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!

Happy New Year from Mariel and Us

Bong, Mariel and Sam in Baguio 2006

We would not like the year end to pass without saying special thanks from our heart’s heart to everyone who had shared with us this our most difficult journey. Your visiting Mariel’s Garden has given us the strength to carry on living, even as its most precious part has now gone ahead of us to a much better place. To a place of beauty, peace and love which she had so very, very much deserved. We know Mariel is smiling from heaven and that she is thoroughly grateful for all your comfort and kindness.

Our everlasting thanks to our loving relatives and friends who have participated in the blog by sending comments or stories, our Mama Conchita, Alma and Baguie, Toots and Reuel, Mariel Bello (our niece in LA ), Annie Vicente, Ate Gertie and Margie, Joy and Charles Davy, Albert and Susie Borrero, Bob and Monet Santos, Doris Fernando- McLaren, Vincent Dy Buncio, Edsel and Sara Tolentino. Joy Lorico, Grace Villanueva, Hedy Taas, Claire Espina, Wally and Charito Buhay, Felix Santos, Monser, Mana, Malyn, Agie, Jex N., Sue Trout, Annalyn Minerva, Sansan Salud, Michelle Hay and Dr. Sally Headding.

Of course, our deep gratitude to our new blogger friends who have helped us understand the true meaning of unconditional love– Linda of Mysteryoriley, Robert of Price of Love, Writinggb of Writing Grandma’s Book and Fighting Windmills. We wish them all the happiness and peace and hope they continue their good and important work.

A Happy New Year to everyone. With all our love — from Mariel. Bong and Sam.

The Reunion

Francia Reunion at Fontana

Last December 25, Sam and I had to travel to Tarlac City for the much anticipated Francia Reunion. Mariel was an Aquino- Francia. That’s the F. before Bello. If you’d care to know, the Aquinos hail from Tarlac while the Francias come from Meycauyan, Bulacan. Mariel was also very proud of both her Tagalog and Kapampangan roots and I implore my daughter Sam never to forget this.

Mariel had looked forward to this one because some of her siblings are now living abroad and they never really had a chance to be together as a family since about 17 years ago. They have somehow managed to keep in touch through the years but this would have been really different. Of course, some things in life don’t happen as you would want them to. And for Mariel, she may have to wait a bit more for the great reunion.

That’s why Sam and myself had to make the trip no matter what. We wanted Mariel to be somehow represented. And we wanted to also assure her brothers and sisters that while Mariel is no longer with us, the ties that bind us remain strong and eternal. I mean, how can you look at Sam and not see Mariel. For Sam was her life and being.

The reunion went well. The food was great. There were fun and games for everyone and Jaih also invited us all to Fontana Resort in Clark. The kids had a chance to meet their cousins. And then of course what party can be complete without the usual karaoke singing. We ended with prayers and remembrances for Lola Mommy, Lolo Daddy and most specially Mariel who would have been so happy because she had cared so much to always see her family in rapport and undivided.

Mommy, a big hello and hugs from everyone in Tarlac. We all love you so much.

Home for Christmas

Sam at home for Christmas 2007

I promised Mariel that I’ll be home for Christmas. And it’s one that I will keep despite the expected “lumps”. Most of you know that Sam and I have lived as voluntary “refugees” at my sister Alma’s home since Mariel passed away. It’s been impossible to live at our house knowing that it’s “soul” is now gone. For Mariel was quite simply the one that made it a place to call “home”.

Christmas Eve was spent with us hosting the traditional ” noche buena” or Christmas feast at Mandaluyong for my mom Conchita, sis Alma, brother-in-law Baguie and their two wonderful kids, Trisha and Gabby, who fondly call me “toto” and Mariel as their “naning”. It was a simple dinner with Mariel’s  favorite Spaghetti and various Filipino sweets and goodies. We reserved places for some friends and of course our beloved Mariel. We had the usual gift-giving and ended the night with a special prayer for Mariel. I missed though getting those nice shirts from Mariel this year. But it doesn’t matter, I’m sure that there will be some waiting for me when we again meet.

