The One with the Plot Twist

The plot twist to my extra heavy day, yesterday.

Shot with NOMO INS W.

How often would you find constants that offers to pick you up and drop you off at home when your place is a 15-20 minute drive away from the city.

We just went out for coffee, nothing special. Two hours of quality time, and that 120 minutes was enough to fill my love tank.

Sometimes, the most simple things get you and yesterday I was reminded that sometimes the greatest comfort you can offer someone is to simply, show up.

And that was enough for me.

Whispered blessings for these souls that saved my day.

The One with the Unwanted Thoughts

Today was one of those difficult and challenging days. Grief came to visit and brought along a friend, offering an invitation to an end. I try my best to dismiss it.

Ben Platt’s You Will Be Found plays in my head.

Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

All day long I was trying my best to shake off this feeling.

I find myself thinking about timelines, on what’s about to happen in the next few month. I keep thinking about the beginning and I keep thinking about the end.

I think about how hard it is to explain things. How do I clear myself out from their assumptions. Assumptions that the load I carry are not that heavy to bear. How do I defend myself from the accusations of idleness. Accused of not being helpful enough around the house. How can I when I just want to sleep and shut down? How can I when multiple times through out the day I need to remind myself to breath.

They think I have it easy. I say they had it easy.

They told me I was strong. Strong enough for it all. I was not. I am not.

They brushed me off saying, “mabuti ka kasi mature ka na at naintindihan mo, and you accept things as they were”

They think I have it easy. I say they had it easy.

In the hierarchy of grieving. I was the least of the concern just because I was able to speak of God’s truth in front of people and I don’t go around punching walls.

They think I have it easy. I say they had it easy.

It has been my prayer that God would heal them first. That they will be able to understand and accept His will and that they will be able to trust Him and know Him and love Him in the middle of this all.

They think I have it easy. I say they had it easy.

I ride these waves of grief. Thinking I’m alone. Because that is what grief does to you: It makes you feel alone.

They think I have it easy. I don’t.

I keep finding myself thinking about two certain locations inside the house. Places where cold “arms” lay hidden with couple golden shells. Not the kind of shells from the seashore.

Thinking of disappearing.

Thinking.

It took a while for me to write about this one. I’m not sure I want my thoughts to be out there. But I know I need to acknowledge and recognize them for me to be able to beat them.

The One with the Hurs and Aarons

Thankful for the past three days.

Thankful for these people who rejoices with me and grieves with me.

Thankful for the comfort of familiar places and faces.

Thankful for the comfortable silences.

Thankful for a place to belong.

Thankful for these Hurs and Aarons that supports me without being asked.

Hurs and Aaron that sit beside my weary and grieving heart.

Hurs and Aarons that holds my arms up as I continue to cling to Jesus.

The One with the Old Friends

Here’s to friends who choose to go out their ways to spend time with me. Laughter in the midst of 15-peso ice cream cones and old tales and banter. Familiarity in the midst of change and calmness in the midst of storm. Some things just get better with time, at least old friends does.

My heart is a little less heavy tonight.

The One with the Eulogy

DI’m Maya and let me start this one with a disclaimer. I am an introvert, speaking in front of a crowd is not my favourite thing to do. Let me rephrase that, being forced to speak in front of a crowd is not my favourite thing to do.

In the enneagram personality test, I identify as a type nine.

Type nines are the peacemakers, we are also the runner and the people who hate conflicts and love to avoids them.

In a type nine mind it’s always:

“I am okay as long as the people around me are okay too.
The world would be a better place if people could treat each other with respect.
I must keep the peace; I must be tolerant and accepting;
Can’t everyone just get along? ”

For the past days, I have been avoiding to speak here in front, I skip vigil services to avoid it. I always say that “sa last night lang ko mahambal”. They get annoyed with my stubbornness, daw manol daw ko kay wala ko ga atubang sa mga tao. So now, I’d like to counter their opinions by saying that each one of us has different ways of coping up with things and different ways of grieving, I’d like to think it’s okay to not be okay and grieve on the best way I know how to.

But enough of me and my justifications for my actions. I don’t want to start a conflict when the very reason I am speaking in front of you today is to avoid conflict.

Let me share 3 things about my daddy.

My dad is a mechanic, He fixes what’s broken.

There are a lot of things a typical father does, hug and kiss their daughters, give them trinkets and flowers but my daddy is not a typical dad. Ever since I can remember, I am my dad’s buddy. I used to press on the brakes when he fixes the break, press the car horn when he fixes the car horn, hold the flashlight and hand over tools when he needed a hand when he fixes things.

Instead of looking for dolls inside toy stores, I find myself following him in aisles of light bulbs, bolts and wires inside hardware stores. And often times I find myself asking “what would daddy do?” when things get broken.

