith in the One that makes us all and makes us be. i am confident He will keep me in His Holy Company.

i was able to resolve the issue on her call. yet, i feel empty after. i was not able to serve her. closing the account is not the real help she needs ....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

now, about love

in my current job now i became a member of a team where almost all of my teammates were half of my age. during one of our team chats, suddenly from out of the blue, one of our female teammates confessed, "i am broken hearted!" we found out she had something like a misunderstanding with her boyfriend and they have to sort of cool off for the time being.

and so for a while, the team chat meandered to the subject of love. she was assured everything will turn out alright, for the better. she was advised if that guy is really the right person for her then all will turn out well in the end. then came the usual cliches on love -- love is giving and taking; love is surrender; " it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all .."; love is sacrifice ...

throughout all these, i just tried to take it all in stride. they are young. and love is still an adventure. but i'm confident that in time they will learn more about love. as for me, on the subject of love, i must admit, i will forever be a student. they are talking about love between two persons. lovers. they are arguing about the physical bond between two people. and the romantic bond between two opposite sexes. and the emotional bond. and the attachment.

this last item, attachment, this i think is what makes love difficult. this is what makes hearts go "broken". i can't help but hum that old BeeGees song where Barry Gibb wrote -- "how can you mend a broken heart, how can you stop the rain from falling down ..". practically, Barry Gibb is saying that it is almost impossible to mend a broken heart, as it is almost impossible to stop the rain from falling down.

non-attachment. this i think is what will prevent broken hearts. but, the big question is, how can one love and be non-attached? for now, i'll admit, i still wont be able to answer this question. however, there are those who say that non-attachment can be learned. that it can be cultivated. if you are not attached to things, to people that you love, it will be easy to let go. separation will not be a difficult situation to handle. because non-attachment will give you the confidence that separation is the best way out, that leaving is the best way to stay!

throughout the team chat i just watched my teammates amuse themselves on the subject of love. then all too suddenly, this remembrance came to my mind, and robotically i typed these words -- "love the one you're with." i can't remember now where i read these but i'm pretty sure it was from the lyrics of an old love song i can't recall now. but it stayed with me. these words.

when these words flashed on their screens, these elicited some amusement on most. one of my female teammates kidded me, "then i should love you because you're the one with me now!" well, i thought, that's actually not a bad idea. i smiled silently at this thought. but, that is not what i meant. or what is meant by the person who wrote those words. when i first read those words i took it literally. but in time, i learned to give it a different meaning.

who is the person we are always with?

our own self is the person we are always with. love thy self. love thy person. always. in loving oneself first, one will discover a lot of things. one will discover surrender. one will know giving. one will find confidence. and once one is confident, one will find non-attachment. because one will arrive at this realization -- one is complete by oneself.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

now, about work

after the factory closed, i have to move on. i have a family to take care of. i must admit i got scared because most of my productive years were gone now and nothing concrete to show for those years. most of my "wealth" are deep inside me. non-material. just wonderful experiences about living life to the fullest. with friends. with people i love. with people i hate. with people i don't really know nothing much. ah, terrible, as they say-- "youth is wasted on the young". i know i shouldn't say this, but in retrospect i think i wasted my youth. or, my youth wasted me! anyway, thinking back, i now know there were a lot of things in my youth i should not have ventured to do. i just wasted time. and if anyone, any young person for that matter, will ever read this blog, i hope they can read between the lines. if they are "living life to the fullest" they will know what i am talking about. adventures are a "must" to the young, i'll grant that, but, lingering too long on these will be a waste of time. read between the lines ..... remember, one is not forever young. one will age in time. one will grow old. and one must age gracefully.

i was able to find a job totally different from the ones i had while working in the factory. i'm in a call center now. i have to sit for 8 hours staring at a computer screen, blabbering to people thousands of miles away. listening to their problems, worries, complaints, and finding solutions or resolutions to these. to appease them, to assure them that all is well and everything will be set aright in their side of the universe. to tell them that they are not being conned for the services or products that they bought.

