Sundays with Sam

Sam at Vietnamese Restaurant

It’s a new year but my heart’s left unstuck in the one before. I still miss Mariel very badly. I’ve made some progress though in the grief front. I know this is what my friends and family would like to hear. But I must admit it’s a day to day thing and I still get breathing problems when I start to remember Mariel and my hospital stay at UST. But let’s not get into that because I know that’s not what Mariel wants now. And that’s actually how I try to deal with the “pain” these days– doing what Mariel wants. Or more precisely doing things that I know will please or make Mariel happy. It’s the only way I can figure easing off the gaping wound in my heart.

For starters, I made sure to bring Sam to Holy Mass today. Mariel had always tried to make Sam understand the value of the Sunday celebration. Sometimes that included dragging me to the service too. Well today I’m proud to announce that she did not have to persuade me to wake up early for my weekly religious duty. I’m happy to go with Sam because I know that is what would have pleased Mariel. Of course, I know too that Mariel has helped save my soul in the process. That’s why she’s my angel now.

I also miss asking Mariel out to try some new, exotic restaurant. So I asked Sam to do that with me today. I was glad she said yes. We both tried to recall our happier times with Mommy while sharing some Vietnamese noodles at Pho24 at the Rockwell mall. Sam liked the Chicken Pho version but skipped adding the mint leaves. I did manage to let her try some fresh bean sprouts though midst my gulping down another cup of Vietnamese coffee. It was happy Sundays again… at least for some moments.

We still both miss Mommy. We’ll just try however to do something “for her” each time we start to feel the hurt return. As a little tribute or even as a way of thanking her for sharing with us her wonderful life of love. Love you Mommy!

6 thoughts on “Sundays with Sam

  1. mama conchita

    I am more than happy to know that my son Bong has moved at least a little bit through his grief. I have prayed hard for God to help Him alleviate Bong’s irreparable loss of his wife Mariel.My heart bleeds seeing him grieving and I am so helpless except to ask God and through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe through her Son Jesus to be brave and strong for the sake of my grandchild Samantha.

  2. Hi Bong,

    It must be an amazing feeling for both you and Sam, to do something Mariel would have liked, and enjoy it. We do this, too. We go to places Owen liked (he loved eating in restaurants, too), and though this was excrutiating in the first few months after he died, we can now feel good about it, even laugh together as a family, knowing Owen would have laughed the loudest if he’d been part of the conversation. So, we think of him always, as part of the ongoing conversation…the conversation of life. Bon appetit!

    Thinking of you always,

  3. Dear Linda,

    My Life will never be the same again. But I guess I have to try to live what’s left of it for Sam, as Mariel would have wanted. I still miss Mariel a lot specially when challenges come because she was always there for me during those times. I am blessed however to have you, Roads, Writinggb and others who are always there too to lift me up when I expectedly stumble. God bless you as I know Owen is beaming with pride with your love and devotion.

    Take care,


  4. Sometimes days are good and sometimes they are bad. Lots and lots of tiny steps as the days fall behind you.

    It hurts so much if you glance behind you now and you realise just how far you’ve really come – I think in some ways that might be one of the most difficult of all things about the journey.

    Do you go forwards bravely, or do you look constantly to the past? The answer isn’t at all clear, as the tide swings back and forth.

    I think that perhaps a time will come when gradually you begin to realise that you can do both. Already, deep inside, you know this to be true.

    But that time may not be today. It may not be tomorrow, either. It doesn’t matter, since that feeling will come to find you when you are ready, and most likely when you least expect it.

    Even once you reach that point, high tides and violent storms may still cast you fresh adrift, for a while at least. But rescue is never again quite so far away as at it is now, within these darkest times of all.

    For what it’s worth, my own experience is that these worst, and awful moments do have a real and constructive purpose.

    They arrive to show you just what rock bottom is really like. And you have to understand exactly how that feels to know at last that you can sink no lower. You begin to realise that in the end, there is simply nowhere left to go but up, however slowly you may climb.

    It’s in this very darkest tunnel, then, that I think the tiniest of light does finally show itself. That light is almost invisible right now – it’s just so far away.

    But that is to miss the most startling and important revelation here. Because what really is amazing, now you think about it, is that any light is there at all.

    That tiny light is so impossibly distant now, it may seem almost unreachable. But it will grow closer.

    And it will get lighter, just because it can’t get any darker.

    Progress may be indiscernible now. You may even find yourself fighting against progress, sometimes.

    But keep taking those little, tiny steps and one day the tunnel will fall behind you.

    You will get there – you really will, I promise.

    Spirits up.

  5. I really needed that Robert. I want to move on for Mariel. But the void she left is so deep that there are days I still feel very lost. I had made some progress though trying to focus on Sam and her needs, to keep myself from wallowing. Being busy at work helps too but only to the extent of filling up my days. Then I have to face up to the long nights of longing. I trust that things can only become better from where I am now. Your own triumph over grief moves me to carry on and continue to live my life for Sam and Mariel too. Simply because that is what I know will make Mariel happy.

    Thank you for caring and God bless you always.

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