I’ll stick to the Top Twenty favorite things of Mariel. Sorry, can’t keep it to just 10. By the way, I’m doing this for the most part so that our Sam will someday remember what her mom was like– a superbly talented and loving person who could have been anything she wanted to be. But chose instead to devote her life to caring for our only daughter and me. She was a one-of- a- kind mother and wife. I really hope many more people could have known her.
Back to the list, I’m sure I’ll miss a couple, so friends please help me out. Add those you might recall. ( This one’s not in any particular order. I’m just putting them up as I get to remember them )
1. Anything in the color violet, lilac or purple– this applies to almost everything from clothes, bags, umbrellas, decor, eye makeup, electric fans and coffee mugs. A color fit for royalty, a color fit for my princess.
2. Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep- This one’s contributed by Sam. She had asked her mom to fill up her diary with her list of favorite things just last July. I often kidded Mariel that I myself kinda look like Brad. She cringed a lot. I saw however a lot of Meryl’s “sympathetic” eyes in her. Mariel was best described as one who’s very soft-hearted.
3. Leather Bags- She was famous for having impeccably matched bags with her attire. She asked me to get her some during trips abroad. Laptop bags, leisure bags, handbags, she’s got it all. I’d say she had enough to match Imelda’s collection. (Sorry Mariel just kidding)
4. Shoes of all shapes– Of course what good are nice bags without nice shoes. Mariel made frequent trips to CMG et al and always had an eye for coming sale events. She can write a book about this. I must admit she’s got taste and the best legs and feet in the world to boot. I swear.
5. Clothes, clothes, clothes- Clothes were her passion too. She was once considering to put up a boutique that catered to children’s clothes. She’s got talent and the knowledge for this. I know she would have done very well.
6. Spaghetti, T-bone steak, Nuts, Tibuk- tibok, Mango and Pomelo- Food glorious food. I must explain, tibuk- tibok is the kapampangan version of maja blanca, a pudding- like dessert made with carabao’s milk. And also spaghetti is best from Pancake House and T- bone at medium well. “Mangan naka”.
7. Floral- scented perfumes- The “flavor of the month” was Estee Lauder’s Pleasures Intense eau de parfum spray for women. It’s website described it as “seductive, extremely lush floral, with low notes of vanilla and maple”. Of course Mariel shared the love by getting me a matching Pleasures Intense for men. Lately however, I’ll find myself spraying a bit of her fave scent just to trigger memories. Oh Mommy, I miss you so.
8. Literature, Poetry- She liked Shakespearean sonnets, Jeffrey Archer despite his bad political choices and just about any printed matter. She taught Sam the value of reading books, and that’s why she does very well in school. Of course, this is also probably the reason why Mariel wrote well. Please check out “In Mariel’s Words” category in this blog for examples of this.
9.Text and Email jokes- She had a good sense of humor (not like me). She sent me txt jokes on my mobile phone and email jokes too. She sent one to me the day before we went to the hospital. It was about being married and stuff. That one stays in my Inbox forever.
10. Leg and Foot Massages- I gave her these as often as I can, to relax her or put her to sleep. I wish I had done more.
11. Home Decorating and Crafts- She was truly amazing at this work. I had mentioned before how well she had ran our household. She kept a spotlessly clean and beautiful home that is truly worthy of a place in “Homes and Gardens”. She had a knack for eclectic matchings and was fearless with colors and prints. She also did a couple of papier tole art that will always be part of our bedroom.
12. Sinatra, Broadway, Classical music- Ol’ Blue eyes rules. Sinatra was always on heavy CD rotation. Mariel loved the romantic era. That’s why she applauded when Rod Stewart made the wise “move” and Buble etc. She also had complete Broadway original cast recordings of all the great ones. She had the biggest influence on Sam’s musical theater leanings and abilities.
13. Fresh Flowers- I could never devote enough space for her love of flowers. Stargazers, Tulips, Mums, Roses that made her day. Now I had set up a crusade to always honor her love for God’s beautiful creations.
14. Children and Cute babies- Mariel loved children and children loved her back. I was really amazed at how she was always the favorite of her little nieces and nephews. She connected with them in a genuine way and was often rewarded with sincere hugs and kisses.
15. Lifestyle Channel, Wolfgang Puck, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Project Runway- Mariel spent time relaxing keeping the cable on the Lifestyle Channel. After all beautiful things are her dedication. She may love a little bit of the “tsismis” in some of the reality shows too. Who doesn’t?
16. CSI- Crime Scene Investigation, the series was her absolute TV favorite. She even got the DVDs before they hit Metrowalk. Las Vegas was tops, then New York and Miami. She however could not stand usual trite remarks written for the lead actor in the LV episodes.
17. Soft pillows and snuggling on cold December mornings- Look I love them too. But Mariel just loved being in bed with us on cold mornings talking of our dreams for Sam. I miss this a lot, she was my anchor and my compass. I still feel lost today.
18. Crash Bandicoot, Tetris and Super Mario- Even before I met her Mariel was already the Super Mario champion of Mandaluyong. When she was heavy with Sam, she spent hours on end mastering PlayStation’s Crash Bandicoot. Which she actually did. Mariel excelled in anything she puts her mind into.
19. Jewelry- Who would not want some diamonds. Unfortunately, I gave her teeny- weeny ones for our “wedding engagement”. Pearls too were her love. She wore them almost daily at work. She always told me that she was “collecting” these for Sam. She told me this two weeks before she passed away. Her most precious one however, was our simple gold wedding band which was never off her till the last. That says a lot to me.
20. 9- ball pool and Efren “Bata” Reyes- One would have never thought this. She never played the game but loved following Efren’s battles on ESPN. It again showed that side of her that loved to cheer for the underdog. She was always all heart.
( I will end tonight with Efren’s youtube clip of one of his “magical” pool shots that Mariel and I had watched so many times. I’m sure Mariel’s watching now. I love you Mommy, Good Night. )