i always thought this job will be easy. one's only worry is how to endure the long hours of having to sit and stare at the computer screen. using only a minimal number of muscles to do the work. but i was wrong. the job is difficult. what makes it difficult is just that. how to endure the long hours of minimal physical activity. interacting only with unseen people miles away. to project a smile through one's voice. to project forced empathy. to become instant friends with total strangers. but a job is a job. and to earn an honest living is what i need to do. so i must endure. i have to adjust.

with the previous jobs i had, it's easy to be gratified because you immediately see the fruits of your labor. a machine repaired. a project plan approved. a subordinate's family who died visited. a new product launched. but in this job it's hard to determine if you ever did well. even if the person who called says so. you just assume that you did good. and then, after every call, force a smile. try to feel gratified.

i learned a trick on how to feel genuinely pleased at this my current job -- i always remind myself -- I CAME TO SERVE. so every time i receive a call, i remind myself -- this is another chance to serve, do your best.

come to think of it, serving others is the purpose of living. that's what we are here for.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a lesson from ralph waldo

she was sitting there by herself when i came home. my daughter. she looked glum and in a pensive mood.

"why are you looking so distraught?" i asked her.

she looked at me. smiled her shy smile. it was a sad smile. is this correct? is there such a thing as a sad smile? but isn't a smile always associated with happiness? probably it's better to call it a half-smile. there, sounded better. suggesting happiness but there's this hint of being incomplete. dissatisfaction.

"what happened?" i asked further. i always make it point that lines of communication between my daughter and me are always open. i need this. i want her to know that although i am her father i could also be a good friend. that i am always ready to listen. i always remember what i've been told some years back -- it's always easy to hear, what is hard is to listen.

"i'm disappointed with the grade i received." she finally said," i was expecting a really good grade for that last project i submitted, but the professor saw otherwise. but now that i've thought about it, it is really my fault.

that's really not the one i originally picked to submit. it's just that when i heard my classmates' criticisms on my first pick i immediately shelved it and worked on this one which i submitted. i really liked that first one. ggrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! i should not have listened to them.

and you know, dad, one of my other classmates had submitted her project which ran along the concept of my original pick and guess what? our professor liked it much! oh, i should have submtted the one that i most liked."

"well, you'll know better next time," i told her. "and don't be disappointed that somebody else shone on that particular time. remember, there are people who are like the sun. they are inherently bright. at most times, they are the ones that are immediately noticed. they shine at once. but there are others that are like the moon. they need a special time to shine, to show their glow. but when they do, they shine differently. like the moon which lends the night her own special beauty and affects us in her unique way."

she smiled a full smile this time.

"now, i need your help on this," i continued," please google 'self reliance by ralph waldo emerson' on your computer."

she did so. in a short while, her search returned several ralph waldo emerson webpage links. she chose one and immediately emerson's famous essay displayed on the screen. she browsed over the paragraphs. i just stood quietly behind her. after a while she smiled a full smile again. i knew that she saw what i wanted her to see on that essay. i asked her to read it aloud as i pointed to the words -- " to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true in your private heart is true for all men .... a man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within .... abide by our spontaneous impression with good humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side ... "

"from now on, Papa, i will trust myself," she confided,"even if my classmates say otherwise. i will trust what my inner self says. and i know that by doing this i will not find myself regretting not doing what i think is right."

i smiled my full smile.

and i know that ralph waldo is also smiling his full smile. he had helped another person gain self reliance.

i can still recall one of the lines in that essay -- "else tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time. and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another ..."

Saturday, September 11, 2010


much had changed since 2006. the factory where i spent most of my younger years, in fact, 20 of my most productive years, is now long gone. it was closed. the owner was stricken by sickness and i thought he felt it unnecessary to burden his family with this business so he just decided to discontinue it. maybe he also thought that no one is capable enough of running it as efficiently as he did. not one in his family. he died at a young age. i believe he was 43. but he had achieved a lot. in terms of material wealth he had amassed a good fortune. but of course in death you cannot bring any of these material possessions. all of these will be left behind. i went to his wake and paid my respects. silently i prayed to the Infinite that he be guided in his transition to the afterlife. i just hope that he had also taken great pains in amassing his own spiritual wealth while he was yet alive. these are the only ones that we will take with us after our physical selves had served their purpose.

