Saturday, November 20, 2010

7 Reasons for My Thanksgiving in November

November is about to end. It used to be the month I waited annually to start my countdown to the coming Christmas season. Now, that personal tradition has changed.  I hold this month close to my heart for the changes it brought to my life. Events and circumstances, both sad and marvelous, keep popping in. Today, I regard November as my month of thanksgiving- a time to marvel on these God-given blessings and trials. My reasons are very significant to me, where it seems common to the rest of my relationships- siblings, friends, and relatives. I want to put meaning to these events. On a personal note, I know God continues to pour down His blessings on me and my 2 daughters. I must, therefore,  give thanks to the Lord in humility.

1. November 1 - All Saints' Day , November 2 - All Souls' Day

Not until death found members of our clan in a row, these celebrations passed by barely unnoticed. It was just a welcome reprieve from work if these fell on working days and declared as non-working holidays. A decade ago now, in 1999-2000, we lost four of our loved ones, in a matter of 2 years,  the first incidence of deaths in our growing clan- Father, Dad(my husband), BenJun, and Mother,  in that order. Before long, an untimely death caught up with another family member, William, a brother-in-law. Then 10 months ago, in February, my brother Ben Senior(BenJun's dad), was taken away from us.

These sad circumstances brought me and my siblings together on these days to pay respect to our beloved dead,  in separate cemeteries.  But circumstances  dictate that I wait on my siblings in  our parents' resting place where my husband is also and offer prayers in the same place for them all, without visiting the others because  the places are far away from each other.  This November, I changed the tradition by my own, visiting 4 cemeteries including that of my parents-in-law's.  And it worked! I don't feel guilty prayer-hopping. It was a kind of rediscovering myself, that I can do things I perceive with freedom. I don't see anything wrong breaking away from a family tradition. I am grateful to the Lord who sustained my stamina to travel.

2. Pot's Birthday

After 3 years of marriage, our firstborn, Pot,  came into our lives. I was then advancing in age and my husband had a family history of childless fathers. So you can just imagine how joyful and grateful we are for this day. Her birthdays, as with her sister Kit's who followed 3 years later, are significant events to celebrate to pray together for these gifts of life.

However, as years rolled by, birthdays were no longer celebrated with pompous parties after their debuts. Wherever these days caught them up, it was where they celebrated them, and most often, with friends in their workplaces, which I never attended.  I just attend mass and  have  mass offerings for them in my own way.  This year, Kit celebrated hers  in October , 5 times in my count. Pot celebrated hers 3 times, all in different dates.  We  3,  celebrated Kit's  5th at Bangsal Lechon House and Pot's  3rd, at Dad's Saisaki,  together! I thank God for these welcome joys He brings to happen in my daughters' lives and mine.

3. November 8 -  I Had A Bad Fall!

I was in a hurry to reach the hospital for my monthly check up. I should have been  there by 1 o'clock pm, but my laptop read 3:45. Your guess is  as good as mine. It was late! When I crossed over my parents' improvised gate that  serves as temporary gate made  of  2 big recycled wooden doors and  2 wooden benches to close the property- a protection from chicken and dogs that play havoc in our gardens, I missed getting to the other side with my uplifted left foot. My right is no longer a reliable part- weak and painful as usual due to my diabetic peripheral neuropathy. So I dropped;  and instinct dictated that I grab a support. That door lying on my path on its side crashed down with me. I was lucky somebody saw me fell - flat on my back, writhing in pain, saying "my back, my back, my back" to keep myself conscious until help came, as lights flickered in my closed eyes. I was carried on a borrowed chair and was revived by a crowd of relatives. I heard some people  crying in panic!

I was able to reach the hospital and declared safe by my doctor. The accident left black and blue markings in my inner left  thigh, right knee, and right upper arm up to this time of writing. God saved me from a really bad fall. I'm living alone in my house. The accident didn't  happen inside my house where no one would ever know until it would be too late. I have another reason to thank God for, haven't I?

