Helpless in Hanoi

Just arrived last night again from Vietnam after a week-long trip to work on a launch project for an airline company there. This explains my apparent absence from the blog for sometime now. Life had simply caught up with me as I tried to keep busy on “making a living”. Yes it takes so much more effort to “make” it when the very person who inspired you and moved you to be the best you can be is no longer there. I have to remind myself often that I still have Sam to live for. But while I’d do anything for our daughter, there are just it seems some things that could never be the same. Like, enjoying watching flower vendors in Hanoi’s picturesque streets and alluring parks.

I missed Mariel as I went through some small curio shops and art galleries in Pho Hang Trong street. These were those little things we did together when we were out on trips of “exploration”. These are now the little things that I tried doing but find to be somewhat pointless and uninspiring. I made sure however I brought home her favorite “fridge magnets” to add to her collection on our trusty ref. If truth be told too, I had actually found them before to be quite unattractive. Of course today I can only look at them with fondness and longing. I may even have a clue to why Mariel had collected them. Maybe perhaps, so that someday I can look at them again and re-live our lovely memories. I now would like to use them to remind Sam what a truly wonderful person her mother was. And how I had counted myself to be so lucky to have at some time shared browsing through those little curio shops with the most BEAUTIFUL person in the world.

Mariel, I love you. And I still miss you so very, very much.

Mommy, I’m back

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I just got back tonight from a week-long trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was a very productive one, having accomplished some important milestones for an ongoing project there and also made a number of new friends along the way. It was “good”. However, tonight while I was waiting to be fetched from airport arrival area, it just suddenly dawned on me that for the first time Mariel wont be there anymore to take me home. For she did this without fail with every travel I made (which was quite often considering my work)

Mariel would sometimes also bring along our daughter Sam for those “special” times. And what a treat it was to be able to see the two most important persons in my life after an expectedly stressful outing. We ordinarily “grabbed a bite” after that at McDonald’s or something just to celebrate our togetherness. I imagined that Mariel looked forward to being with me again even if I ‘d been away only for a couple of days. She’d sometimes go directly from her work just to be there despite her own usually hectic work day. She’d customarily ask me how my trip went and if I had done my best to avoid eating those kinds of food that usually brought me gout. She only knew too well that as a rule I would try to “get away with it” as she would not be around to check on me. I missed those conversations so much now. Although back then I’d sometimes think of them as annoyances. You know how it is, guys. Now I only know better.

I had done my best to hide my tears tonight from the driver who had picked me up from the airport. ( Although I know I was never really good at these things. ) I truly felt so lonely at the airport arrival entrance, having again suddenly realized the great void in my life. Some will call it just “habit”, I call it simply love. For Mariel loved me enough to want to “see” even if it meant taking time away from more important things like Sam, work or catching up on a favorite book, etc., etc. I wish I had been thoughtful enough to have completely appreciated those simple moments at the airport terminal. But like many important moments in life, It’s so easy to take those for granted. I never realized that I was a bloody lucky bastard (pardon my French) to have my Mariel. Now I’m just another bloody lucky bastard crying at the airport wishing he knew then that he was the bloodiest, luckiest bastard on Earth indeed.

I love you Mommy, I’m back. I had brought home “something special” from my trip for you tonight.

Hooray! School’s Out For Summer.

At Karon Beach, Phuket

I never prayed for the Summer break to come more than any other year.

No, I was not exactly daydreaming about the white sandy beaches, although they are every bit inviting. I was actually ruminating on getting back some part of my life now that I didn’t have to worry, at least for a few months, about doing homeworks and projects and quizzes and unit tests and trimestral exams. You see since Mariel left for God’s garden, I had to take her place with managing Sam’s daily slew of school work. I never really realized how much hard work when into it until now. Mariel had to deal with GCFs, LCMs, running the household along with doing her regular office work at the bank. She was truly one “Superwoman”. And she never once complained. I had a taste of it these past months and almost lost my mind dealing with mixed fractions and parts of the plant. Now I can see why Mariel had looked forward so much to making the yearly trip to Baguio or occasional outing to the beach resort. It was really the only time to get away from it all.

I asked Sam where she’d like to go for some well-earned “rest and recreation” this year. She’s still deciding, but I just can’t wait to idle away some evenings and catch up on those books still left unread. I do cherish my times with my daughter working on assignments but it’s simply that school work takes so much time away from doing the “cooler” stuff in life. I’ve been reading about some nice places to see in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) Vietnam. Perhaps I can take Sam along with me to check out its wonderfully chaotic markets in my next business “junket”. I know that her Mommy had a chance to see the place many years back when she visited sis Joy Davy who lived there for a while. She told me of its beautifully crafted art and very enterprising people. Perhaps this can be a short sentimental journey for the three of us (for I know Mariel will be with us too like the good old days once again).

So, hooray Mommy, let’s head out for the beaches.