Letter to Mariel, August 28, 2008

Dear Mommy,

These past few days have been particularly tough. I’ve been really missing you a lot. I don’t know if its the anticipation of your coming “anniversary” next month that has been weighing down on me or just the relatively bleak weather this week. But I’ve really been thinking about you so much (and crying more than usual). Mostly it’s about feeling sorry about how the world has been robbed of your beauty and kindness by that cruel sickness. And also about being caught unawares by it all.  Yes I know I’ve been through this internal conversation many, many times these past months. But still, I cannot get over the fact that I’m here, and you’re… there. It was never like anything I had planned or imagined for us. I’m sure you’ll ask me to PRAY more right now. I think I really need to do that. And that’s why I guess you’re the real angel and I’m not. (Ok, let’s just say, I’m still a “work in progress”). I’ll maybe just need to hold on to all the wonderful memories we had shared.

By the way, I tucked Sam in bed the other night and I just can’t help but realize how much she has started to look like you. I mean many people say she is little Bong (or “Bang” as Lola Mommy would often call her). But to me, she is absolutely little Mariel. (and fortunately too, she has your nice skin). And she is really growing up so fast. Her “Ninang” Alma tells me she had to get her new size 8 shoes. I know the big feet came from me and her big “brain” from you. But I’ve now come to realize even more from where she got the big “heart” from. Because she never has anything nasty to say about anyone, much like you.

Lately, Sam has been into the music of young performers like the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato. (Yes I had to catch up on these stuff and watch with her those music videos on youtube so we can have something to talk about. I’d do anything for her, remember?). She has been doing well in school and I’ve been working too on making her more “independent”. Being able to think for herself and make decisions guided by the values you’ve brought her up with. I know I wont always be around so I’ll just have to equip her for life. She will always be our baby, our “Sammy”.

I promise not to revisit right now our travails at the hospital around this time last year. The memories are still way too painful to recollect. It still breaks my heart every time. Although I will someday try to visit those who had helped comfort us then at UST, like Dr. Lanee, and the others. If only to say thank you for their care and kindness. They did their best but God had other plans. I know He knows what was best for you most especially. I’m sure He loved you very much. So that while I still cannot fully comprehend what had happened, I will just try to humbly accept things. And pray that He will also grant me the chance to be with you again one day. I look forward to that time as the night longs for the first light of dawn. For only you can make me whole again .

I know you hear me now, Mommy. And though I was never good at telling you about these things then. I just like to tell you again that I love you so very, very much, just in case you still don’t know. I cannot find anyone else like you ever to complete me. So I guess you’re kind of stuck with me whether you like or not.

Please wait for me. I love you.



6 thoughts on “Letter to Mariel, August 28, 2008

  1. Dearest Bong,

    Sometimes it must feel like the pain will never go away, the hurting will never cease, you will never have an inner peace again – but you will.

    It’s hard to imagine that you can love someone so much, lose them and then smile again – really smile – but you will.

    You can’t rush it, you can’t hurry it, wishing won’t make any difference – but one day you will be able to recall all of those happy memories about Mariel, and although there will still be a deep sadness in your heart, you will feel that inner peace. It will come from accepting that we cannot change the past – and that there is a future, although different from the one planned. It will come from knowing that Mariel will always be with you – but in a different form.

    In the meantime, as you face this hard time – please know that your friends really care about you and wish you well.

    From your friend, Jan

  2. Hi Bong,

    I’ll be thinking of you, Sam, and your extended family and friends as you near the anniversary of losing Mariel. Each day is so hard, and it’s amazing how these landmark dates are such clear reminders of what we no longer have. I hope you find something beautiful to do on the anniversary, so that you can remember Mariel with the loving kindness you showed her in this life. I can guess there will be bright colors and flowers for you and Sam.

    The days leading up to that particular day, the first anniversary, were oddly agitating for my family. Then, the actual anniversary day was oddly calm. We made a special trip, with special gifts, and spent a special day together.

    We’ll all be out here, holding you up,

  3. Pare,

    I envy your love for Mariel, and Sam. I could only guess that God is using you this time to spread His message of love, that unselfish love. Mariel showed us how she unselfishly loved you and Sam up to the last moment, protecting both of you from the agony.

    Yesterday I had a chance to hear mass in a monastery in Pampanga with Agnes, Carlos and 3 BCBP friends. It was Carlos’ first time to see a real monk, dressed in the old style hooded uniform. The mass was in Latin. I thought you would enjoy and rekindle your memories of your life inside the seminary if I could bring you there.

    Most inspiring was the homily. Father Manny talked about denying oneself in simplest words, in order to walk the path of righteousness and life, the life of real substance. Then I thought of how you are now denying yourself of the evils of this world for the love of Mariel and Sam.

    Bro, may you continue to thank Jesus for this Day, and everyday as I know, your sacrifices will lead you to greater glories when the day comes.

    God bless,


  4. Bong,
    You and your Sammy are in my prayers as this anniversary approaches…
    For me, it is my husband’s faith that continues to astound me…his written prayers, the memories of his praying for me and his children…all of these things sustain me.
    Our survival through this Valley of the Shadows is walked best with faith. Thank you for all your words of encouragement and support on my blog…you and Mariel’s Garden are blessings to me…just wanted you to know.

  5. Annie

    Hi Bong,

    I know that The day is fast approaching… to tell you the truth, I am wanting to skip this month altogether so I can maybe be spared from recollecting that dreadful call I got at work from Erika who was half coherent at that time. She was crying although not fully understanding the situation — she said that “Tita Chinkie called saying that her Ninang Mariel is gone. I don’t understand what she is talking about.” At the back of my mind, I was aware even then that Erika, like myself, was rejecting this incomprehensible news (I guess, it was the defense mechanism kicking in).

    I am trying, Bong, very hard to be strong and accepting of what has happened. I pray that I will have even just half of your wisdom and strength. Your words of everlasting love for Mariel are soothing to the heart and lighten this heavy load of hurt and confusion (yes, I think I am still in the denial stage but, I promise, I will get better).

    You are right, Mariel will say “pray harder” and I will…

    Please know that I care and always will. Hugs and kisses to Sam. Regards to your Mom and Alma and her family.

    With love & prayers,
    Annie, Zave & kids

  6. Dear Bong,

    Your feelings are so natural and understandable. Of course, you love Mariel still even though she is not at your side physically. Of course, you feel wretched. And of course, you will always carry sadness at this loss.

    Who knows what the future will hold? All we can do is to try to live a life we can be proud of, to love one another as we are called to do. You are living your love, Bong, your love for Mariel and for Sam. Love on. You will be okay. Love is the answer. Love through the pain. Love through the sadness and heartache. Love through it all. Don’t give up on love, and love will not give up on you.

    I’ll be thinking of you as the anniversary approaches.

    Hang in there!

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