Mariel’s Day

Of course, never a day passes that Sam and I do not remember Mariel’s love and cherished memories. But Saturday, September 20 was one we had specially marked to gather friends and loved ones to remember her on the day of her passing a year ago.

We would like to share this one with those of you who may not have had the chance to be with us on that day, but share our love and memory of a truly beautiful person.

We love you always Mariel.

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Mariel’s First

At around 5:20 am exactly a year ago, Mariel was called home to God’s garden leaving behind me and our daughter Sam to try to make out the Lord’s plan for her…for us. We were at such a loss then because she was the one that held our family together. Her self-effacing ways made everything in our home run routinely easy and almost boringly simple. Until of course this fateful day in September, which will now forever be etched in our hearts.

I started this blog really to try to “communicate” with her. Because there is so much more I had not told her well enough. Like, how much I loved her and how much I had truly appreciated her loving ways. (You know these very important things are oftentimes the first casualties of our obsession with the daily grind). Now therefore, all I want to do for the rest of my life is to remind others to “pay more attention” to love. And in the process even make a few more people “discover” what an exceptionally beautiful person Mariel was.

May I please ask you to say a little prayer for Mariel Gina Francia Bello today. She was one who wanted neither fame nor great riches. All she cared about was to be with family and do every little part of each day properly and boringly well. And that is why she was truly special.

We love you Mommy.

Your Heart Is My Garden

It’s three o’ clock in the morning and I just have to get a load off my chest. In less than three days, we will be commemorating the first year of Mariel’s passing. It was one that I knew was coming but had somehow tried  to deny. Because the “wounds” are still as fresh as the day when I was roused from sleep at about 4 a.m. to be told that my Mariel is already being given CPR, only days before we had checked-in to the hospital for some routine treatment. In fact we had felt like simply going to some “picnic” and had happily celebrated our togetherness. It was only hours after I had kissed Mariel goodnight (on her toes, not wanting to give her any “germs”). Then I found myself helplessly wading through a sea of bewilderment and tears and having to tell my daughter Sam that her beloved Mommy has gone. Gone to heaven. Oh the pain was almost as unbearable as my losing Mariel. For how can I ever forget Sam’s expressions of panic and disbelief over what had happened to her mommy. It’s been nearly a year now and I’m still terribly heartbroken. Moving on, I guess may still have to wait.

I am very grateful however for the love and kindness of my family, relatives  and friends who had helped me make it through it all largely in one piece. To my Mama, Alma, Baguie and kids I will forever be thankful for your life-giving care of Sam and me. To my relatives, officemates and “barkada”, I will always be awed by your tireless support and understanding. And still to my dear blogger friends too–  Jan, Linda, Writinggb, Shadowlands, Robert and many,many others who had propped me up on this journey and had put up with my constant and embarrassing whines, thanks truly from the bottom of my heart.

Now I await September 20 with great ambivalence. Wishing to wake up from just another bad dream. But then too yearning to make sure that the day is made into a fitting tribute to my Mariel’s beauty, kindness and love. Among others we are planning to offer Holy Mass in her memory at Santuario de San Antonio Church at 6pm, then have a thanksgiving dinner for close family and friends at the nearby Parish Center. We have also prepared a short program to fondly remember what she had meant to us and share reminiscences of our happier times. I know Mariel will be in our midst hopefully reveling in our stories and for sure lending us her usual tenderness and warmth.

Mommy, I promised you once to build you a garden. I now try to live all the days of my life telling everyone how you have shown me that the most precious garden is one where true love blooms. Thank you Mommy for your gift of love and all the wonderful memories. I will treasure every bit till the day we meet again and share our heavenly garden forever. I love you now and always.