Lovely Flowers For A Lovely Lady

“Dear God, The journey has been long and hard. Thank you for being with me. There is still more to do. Please stay with me… Amen”   — Marta Felber, Finding Your Way

The week ended with the yearly commemoration of All Saints’ Day. To just about everyone in our largely Christian country, November 1 has always been reserved for the remembrance of lost love ones. It usually meant bringing the most beautiful flowers one can possibly get for them. I had white ones for Mariel because she had told me once before that she had specially liked them for these occasions. The special day however had made a few more thoughts cross my mind. For one, it had reminded me ever so viscerally that in a few days, Mariel’s and my birthday shall be coming. I’m still very much saddened by these expected anniversaries and celebrations, simply because Mariel and I had always given them a lot of importance and seriousness . I know nevertheless that I must do my best to see them in a slightly different light now. As I even try to start new ways of keeping the memories alive. It’s easier said than done though when your loved one’s not there to make it worth celebrating. However, I must strive just the same because I know Mariel would’ve bravely breezed through these times.

(Now I guess I should be working on putting up that nice Christmas tree for Mariel soon.)

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”