Mommy I miss you and I know you were with us that night. I promise that I’ll always be home for Christmas no matter what. So be sure to have some fresh pasta ready. Have a Merry Christmas with everyone up there in Heaven. XOXOXO

Not the Usual Christmas

Mariel and Sam at Santa Clarita mall 2004

It just hit me tonight that it’s almost Christmas day. I’ve been very anxious about its coming as it’s the first one that Sam and I will be spending without our love Mariel.

Grief counselors advise you to plan for these dates. But how can one really prepare for living life without that someone who had made it all worthwhile. I’m thankful though that I have Sam. For she’s the one that can sometimes ease the numbing pain.

In a way, I was fortunate that recent urgent concerns at the office had momentarily distracted me from brooding over my situation. But since “school’s out” now and I don’t think I’d be able to escape the usual gift- giving duties that come with the season, I had no choice but to make another brave trip to the mall to try to shop for Christmas presents.

Mariel was the genius at this craft She had taken extra care to match the gifts with the recipients and consistently ended up with some tastefully nice ones. With me however it was inevitably the ones nearest the check-out counter that found its way into the basket. And they were often horribly boring ones. Did I tell you about the time when I had given Mariel a “Mace” tear gas spray as a birthday present. I actually found it romantic and even got one for myself. Of course Mariel who was always so good-natured, only laughed it off and said sweetly, “si Daddy naman..”

So let me give advance warning to all those who might receive something from me this Christmas. Mariel had nothing to do with them gifts. And if you ever find some to be kitschy or downright uninspiring, you have no one else to blame but me. All the same I had done my best to recall Mariel’s usual choices. So it will be that nice fluffy comforter for my sister and some country-themed knick knacks for some others. Oh Mariel I really wish you were with me at the shopping center because only you knew my mom’s real dress size. Its one of those things that continue to be a mystery to me.

The night nevertheless closed surrounded by frenzied midnight shoppers and unavoidable Christmas muzak. It was a scene straight out of an SM commercial. And I had never felt so alone in my life. It was as surreal as it could get. Because it had just hit me that I may not have my Mariel with us on this Christmas day.

I miss you Mommy so much. I promise to be home for you this Christmas. Please promise to be somehow there for us too. We love you so much. Merry Christmas.

For Mariel- Sam plays “Annie”

December 15, 2007 was the red-letter day for Mariel. She had looked forward to seeing Sam perform as Annie in her school community theater (Assumption METTA). Sam was playing “Annie” in Annie the Musical. Unfortunately as most of you already know Mariel had to leave us to join our Lord Jesus in heaven last Sept. 20, 2007.

Sam’s performance last night, more than anything was a tribute to her mommy’s love. For Mariel had brought up Sam to work on her gifts and to share them with others, just as she did. Mariel was a giving person and last night was Sam’s turn to give a little back to her beloved Mommy. I know Mariel would have been very proud and happy to see Sam’s rendition of Annie at Assumption. I know she was with us. I had reserved a seat beside me for her at the theater. As usual, it’s one with the best view. For the best mom in the whole wide world.

We miss you so much Mommy and we love you forever. — Daddy and Sam

Mariel’s Favorite Things

I’ll stick to the Top Twenty favorite things of Mariel. Sorry, can’t keep it to just 10. By the way, I’m doing this for the most part so that our Sam will someday remember what her mom was like– a superbly talented and loving person who could have been anything she wanted to be. But chose instead to devote her life to caring for our only daughter and me. She was a one-of- a- kind mother and wife. I really hope many more people could have known her.

Back to the list, I’m sure I’ll miss a couple, so friends please help me out. Add those you might recall. ( This one’s not in any particular order. I’m just putting them up as I get to remember them )

1. Anything in the color violet, lilac or purple– this applies to almost everything from clothes, bags, umbrellas, decor, eye makeup, electric fans and coffee mugs. A color fit for royalty, a color fit for my princess.

2. Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep- This one’s contributed by Sam. She had asked her mom to fill up her diary with her list of favorite things just last July. I often kidded Mariel that I myself kinda look like Brad. She cringed a lot. I saw however a lot of Meryl’s “sympathetic” eyes in her. Mariel was best described as one who’s very soft-hearted.