it is my firm belief that there is this other self in each of us that is immaterial and will transcend death, long after our physical selves have become fodder to worms. this undying, eternal self is the one that most importantly needs nurturing. but, sadly, we have been preconditioned from early childhood to regard the outer, material, physical self as our true person. which is incorrect. that's why every time somebody dies i always make it a point to remind myself -- only this person's physical self had died and rotted, but his true self, his true being will live on. by reminding myself this, my sadness is lessened, and i am encouraged to be more cognizant of this inner person within me. i am emboldened to be more vigilant of what needs to be done so that this inner person may amass inner wealth, those spiritual gems which can be carried over to the new life after physical death.

this i think is what antoine du st. exupery is reminding us when, in his book, THE LITTLE PRINCE, he said -- " what is esential is invisible to the naked eye .... ".

Friday, September 10, 2010


i can't believe the last time i posted on leafdropper was in november 2006. no, i did not run out of things to say. it's just that i lost the password for this and i never succeeded in remembering it. of course there' s this thing where you can request to retrieve it for you but problem is i also forgot the email address associated with this. anyway, i was just rummaging through all of my old notebooks when i chanced upon the very password and email address and so excitedly i signed in. whoossssh!! there! my posts of old. very much intact. thank you much. i was able to relive some portions of my life.

and therefore i am again reminded of how important keeping a diary, or a journal, or for these days, a blog, is. it affords one, especially one like me, whose senses are starting to dull, to record history, one's own. and one's thoughts, however trivial they might seem to be. of course, if one does not care a whit of what others say then nothing that one says or writes will ever be trivial. every detail of one's life is important. every exhalation is as relevant as the next inhalation.

i remind myself. i write this because of me. i want to keep a semblance of a record of my thoughts. and i do this because from time to time i want to go back. to relive a portion of my life. if ever somebody chances upon this history and finds meaning in these too, then fine. let these serve some other purpose.

so, i'll be resuming this. i made it a point to write down my password and email address on several notebooks and kept them safe. unless of course i forget where i've put these notebooks. it's good to be able to return. it's a nice feeling to reminisce and relive old thoughts. sometimes i wonder, did i really write all these stuff? silly me. but then, i say back to myself -- congratulations! you were able to write history, you're a historian.

many things had changed. mom and dad were gone now. mom first then a year later dad. their death have no fanfare. mom just did not wake up one morning, no struggles, no pains, just simply dying. her face so peaceful, like from a long-sought sleep after some heavy work. dad for his part had this -- after mom passed away, we noticed him becoming silent and not so active. when mom was alive he was the one nursing her from day-to-day. so it seemed when she passed away, there was this large chunk of his time that he just can't seem to fill up with activities. we encouraged him to try to mingle with friends. reminded him that he should be able to do this now since he has no one to take care of. unlike before. but he never was able to fully fill up his days. he was scheduled for a routine check up and my brother and one of our cousins were to drive him to see his doctor. it happened on their way to the hospital. it was they said a heart attack. he just sat there inside the car. never complained of anything. when they reached the hospital, he's gone. was never revived. he's like that, even if feeling uncomfortable, will keep the discomfort to himself, just so he will not be a burden to others.

on these two occasions it was my brother who was given the opportunity to be with the ones we love. to be able to savor the last warmth of their bodies, to smell that faint, slowly fading scent of life. and rightfully so because it was he who had mostly attended to them when they were alive. i could not spend much time. i am struggling with my own life. and so it is just fitting that he be afforded those last moments. when i arrived, mom is so cold. death is. when i reached the hospital, dad was cold too. silently i offered my prayers. petitioned the Infinite to take them to His loving bosom. i offered my apologies too for things i was not able to do. for each. and which i will never be able to do.

death is real. i remembered on those two separate occasions when i held their cold hands, i did not shed a tear. deep in my heart i know it is just their physical selves that left us. there is this undying part of them that will live on, that will continue to guide and help both my brother and me and our families as we keep on living our own lives until our own time to depart this earthly existence comes. i am positive of this.