Saturday, November 24, 2007

I got everything I need

I grew up listening to country songs. Though I never really liked country music, my life seemed to have been made for country music. Today I heard a country song that made me think of how complete my life is and made me think of the two people in my life who I wish were still here to share my happiness.

I grew up with my grandparents and I love love love them so much. Lolo Manong, a policeman, was the first man I went to for love advice and Lola Auring, a housewife, was the first woman I went to for... well, everything. They encouraged me to pursue my passions, they cooked and cleaned for me so that I'd have all the time to do my homework and write my stories, they loved my friends and advised me on the "friends" I should get rid of. They also carefully guided me on matters of the heart and, though the guys I dated never met their expectations (Lola: "He's all right, but you can do better."), they loved them anyway.

So when they died nine years ago, my world just never felt the same. Not long after they were buried, I met Vince. I wish they'd met Vince--the realization of everything they wanted for me.

Lolo and Lola, I know you're looking down from heaven and I know you're very happy for me, and I know you love Vince the way you always always loved me. I also know you're proud that I've fulfilled all my dreams and more! But most of all, I know you're proud that above all these, I've learned to treasure what you always taught me to treasure: four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.


FOUR WALLS
by Randy Travis

My Grandpa farmed for a livin',
Content to live the simpler kind of life.
My Grandma worked in the kitchen,
Awfully proud to be that farmer's wife.
They used to say that they'd got everything that they need,
Each mornin' they wake up:
Four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.

Here I am, ring on my finger:
Grandpa's little grandson, all grown up.
I found my rock and I plan to keep her.
I wish they were here to see the two of us.
They'd be proud to know we've got everything that we need,
Each mornin' we wake up:
Four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.

With the highway twice as wide,
And the farmland sub-divided.
It's good to know that some things never change.
I'm still lovin' an I'm still livin',
By those simple words of wisdom:
Life an' love come down to just four things.

My Grandpa, Lord knows, I miss him,
An' the way that he and Grandma looked at life.
And each day, I count my blessings,
To have that kind of love here by my side.
No matter what, we know we've got everything that we need,
Each mornin' we wake up:
Four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.

Yeah, we've got everything that we need,
Between the two of us:
Four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Birthday girl

I turned 31 a couple of weeks ago. Vince gave me little presents the entire week. Threw a party for my family the following Saturday. Then all became quiet. I've always made a lot of noise when I turn a year older, but this year I felt melancholy. No, the age doesn't bother me, it's the aging of my body that does. This year, I got the flu, got rushed to the hospital for severe asthma, felt the return of the acute and chronic migraines, got hyperacidity, constipation and a host of other gastrointestinal disorders, and cellulite finally appeared all over my body.

I am getting old. The other day, at the doctor's clinic for yet another check-up, I got all teary-eyed. Why is my body betraying me? I was angry, I felt I was too young to be a regular at doctors' offices. And yet I did realize quickly enough that with all the abuse I heap on my body--late nights, high stress, fatty food, all-meat diet--it's amazing my body is still this strong. I mean, I've never looked this good and felt this good in my life. When I was a kid, I always thought I would die pretty soon (asthma). Now, despite all my sickly concerns stated above, this is ironically the healthiest I've been. It's just that some parts of me had begun to break down, with age.

So my prayers now include my health, Vince's health, my family and friends' health. All health. And their safety. Ha, now that's being old!

* * * * * * *

For remembering my birthday, many thanks to my family, Aida B., Audrey Z., Flores family, Weng G., Reza S., AJ D.L., Kris G., Mommy D, Lana C., Kristine B., Celeste B., Danio C., Lizelle I., J S., Daddy Mon, Gemma M., Chris M., Ruby G., Pia R., Joanna F., Joanna T., Nichole R., Fartattu C., Katrina T., Dennis V., Maiza M., Ampy C., Kate T., Mariel C., Rafela S., Happy D., Xeng Z., Carla C., Luis E., Lou A., Bea V., Zerline C., Myra G., Ingrid V., Marcie L., Coni T., Leslie L., Mia N. ... God bless you all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Self-reflection

As some of you may know, I was raised by strict Roman Catholic grandparents and zealous Baptist parents (more like mother actually). So I like praying a lot and I do enjoy reading my Bible except when I come across verses that shatter my marrow and pierce my heart. Like this one:

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." 2 Timothy 3:2-5.

Oh, that sounds like a description of me. Well, not all of it (I'm a very grateful person, and loving and generous, a believer of the good in man, and extremely loyal and faithful), but there's enough there to make me bristle.

Of all the faults, the one that stabs me most is the "truce breakers". I made a vow once to God--I wouldn't have a boyfriend for two years--which I broke eight months in. I know it sounds so silly and it does seem like a stupid promise made by an empty-headed girl; but I was young and heartbroken and in my distress, I dropped down on my knees and offered the next two years of my life in God's exclusive service. I was okay in the beginning but love--my one weakness--found me once more and I succumbed.

My broken vow still plagues me to this day because of these verses:

"When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the Lord your God will surely require it of you." Deuteronomy 23:21

"It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay." Ecclesiastes 5:5


I'm a good promise-keeper but that one I couldn't keep, and I ask God to forgive me. All the time. I know God forgives but sometimes I wonder if in His forgiveness, He spares you from the consequences. I don't really think so.

That's one of the reasons I delayed marriage actually. Marriage is one huge promise made with your spouse, before society and government, and to God Himself. Because in my mind I hadn't kept a simple vow a few years ago, I was afraid that I may not be able to keep my marriage vows, and I was tormented by this fear. I wonder if that was God's punishment for me. I hope it was because Vince and I suffered enough over my indecision. But if that wasn't God's requirement, then I shudder in my skin fearing what it is.