3. Leather Bags- She was famous for having impeccably matched bags with her attire. She asked me to get her some during trips abroad. Laptop bags, leisure bags, handbags, she’s got it all. I’d say she had enough to match Imelda’s collection. (Sorry Mariel just kidding)

4. Shoes of all shapes– Of course what good are nice bags without nice shoes. Mariel made frequent trips to CMG et al and always had an eye for coming sale events. She can write a book about this. I must admit she’s got taste and the best legs and feet in the world to boot. I swear.

5. Clothes, clothes, clothes- Clothes were her passion too. She was once considering to put up a boutique that catered to children’s clothes. She’s got talent and the knowledge for this. I know she would have done very well.

6. Spaghetti, T-bone steak, Nuts, Tibuk- tibok, Mango and Pomelo- Food glorious food. I must explain, tibuk- tibok is the kapampangan version of maja blanca, a pudding- like dessert made with carabao’s milk. And also spaghetti is best from Pancake House and T- bone at medium well. “Mangan naka”.

7. Floral- scented perfumes- The “flavor of the month” was Estee Lauder’s Pleasures Intense eau de parfum spray for women. It’s website described it as “seductive, extremely lush floral, with low notes of vanilla and maple”. Of course Mariel shared the love by getting me a matching Pleasures Intense for men. Lately however, I’ll find myself spraying a bit of her fave scent just to trigger memories. Oh Mommy, I miss you so.

8. Literature, Poetry- She liked Shakespearean sonnets, Jeffrey Archer despite his bad political choices and just about any printed matter. She taught Sam the value of reading books, and that’s why she does very well in school. Of course, this is also probably the reason why Mariel wrote well. Please check out “In Mariel’s Words” category in this blog for examples of this.

9.Text and Email jokes- She had a good sense of humor (not like me). She sent me txt jokes on my mobile phone and email jokes too. She sent one to me the day before we went to the hospital. It was about being married and stuff. That one stays in my Inbox forever.

10. Leg and Foot Massages- I gave her these as often as I can, to relax her or put her to sleep. I wish I had done more.

11. Home Decorating and Crafts- She was truly amazing at this work. I had mentioned before how well she had ran our household. She kept a spotlessly clean and beautiful home that is truly worthy of  a place in “Homes and Gardens”. She had a knack for eclectic matchings and was fearless with colors and prints. She also did a couple of papier tole art that will always be part of our bedroom.

12. Sinatra, Broadway, Classical music- Ol’ Blue eyes rules. Sinatra was always on heavy CD rotation. Mariel loved the romantic era. That’s why she applauded when Rod Stewart made the wise “move” and Buble etc. She also had complete Broadway original cast recordings of all the great ones. She had the biggest influence on Sam’s musical theater leanings and abilities.

13. Fresh Flowers- I could never devote enough space for her love of flowers. Stargazers, Tulips, Mums, Roses that made her day. Now I had set up a crusade to always honor her love for God’s beautiful creations.

14. Children and Cute babies- Mariel loved children and children loved her back. I was really amazed at how she was always the favorite of her little nieces and nephews. She connected with them in a genuine way and was often rewarded with sincere hugs and kisses.

15. Lifestyle Channel, Wolfgang Puck, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Project Runway- Mariel spent time relaxing keeping the cable on the Lifestyle Channel. After all beautiful things are her dedication. She may love a little bit of the “tsismis” in some of the reality shows too. Who doesn’t?

16. CSI- Crime Scene Investigation, the series was her absolute TV favorite. She even got the DVDs before they hit Metrowalk. Las Vegas was tops, then New York and Miami. She however could not stand usual trite remarks written for the lead actor in the LV episodes.

17. Soft pillows and snuggling on cold December mornings- Look I love them too. But Mariel just loved being in bed with us on cold mornings talking of our dreams for Sam. I miss this a lot, she was my anchor and my compass. I still feel lost today.

18. Crash Bandicoot, Tetris and Super Mario- Even before I met her Mariel was already the Super Mario champion of Mandaluyong. When she was heavy with Sam, she spent hours on end mastering PlayStation’s Crash Bandicoot. Which she actually did. Mariel excelled in anything she puts her mind into.

