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!

Advertisements

It’s our Anniversary!

Civil Wedding in Tarlac

I remember waking up on this day some ten years ago shivering in the cold morning air. Looking back, I was probably just a bit anxious about making the three- hour trip with an entourage to Tarlac for our civil wedding ceremony. I had looked forward to this day but felt a little uncomfortable at having the spotlight on me. When we got there, Mariel was my exact opposite though. She was radiant and so well composed in her Filipino- inspired ecru dress. She was also relaxed but had one eye on the wedding details, such as guest lists, food etc. Things were as hectic as it could be but nevertheless I had my expert at multitasking on- the- job. In fact, many of you would know that we will still be flying to Phuket the very next day for our dream garden wedding in Thailand.

But I digress. For my key recollection was indeed seeing my wife Mariel glowing in the morning sunlight. She was so, so beautiful on that Saturday in January. This was after all, the day that the Lord has made for us. We had both waited so long for this time, to meet that someone whom we had finally decided to spend the rest of our lives with. We had so much to live for on that January morn. Like raising a family and building our little castle and you know, simply conquering the world. But as unexpectedly as she had come into my life, Mariel had to leave.

That is why it hurts so much remembering this, our special day. I know how much the day meant to Mariel too. (I can even reveal now that she had consistently used it as her “password” for things such as computer login etc.) She never forgot to mark the day. Although I must admit that there were some years when I had not. Of course, Mariel had always gently reminded me. Well Mommy, I know I will never now miss “celebrating” this day. For right now I’ve decided to make it as my day of thanksgiving– “Mariel’s Day”. For your having come into my life and having made it worthwhile. For your having shared with me my life’s happiest moments. For your having gifted me with our beautiful and talented daughter Samantha. For being that selfless, gentle and the totally loving wife and best friend that I can ever have.

Thank you Mommy for sharing your life with me. Thank you for loving me. I will love you always for the rest of my life. And I will celebrate today till that time we meet again. Happy Anniversary!

( I’d like to end with a song for Mariel. One that she liked very much and she had asked me at times to sing to her even with my “horribly squeaky” voice. I guess more than ever it best describes my deep longing for my love, my wife and best friend. “The Nearness of You” done so beautifully by Nicole Henry. )