Happy Birthday Mariel !

Mariel Bello

It’s a little past 12 am of November 6. Around this time every year I’d wake up Mariel to whisper “Happy Birthday Mommy, I love you”. After a short embrace, then its back to sleep for her. It’s not that Mariel did not appreciate my wish to be the first to greet her on her birthday. She just knew that she has to get up early to prepare Sam for school the next morning. As I’ve said many, many times in this blog, with Mariel, Sam is”the” priority. Which was why I loved Mariel even more. She seldom called attention to her own needs. She was happier when she was giving. Birthdays were usually spent having a simple dinner at home. Over Max’s Fried Chicken and Pancit Canton.

That’s why later this evening, it’s her favorite noodles and chicken for us all. Plus, we’ve written her short letters as “gifts” today. I promised Sam not to put up her messages on the blog, its between her and Mommy. All I know is that it was filled with lots of infinity symbols. I will also read some really nice words of encouragement we’ve received through Mariel’s Garden. Thoughtful comments from Linda Riley (mysteryoriley blog), Grace V, cousin Annie, “Writing Grandma”, Mariel our niece, Joy L, Direk Vincent, Hedy T, Susie B, Claire Espina and sis Joy Davy will surely warm our hearts when we most need it. We also plan to offer Holy Mass and prayers tonight. And maybe, if we are up to it, look at some old photographs and remember our happiest times. And many, many happy times together we have indeed shared. But, it can never be enough with Mariel because she had so much to give.

I really wish many more would have gotten to know her better . For Mariel came across as “very private” to some. Actually, she just never wanted to impose on anyone. She was not comfortable being the object of attention. She would rather be giving instead. She was happiest when she made others happy. And she can afford to give so much because her “cup was so full”. She had “everything”, that is why she wanted nothing for herself.

Well, not completely nothing. If there was anything she was a bit selfish of. It was about her daughter Sam (and maybe to some extent, me). Because she wanted almost all the time in this world spent with just the three of us. Maybe she saw it coming. I will never really know. All I know right now however, is that I will be spending all my time in this world trying to make people, and specially our daughter Sam, understand what a truly exceptional person Mariel was. A loving, gentle and very generous person. A person who “found her happiness in the happiness of another”.

Happy Birthday “Mommy”. We will always love you. You will always be in our hearts.


7 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Mariel !

  1. I’m very sorry to read about your loss.

    Birthdays and anniversaries are desperately difficult, but the next one will be easier, I promise.

    All best wishes to you and your family from here in London.

  2. Ate Margie

    Yesterday, Nov. 6 was the b-day of Mariel, our beloved sister; she would have been 46 years old.
    I always like to remember her as a small girl, all peaches and cream with those almond eyes running around our house in Tarlac. She was never afraid of work, she accomplished all of her given chores in week-ends in no time at all and seldom complain. We”re poor, but that didn`t stop her from reaching her star, to be what she was in her career and family life.
    I chose her to be the godmother of my youngest, Jinno, so that some how her virtue of perseverance would guide him and it did. He is now in college and I know and pray he will be a professional like his ninang someday.
    We are 5 girls in the family and up to Mariel’s last days, our bonding was something, every time we meet we were like school girls with a lot of catching up, “talagang ang daldalnamin ay non stop time was never enough “
    I know you are happy up there with mommy and tatay, this is not good-bye but so long, we hope to see our captain when we cross the bar.

  3. Joy L

    Happy birthday my dearest friend. I sorely missed you yesterday. We used to tease each other that we are again a year older, and I would always make “tawad” that you are four months older than I am. We “celebrated” your birthday yesterday (Nov.6) by attending our noontime Mass here at the office. Then at 3pm we had a simple pancit and cake “merienda”. Yesterday was again a trip down memory lane. I shared with them our funny stories…alone. Before, we take turns in sharing our funny experiences together, always ending with tears in our eyes as we laugh at our silly mistakes. Now, I have tears in my eyes as those memories flash one by one. There are so many stories of life-learning experiences that I would like to share, most especially with Sam. As I find time in this busy workplace, I will jot down some notes about you again.

    For now, I wish you God’s grace of peace and happiness as He lovingly embraces you. Happy birthday!

  4. edsel tolentino

    (I try to write three to five pages everyday in my morning journal. Yesterday, Mariel’s spirit inspired me to finish eight pages. Chores, however, prevented me from editing my random scribbles to this readable form.)

    Today is Mariel’s birthday. Bong should have gotten up early this morning to plant a romantic kiss on his loved one’s lips. But he woke up to an empty bed, nursing an aching heart, tears clouding his waking vision. It would be the forty-ninth day dearest Samantha would be roused from sleep, though not by the one who has been doing it every morning for most of her eight years.

    No birthday food is being prepared: no fragrant spaghetti sauce, or the crackling hot oil of frying chicken, or the rhythmic chopping of vegetables greets the senses. The pots and pans hang on their hooks, the antiseptic scent of lemon dishwashing soap hovers in the air.

    Sam would likely skip school and Bong, the office. Father and daughter shall bring orchids, lilacs and roses to Heritage Park. Sam will be at her cheerful best: “Happy birthday, Mom!” Bong would try to play along: “Happy birthday, Mommy.” Though his cracking voice would belie his pain, teardrops escape from the corners of his eyes.

    My dearest friend has to be strong for Sam. Good thing Bong is strong. Our good friend Albert Borrero says Bong is a “take-charge guy.” When others around him get rattled by work or life demands, count on Bong to be the one to sort things out. He will calmly give the orders: “Kiko, call the supplier… Dong, withdraw from the bank… Teddy, go jump in the lake.” (Bong does have a sense of humor.)

    As Mariel was wasting away with every passing moment on the hospital bed, no doubt every pore in Bong’s body was raring to take charge. But this was not the usual workaday crisis that could be solved with a timely call to the client. This required a hotline to God. The drugs were not doing what they were supposed to be doing: cure Mariel. The six or so specialists have tried every solution found in their medical books. And yet, nothing seemed to work—Mariel was getting worse by the day. Then she was gone.

    Who was in charge?

    Life was. Life IS in charge.

    By most accounts, Mariel was close to being a paragon of perfection in the roles she played: wife, mother, homemaker, colleague, sister, auntie, cousin, godmother, you name it. She was selfless, thoughtful, caring, compassionate and loving.

    Such is the fate of those who channel Life’s goodness and virtues: they either serve Life on Earth for a long time—or are called sooner for a higher calling. Life is in charge, and Mariel its dedicated and faithful servant. In our humanness, we mourn her departure. Life, however, couldn’t be happier to have someone like Mariel do its miracle work.

    Happy birthday to a new Life, Mariel!

  5. GLV

    To my two scorpion friends, belated happy birthday Mariel and advance happy birthday Bong!
    It is definitely now a habit to open Mariel’s garden every time I get a break from work.
    I always get the urge to join in but something else always gets in the way. Today, however, I read a beautiful message that I can’t wait to relay to Bong. I know this is nothing new but reading it over and over again will hopefully ease some pain.
    “When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate and know that the will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you”.

  6. Pingback: Lovely Flowers For A Lovely Lady « Mariel’s Garden

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