19. Jewelry- Who would not want some diamonds. Unfortunately, I gave her teeny- weeny ones for our “wedding engagement”. Pearls too were her love. She wore them almost daily at work. She always told me that she was “collecting” these for Sam. She told me this two weeks before she passed away. Her most precious one however, was our simple gold wedding band which was never off her till the last. That says a lot to me.

20. 9- ball pool and Efren “Bata” Reyes- One would have never thought this. She never played the game but loved following Efren’s battles on ESPN. It again showed that side of her that loved to cheer for the underdog. She was always all heart.

( I will end tonight with Efren’s youtube clip of one of his “magical” pool shots that Mariel and I had watched so many times. I’m sure Mariel’s watching now. I love you Mommy, Good Night. )

To Love and Honor Mariel

Mariel and Sam at Sentosa I go to Heritage Park to “talk” to Mariel as often as I can. I was there again today, Sunday. No, I am not turning delusional. It’s just that I try to find time to have some moments with her in those very peaceful whereabouts. I close my eyes and feel the gentle breeze on my face as if to receive Mariel’s own gentle kisses. I also make sure that her special place is kept “squeaky clean” and has her favorite fresh flowers as much as possible.. Those who knew Mariel can attest to how well she kept a clean home and work environment for us. She had provided the order for us to thrive and blossom.

While there, I just basically tell her what’s on my mind. Mostly about caring for Sam. I must admit that I’m still overwhelmed by the task ahead of now having to raise our nine- year old daughter single-handedly. I have always been poor at understanding women. How much more now that I have to deal with a highly- intelligent daughter who is also slowly starting to find her own place in the world. Daughters don’t come with a “user’s manual. So I just try my best to assure her that I will always be there for her, no matter what. And that I will be there to “listen” to anything she may want to share with me 24/7. I know she misses her Mommy much, but has just been a little better than me at “hiding’ it. After all she “is” her mommy’s daughter. Mariel was never a “cry-baby”.

Therefore, I try to put Sam to bed each night and sing her lullabies as her mom used to do. Overall, I just attempt to “wing it” at taking Mariel’s place. She was so good at it and had put up such high standards that I can now only clumsily carry on. I don’t do it reluctantly however. Because it’s my way of showing Mariel how much I truly loved her. I love Sam as much too. But here’s another chance to serve her memory. Which is to give all my love to the person Mariel loved so very much. Our Samantha.

Mommy, please help me bring up our daughter to be like the fine lady that you were. Because only then can I be completely happy and be able to say that I have done my work well at honoring my one true love. My Mariel.

Your Dreams Live On, Mommy

Mariel and Sam at John Hay

It’s that time of month again. I promised myself to try to not keep count. Someone told me somewhere that keeping score of the time Mariel’s been gone may actually keep her from being at peace. And God knows that I’d do anything to make sure that she’d always be kept safe and at peace. For she deserved the best, even when in life she did not get all of what she merited. Because I was a lazy, good-for-nothing slacker who never really comprehended what I had. I never came around to fulfilling many of Mariel’s dreams as I had always thought I had a lifetime to work on them. Our dreams. Not pie-in the-sky, pompous ones. Simple aspirations mainly for our daughter Samantha.

Mariel wanted some day to have her own small garden, tending to flowering plants. She loved working with them. She was happiest checking on tiny buds on their journey to bloom land. She wanted to get published too. She actually emailed the Palanca Foundation last May asking how she can join the literary competition. I cheered her on as I knew that she was a good writer. Even better, I knew she was a good writer with a good heart. Mariel also wanted to one day get a chance to see Europe. She dreamed of seeing alpine mountains, museums and castles.The stuff of legends fit for a princess. My princess.

Most of all however, Mariel wanted to see Sam develop into the fine lady she can be. But while she dreamed of Sam becoming a doctor some day, a pediatrician perhaps she once said. However, she would have approved anything Sam wanted to be, as long as it made Sam happy. Our daughter once told us that she wanted to be a theater director -slash- professor some day. Mariel had said yes, because she saw Sam had the gift for singing and acting well. Mariel’s eyes lit up with joy every time she saw Sam perform and get some recognition. Because Sam’s happiness and triumphs were her own. And that’s why Mariel looked forward to again seeing her perform as “Annie” in a school musical this coming December 15. By the way, I’ve already reserved her a seat. One with the best view. For Mariel always deserved the best.