4. November 12- November 20 - Dagupan - Lingayen Archdiocesan Christ the King Celebration

This is a 9-day novena to honor Christ in the archdiocese, being  held in my parish, the Epiphany of the Lord Parish in Lingayen, the capital town of Pangasinan.  A big crowd of the faithful from 27 parishes covered by the archdiocese  are joining.  I'm a member of the church choir assigned to render services in 5 days  out of the 9-day novena. I'm glad I have returned in time to this service for the Lord. I went on an indefinite leave of absence as lector/commentator/choir member in December, 2009. I suffered from a mini stroke (TIA) while singing in the middle of the communion rites in church on the 5th of the "Simbang Gabi" (Evening Mass).  I was rushed to the hospital. I was advised to lie low and take a rest.

I tested myself for a comeback last July, and I'm so glad I am doing all right. Rather than sulk alone in solitude, think of the unthinkable past, and continue to rot in anger forced into my life by insensitive people, I braved my way back to church but of course with little apprehensions among my co-members because of the December incident. Once in a while, I would receive calls or text messages from them asking me how I'm doing at home. They surpassed the calls I receive from my daughters. Hahaha! The rigorous weekly choir practices are healing for me. I know. I should be grateful to the Lord again, for that, and for my friends in church, too. What is my pain, compared to these acts of loving-kindness they lavish on me? This isn't a miracle. It's God sending me messages, I'm not alone.

5. Eleventh Year Death Anniversary of  the Boy I'd Loved Before

When my husband died, I died with him. But because of my 2 daughters who were still in college then, I grieved  in silence and tried to do my double best  to them- as a  father and mother, working to make ends meet. Beyond that, I refused to socialize for fear that my usual activities might deplete fast the compensation  my husband earned as a government employee. It was a meager amount I was afraid might not be enough to see my Pot finish her law proper and my Kit to continue pre-law up to  law-proper. But we did it! My daughters helped me in secrecy when they worked their way and found  time as working students in a reputable law office cut for students like them during their last 2 years in law proper. They graduated in the same school year. Kit is now a lawyer with Pot to follow, too.

Probably all these happened because it was their Dad's ultimate dream for them to be lawyers. But most importantly, my deep faith in God, and my daughters' strong-willed determination were put to work. And I admit, too, that the song he left behind,  one day before he died to become our new theme song - "My Love Will See You Through"- worked miracles in us 3. Thank you Lord for my daughters who supported me in our darkest days of uncertainties and grief.

6. November 21 - Christ the King Mass Celebration and Procession

I belong again to the 60-member choir for this big occasion! I will sing songs of praises to Christ the King  and God the Father! It will be held at the Capitol Grounds 1 o'clock pm. I'm so proud to have  my spic-and-span new uniform ready for the occasion. It will be the biggest ever crowd in the annals of our parish since the last in 2004. After the mass, the crowd of the faithful will walk back to the church in town. I'm a member of the prayer warriors who will recite the rosary on patrol cars. I'm grateful to the Lord for calling me back to serve Him!

7. Cebu, Here I Come! ! !

November 25 is Thanksgiving Day and to celebrate this Pot, Kit, and I are booked for Cebu for a thanksgiving vacation to this picturesque tourist spot down south. They literally twisted my arm to join them. We have been living our separate lives since they started college and this is a chance for us to bond again, free from pressures of work and the ordinariness  of life, both said.  If in the past, I revolted against any expenses I called luxury,  now I welcome this rare chance to be with my darling kids. Secretly, I'm rediscovering, reinventing my priorities that will make my kids happy. "I'll live today as if tomorrow  I'll die".

I now smile and say, "Dearest  Lord, thank you for giving the gift of life to these 2 wonderful ladies who happened to be my own, who  are always grabbing their chance to make life easy for the 3 of us, to a point of pampering me. I will praise You Lord, forever! AMEN."

'Till my next account, dear readers/followers/guests! Light and Love- Lita.


  1. What a wonderful post! I personally believe we should treat everyday like Thanksgiving. I hope you're doing very well!

  2. Laura, Dear.
    What a blissful morning to see you this early! It's 2am down here! I can't wait to attend the masses today Sunday, to start my thanksgiving. And this afternoon will be the Red-Letter Day, the Christ the King Celebration.
    I agree to that! Everyday is a Thanksgiving day! I'm fine! I'm fine! Thank you so much. Love and Peace!

