Mariel would have kissed me as I woke up today and said “Happy Birthday Daddy”. Of course she would have already wrapped a “surprise” gift, usually a nice shirt (as she knew I have poor taste in clothes) and would have also written me some heart- warming notes like “as an additional gift, I promise not to be ‘sungit’ for one week.” Mariel had the better sense of humor. She used to make me laugh. Now I can only cry at best. And I had a pretty good cry before finally getting out of bed this morning. For I missed her so badly.
By the way, she talked to my mom a few months ago about giving me something “special” this year, this being my 50th. I would have wanted to tell her however that just being with her was more than enough to make my birthdays special and memorable. Her being with me today like going window-shopping at ShangriLa mall would have been already a treat. We usually went there on Sundays to hear Mass and eat lunch. Then. its off to my sister’s place in Lexington Garden Village where we would have a small “party”. Parties simply meant having “merienda” with family and friends, while Sam got to play with the other kids. This year, its something similar except that Mariel’s no longer there to make it “fun”. Feelings of joy these days it seems, come far between moments of longing and emptiness.
The only thing that brought some joy today was reading again Mariel’s birthday card to me of a few years back, which said (I know see wouldn’t mind) — “I celebrate today, the day you came into the world, for if you hadn’t I’m sure I never would have known the kind of happiness you brought into my life. I love you, Happy Birthday”.
I love you very much too, Mommy. Take care and good night.
3 thoughts on ““Happy Birthday Daddy””
Wishing you all good heart and courage on your birthday.
Bong, 50 years is no easy feat. Celebrate at least 20 more! You have received so much love from Mariel and I guess, there comes a time to give back. Not as an act of reciprocity but perhaps as Mariel demonstrated in her past life: to live to be able to love others more.
My Mom recently moved on with her journey. And the most profound realization I had with the death of someone who conceived me and raised me into this world is that she continues to “live” in me. My mother taught me everything I need to face life. Now that she has left her physical being, her spiritual being guides me through…so that I still can be what I need to be for people dear to me.
Nov. 10 (Saturday) night was the last time I posted some comments on Mariel’s article “Don’t keep the good things”. Then, I fell asleep on the sofa bed as I was waiting for my eldest son to arrive from a party. Sooner than I expected, I woke up and saw Mariel wearing a white long sleeves polo and black pants, sitting at the foot of the sofa bed. I touched her twice in the arms and saw some marks, which I thought could have been those needle marks. I knew that I was facing my friend “from beyond”. Surprisingly I never felt afraid. I took that as an opportunity to tell her all that’s in my heart. I couldn’t clearly grasp the words but Bong’s name was clear to me as her eyes – moist with tears – were telling me of her concerns for Bong. Suddenly, I was awakened by the ring on my cellphone. It was already almost 3am, Nov. 11, and my son was already on his way home.
I just shared my dream with our group at the office this afternoon. Just moments ago, I felt the urge to visit marielsgarden. (I don’t normally do it on weekdays.) I got the surprise of my life to see it was Bong’s birthday yesterday. Call it coincidence, call it my imagination…but for me Mariel must have been trying to send a message for Bong. Just now, I saw this poem written by Barbara J. Hall:
SOMEONE’S WATCHING OVER YOU…
SOMEONE’S WATCHING OVER YOU
WITH THE GREATEST LOVE.
SOMEONE WANTS YOU TO BE
HAPPY, SAFE AND SECURE.
SOMEONE CONSIDERS YOU
A WONDERFUL INDIVIDUAL
AND CARES ABOUT YOUR NEEDS.
SOMEONE’S MAKING BLESSINGS
FOR YOUR BENEFIT RIGHT NOW —
LIKE SUNSHINE FOR THOSE RAINY DAYS
AND RAINBOWS TO REMIND YOU
OF THE PROMISE UP AHEAD.
SOMEONE’S WATCHING OVER YOU
AND HE WILL TAKE CARE GOOD OF YOU.
Happy birthday, Bong. Yes, Mariel – with God beside her – loves you so much…..