Letter to Mariel, May 31, 2009

Sam at Lexington Clubhouse

Dear Mommy,

I went to the mall again today, trying to get some of the old ‘excitement ‘ back. But then even in the midst of a great sea of shopaholics, I still find myself so alone. I’m missing those times we would be there trying to hunt for ‘ great bargains’. Yes, you would have loved the Power Plant today, there’s the usual cakes and pastries exhibition and your beloved Marks and Spencer Sale (of course, I’m usually the one happily at the receiving end of this). I even watched a movie- Angels and Demons– alone. It was quite engaging till the end credits when I again realized that I  have much more time on my hands to fritter away this day. I’m really sorry too, especially to my dear friend Jan and ever-caring niece Mariel if I have to sound again to be a bit on the gloomier side. You see, I just can’t help it because I still think a whole lot about you all the time. (But you already know this too well)

It’s been about one year, eight months and ten days since you were called back to the Lord’s garden. And I just feel so lonely today. It’s the way things are, after the kind offers of sympathy, comforting calls and messages had to give way to life’s  more “pressing realities” for many of our dearest loved ones and friends. I know that it’s not that they don’t care anymore. It’s just that like most people, they just have to move on. (Oh, the moving on thing again). Well in my case. I’m pretty sure that I cannot ever if it will mean living my life without you. And I want you to know that you will always be part of  my life, my “reality”.

Because you will always be part of every little birthday party we celebrate for our Sammy. Will always be there when she gets that recognition from school. Will be there too watching all her musical performances. Will be there with me when I buy those new shoes or clothes for her. There  for her own lovely wedding some day.  And surely there every single day when we wake up or go to bed at night, it will always be– “We love you Mommy”. You will ALWAYS be with us.

I love you Mariel. Don’t worry about Sam because she will grow up to be like the wonderful and loving person that  you were/ are (I’ll make sure of that). And I know she misses you too very much. Good night 🙂

With all my love,

Bong

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!