Today, November 20, I promise Mommy to keep all your dreams alive. I promise that I will one day make them all come true. Because you deserve it, Mommy. Because you are our princess forever. We love you very much.

Peace be with you, Mommy

Sam at sacred Heart ShrineIt’s Sunday, Nov. 4. and I brought Sam to Holy Mass, as her mom always made sure on this the Lord’s day. It was off to the Divine Mercy Shrine in Mandaluyong, which is about a block away from our house and I really struggled to get through the Mass. For Mariel wasn’t there beside me as I’ve grown to cherish all these years. It was particularly tough when I had to “hold hands” with Sam for the Lord’s Prayer and the reassuring, familiar warmth of Mariel wasn’t there. Even harder was not feeling her affectionate embrace at “Peace be with you”. Most of you reading this may find it hard to imagine the aching pain that comes with these moments. It’s a terrible, terrible sadness that makes time stand still, or at least move it utterly slow. I even wished I were just dreaming and will at any time wake up to find Mariel by my side (and break into laughter at my silly reverie). But of course, we all know the cold reality. Mariel will no longer be there to hug me tenderly. No longer there to tell me everything will be okay after some problems at work. No longer there to unceasingly look after Sam’s happiness. Mariel was my giant shoulder to cry on. No one can replace her in my life and beyond.

It was also the first Sunday of November and the priest requested all those who will be celebrating birthdays this month to come forward for a special blessing. I asked Sam to walk up front for her mom, as Mariel would’ve celebrated her forty- something birthday in two days. Sam got a religious “bookmark”. I know Mariel got her special blessing too. I just wished there was a special prayer for me to be able to make it through the day. For time has stopped and I don’t know what else to do.

Moving through warped time and space, I brought Sam home and found my way back to the mall. I wanted to grieve alone midst the “impersonalness” of the crowd. There I can be no one. For a few hours, I did not have to hear the words “you have to move on”. Because I wanted time to be stuck at that moment when I had said “Peace be with you” Mariel. And she then replied with a smile filled with innocence and compassion.

Peace be with you, Mommy. I love you.

All Saints’ Day at Heritage Park

It’s that time of year when the three of us ( Mariel. Sam and me) try to be out early for the November 1, All Saints’ Day commemoration.

Mariel will have prepared the usual “basket of flowers” for my dad, Manuel, as we head out for ” Libingan ng mga Bayani” to visit him at the memorial place. She made our “field trips” enjoyable and eventful. She made sure to have the much- anticipated spaghetti and “ensaymada” for everybody at lunch. It was a time of uncommon lightness and positive vibes on this somewhat “morbid” occasion. Mariel was also always glowingly regal on such events. She was always smartly and appropriately dressed and added a touch of “class” to what is perceived to be as an ordinary yearly chore.

We all know this year will be a little different.

We’ve made sure however to have spaghetti and ensaymada as usual. And of course, the flowers she loved were all there too. (Only white ones, please) It was also an occasion no less “regal” as Mariel was without a doubt also in our midst. You can feel her serenity and grace in the air. Her lightness of spirit. Her warmth and reassuring presence.

We were there with Mama, Alma, Baguie, the kids, and our other loved ones at Heritage Park for the day and the evening. We tried to remember all those November Ones we shared with Mariel. But while we’ve made sure we had spaghetti, ensaymada again, we also knew some things can never really be the same too. Because we will no longer have Mariel’s melodious laughter or calming speaking voice to hear. Or will ever wake up early for All- Saints Day anticipating to have a great day, on a morbid holiday, as only Mariel can make it. We miss you “Mommy”

Sam News # 4

Sam as Halloween DevilTrick or Treat? Those who read my previous post Sam News # 3 will remember that this year, Sam’s costume of choice is… the Devil Witch. The Halloween committee at Lexington Garden Village have decided that costumes must conform with a strictly mandated “horror theme”. So, we therefore chose to comply. Sam would have however wanted to come out as Gabriella from High School Musical 2, but.., Which makes me wonder why we all have allowed Halloween to be turned into some kind of competitive sport. Call me, a grumpy, andropausal, middle-age spoilsport but can we please go back to a time when Halloween meant painting an old T-shirt with skull & bones and making do with ketchup as fake blood. Besides, only Toy Kingdom benefits from this Hallo-hype. Nevertheless, Sam enjoyed herself today and was even a finalist in the costume parade. Well, I better start preparing for next year’s event. How about… “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. Am I showing my age? Can you help me out “Mommy”?

