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.

4 thoughts on “Your Heart Is My Garden

  1. Albert B


    I quote from one of your first few entries in Mariel’s Garden blog:
    “The first seeds of Mariel’s Garden were planted at Promthep Cape in Phuket, Thailand…It was in a garden [too] beneath a tree on a balmy January afternoon, that we said our vows to a small party of six and a thousand flowers.”

    About after 84 posts, 321 replies of encouragement since, and thousands of visits to the Blog, you have planted flowers that shall bloom forever to fill the souls of people who visited–and more who will visit–Mariel’s Garden.

    — Albert

  2. “Babang Luksa” I don’t even know its equivalent in English. But one year has gone too fast, and remembering Mariel, I only see happy faces, looks of concern for her husband, my friend Bong, and smiles of joy for her daughter’s achievements in school.

    For me, this one year anniversary marks the happiness of Mariel’s permanent inclusion into the listing of heaven’s loving angels. I see her being welcomed by the Creator, with her achievements on earth leaving a mark much shining, despite her short stay.

    I will miss the event tomorrow, pareng Bong, but I will always remember Mariel, from day one of your encounter thru the net, to her last moment. Give yourself a pat on your back for making Mariel’s short stay very memorable and meaningful.

    God bless you and Sam.

    From Medina Misamis Oriental,


  3. Hi Mon and Albert,

    You were both a part of our “love story” from the very beginning. I truly believe it has not ended. Only perhaps moved on to another plane. Mariel has taught me a lot. But the most important one is learning to love unconditionally. I sometimes feel so little compared to her great example. And I await our “next chapter” with deep hope and longing.

    Thank you again for being there for us. May God bless you always.



  4. Dear Bong,

    As I step into Mariel’s beautiful garden today and remember her and pray for you all, I find it a place of great beauty and love. Nature itself is remarkable but greater still is the constant love and devotion you have shown to Mariel’s memory and the additional loving care you have taken of Sam. Nothing can ever make that loss easier to accept, but I do hope that mariel’s garden brings you great joy too – I know it will bring Mariel that joy.

    Thank you for your kind words – but never think for one single second that your own words were or are “embarrassing whines”. They are words from you heart; they speak of your great love for a wonderful woman and your momentous grief at losing her. They are as pure an expression of love as it is possible to have. Although recognising such sorrow by reading your blog, is very sad for me – knowing that such pure and enduring love exists is heartwarming, uplifting and joyeous.

    Few people achieve such a love. You and Mariel, and dear little Sam were and are very lucky. And one day, when you are all reunited you will be able to celebrate such luck and joy.

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