  3. Lita-I'm so glad you've decided to take this special vacation with your daughters. It'll be an experience that will remain in your memory and enrich you for years. As we grow older, I think we take our time on this earth less for granted. We become more acutely aware of our blessings, of the opportunities for love and joy each day can bring. It is indeed a time of Thanksgiving-for the gifts of the present, for the days behind, and the days ahead. Kiss your lovely daughters for me, and enjoy this beautiful Sunday.

  4. nothingprofound,
    I do have a penchant of preserving beautiful memories to look at when I'm feeling alone. And this vacation is expected to bring me a chance to take as much, as I already have in mind my to-do list. I'll see to it that every second will be spent to discover the blessings this new experience may bring.
    Marty, I'll remember that! It's not yet late for us to enjoy life in its many surprising ways. I guess I'm starting to metamorphose from
    my self-confinement at home to soar higher and farther.
    The mass celebration was a grand success yesterday! I wondered how in that big big crowd, complete silence could be achieved! Probably because of the monitors provided in many strategic places so that the faithful could follow the mass. We performed under the scorching sun, putting off umbrellas whenever we stood to sing. We consumed boxes of mineral water to quench our thirst and prevent dehydration. We were advised to bring face towels one dry one wet and it was really a good advise. I took pride being a choir member. It was a lovely experience!
    However, during the procession around town, rain poured down like cats and dogs. All participants were on foot and were drenched to the bones, the 70 priests were not spared! The procession continued, we heard the drums fading away. We didn't leave our post because we sang Marian songs as the rosary was prayed with those who stayed behind while waiting for the entourage to return to the venue for the final blessing. The rain poured quickly, we took cover in a nearby makeshift, but we were caught by the rain and my shoes got soak from the sudden rise of rainwater. Thunder and lightning and heavy rains didn't move the faithful to pull away. They marched inside the Capitol building where we were, drenched yet uncomplaining. Again, I call that a blessing and in addition, it's because I'm up today with only slight sniffs and leg cramps. Haha!
    Kiss my daughters for you, yes, I'll do that! Thank you for you profoundness, Marty!

  5. I am really touched by your love for your husband. I can't imagine living without my beloved wife. Your girls are heaven sent. Yes, we must be grateful for all that we have.

    It's good that you are leaving your self-confinement behind.

  6. It is always good to give thanks to God for all he has done in our lives.This year is running out, one should count his blessings despite the challenges we face day by day.This a an excellent article.Thanksgiving should be an everyday affairs,keep up the good work.

  7. Passionate Blogger,
    I have one and only love who left me 2 wonderful daughters, who are so like their Dad. God has always His kind ways, it's only up to us to realize that. In every joy and in every grief we experience, God is there. This keeps me buoyed up.
    This acceptance is in truth so hard in coming after my husband died but when I started to give thanks to God for every new challenges, good or bad, that comes my way, I have somehow gained peace within that gives me strength to live again. Yes, I have left my cocoon to live my life in service to others who need me. Life is just as wonderful as God promises. Be blessed, too.

  8. editor,
    Everyday of our life is a gift from God. Everything that happens in our life is a double bless. God is good to all especially to a grateful person. It takes only a little time and effort to thank God. Just be solemnly honest and true and you'll always feel His loving-kindness. The more we feel our blessings, the more we must bow in thanksgiving.

    You and all my commenters/followers/readers are part of my blessings. Thank you. God Bless.

  9. It's a pity we sometimes only realise what people's contributions were after their death. You celebrate life and show the beauty of the ordinary day. My best wishes to you.

  10. I'm glad you are OK from your fall...please take care.
    Have a great holiday Season

  11. Hope you are well. Happy Holidays

  12. Neil,
    You're absolutely right! It seems a futile way of giving thanks to people's goodness if they no longer feel the essence of what they did. Now I'm awakened and always observe beauty in everything as I find meaning in the ordinariness of life. Quite a late reply because I was busy before and during the seasons. May you and your family have the best of best this 2011!

  13. Shawn,
    Ohh, you really have a great heart! Thank you. I'm having fun again. My best wishes for you this 2011!

  14. Shawn,
    Two comments in a row make me feel awkward and shy before you, dear friend. I was too engrossed in my church activities before and during Christmas to even open my laptop. The 9-day midnight masses I attended rendered me sleep- hungry at daytime. I was fortunate I didn't have another fall like what happened to me last December, 2009. I did my missionary service in the choir with success! God is good! Thank you, Shawn!



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