May I add too, that I had to fight more lumps in my throat again as I was holding Sam’s hand for the parade. Mariel’s enormous shadow looms large in occasions such as this. For she was the soul of our family. And now that’s she’s gone, I feel like a grumpy, andropausal, middle-age guy trying to write a blog about Halloween to keep himself from missing her. I really miss you so much, Mariel. I love you.

Sam News # 3

Sam as Belle

It’s Saturday, Oct. 27 and I’m at the office finishing up on some work as well as tending to “Mariel’s Garden”. Sam’s away with my sister Alma doing trick or treating somewhere in Pasig. Every year, Mariel prepared for “the” Halloween event. Last year, she personally designed Sam’s Cruela De Ville outfit. Before that, it was Belle and characters from the Disney portfolio. It’s all for fun and games. And the chance to dress up the “doll” of her life, Samantha. Mariel was very creative with costumes and stuff. Well actually, she was good with just about everything. Decors, crafts, clothes, writing etc. I even hate to admit it but she was way more creative than me, and I’m the one that actually does it for a living.

This year, Sam’s outfit will be of the “witchy” kind, courtesy of Tito Baguie, who had picked this costume in a recent US trip. Everyone has been so kind and helpful to us both, trying to ease Mariel’s absence now from our lives. We truly appreciate all the love and care we have received.

But while Halloween too shall pass, it will never the same at least for me. For I no longer have Mariel to “tease” about having some-other- kid’s-costume- as- being- nicer than Sam’s. Or having a rare, special day spent with just the two of us as Sam’s out trick or treating for the rest of the afternoon with her cousins. Instead I’m alone at the office, flailing at my old computer, grasping at fleeting memories and wishing I had Mariel beside me now to say, I love you “Mommy”.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Sam News #2

Sam still misses Mommy badly. That’s why we’re still “refugees” at my sister’s house because she still feels very sad when we make “visits” to our own house. It’s still our comfy old place but kinda feels empty without Mariel. I haven’t changed a single thing since Mariel left us for God’s Garden. Probably wont. Because Mariel has put in so much effort to make it really nice, within our means. In fact, even when she was very sick, she found a way to point out the nicest spot for the piano. Mariel had that designer’s touch.

Sam tells me we will try to move back in around her mother’s birthday- Nov. 6. Can’t really tell if she will feel up to it by then. Should we still somewhat delay the return to Sto. Nino though, I know Mariel will approve. She only wants nothing more but what’s best for her “Chung-Chung”‘s ( as she lovingly calls Sam). Nevertheless, I will make sure we have a special place set for Mariel on that day.

By the way, Sam will have their field demo exercises in school tomorrow- Oct. 23. Every year Mariel and I attended this. Now there will be an empty seat beside me. I know however that Mariel wont miss it for anything. So I’m sure she’ll find a way to watch Sam perform.

We really miss her.

How’s Sam today?

Mariel and Sam in Baguio

I get queries on how Samantha’s doing much more than people ask me how I’m doing. But that’s ok because, right now really, Sam is all that I need to do. Being with her and caring for her eases somewhat the pain of no longer being with Mariel. I know Mariel approves(present tense) because Sam is everything to her. Everything.

Well today, October 16, Sam is doing her best to catch up with the barrage of missed quizzes and projects. She was absent for about two weeks. But I’m not worried Mariel has prepared her well for such things. Sam like her mom is very thorough with (school)work. Sam too can finally go back tomorrow to her beloved METTA practice (Assumption Musical Theater Program), and thus prepare for their December series of shows. By the way, Sam gets to play Annie in the Annie Musical. You know, ” I love you tomorrow… you’re only a day away”.

Please book early, call 8170757. I’m sure Mariel has already reserved the best seats.