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
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
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.