But coming to him with broken stuff remains to be one of my favourite thing in the world.

He has this way in him that makes me feel that any broken things can be fixed. I grew up not afraid to come to my dad with broken things for I know that if he can, he will fix it. Wala ko ya nahadlok magpalapit saiya kung may naguba ko kay bal-an ko kaya na ni daddy ayuhon.

Daddy have this way in him that somehow makes me feel that what’s broken can be fixed. Every broken thing he fixes with his hand is a whisper to my worrying heart that everything is going to be alright and nothing says I love you more than that.

My dad is a farmer, He is not afraid to get his hands dirty.

Farming is my dad’s bread and butter. Memories of Dirt road, pick-up truck and cassette tape playing Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck will always remind me of Saturdays spent at the farm. Saging, mais, lubi, bayabas, balinghoy, mangga, lanzones panguma gid na ang kinabuhi ni daddy.

My dad is not afraid to get his hands dirty, may it be grasa halin sa makina or duta halin sa pananom. My dad is one of the humblest person I know, wala na sya nahadlok mahigkuan.

My dad is a farmer and he is not afraid to get his hands dirty.

I remember mga one year ago, aga pa ko gibugtaw kay para mag exercise, mag basketball pero ang basketball court dira sa gwa, danlog kay may mga lumot-lumot. Ti wala ko nadayon basketball.

When I went out in the afternoon, I found my dad cleaning the court with a power sprayer. He asked me to shovel some mini canals for the water to drain and sweep as he goes on spraying the cement with pressurised water.

It was messy and in the process I got messy too. Sprayed on with moss, mud and everything in between.

We were trying to clean layers and layers of grime, I almost forgot the color of the cement underneath.

In the middle of it all I saw my dad determined to clean the court. Maybe because he doesn’t want me to slip when playing basketball or maybe just so I wouldn’t have a reason not to work out. Either way he went the extra mile to clean the basketball court.

My dad is a farmer, not afraid to get his hands dirty. He is also a mechanic, not afraid to get grease on his hand. He is not afraid of the mess. Even if sometimes that mess includes me. My dad is a farmer and he is not afraid to get his hands dirty.

This is my 10th year in college, and all throughout my messy college life daddy was there to silently support me and would always choose to say that “skwela lang timo ah, way pa man ko nakapoy pa skwela”. From 6 years in dentistry to choosing to take up multimedia arts, daddy was there.

Thinking about it now, I know that I had the courage to persevere and to continue to move forward because I have a dad who made me feel that it is okay to fail and stand up again and again and again. My dad is a dad of second, third, fourth, fifth chances. With daddy, I know that I have someone in my corner willing to scrape off layers of dirt and grime and doesn’t mind getting messy in the process.

My dad is a provider, He gives good gifts.

My dad is a spoiler. He seldom says no to our requests. Kung may ara na sya pangbakal, mabakal gid na sya. Kung di sya mabakal kay sya na mismo mahimo kay kaya nya na himuon. As a child he buys me jigsaw puzzles and collects gas station collectible model cars. Until he discovers lazada na kung mahambal ko “Dy, bakal ta sini” masabat na sya “may ara na sa lazada?” or “orderi ko sini sa lazada”.

My dad is a good provider. Lyrics from Steve Moakler’s Humble Operation reminds me of him, the song goes like this:

“Daddy was a workin’ man
Kept his family fed with calloused hands.
He wasn’t too proud to sweat or bleed.
And he made damn sure that I could see that
We all wake up to different situations.
With different collars for our occupations.
But ever since the world’s been in rotation
It’s been run by humble operations.”

When we went home from the hospital, I can’t help but cry for everywhere I look reminds me of him. Halin sa mga shorts nya nga naksab-it sa kwarto, sa mga wires, sa mga gamit sa garahe, sa mga gipang panday nya. Everywhere I look reminds me of my dad but when I look at my dad, daddy reminds me of my Father in heaven.

I am thankful for a Dad that helps me see and navigate through blind spots of life but most of all I praise God for an earthly father that reflects the heavenly father.

My Dad is a provider, He gives good gifts and it reminds me of my Father in Heaven, who is a greater provider and gives better gifts.

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

 Luke 11:11-13

Every good gift that I have received from my dad and how quickly he says “yes” to me and my brother reminds me that I have a good, good Father in heaven that gives better gifts and delights when I ask him.

Exhibit A: The One with the Asking

My Dad is a farmer, He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and it reminds me of my Father in Heaven, who is a greater farmer and He is definitely not afraid to get his hands dirty.

When he was having his hemodialysis, gi hambalan ko sya nga gipagustuhan mo gani ko skwela 10 years tapos di ka ma attend graduation ko? He looked and me and tears fell from his eyes.

I will never forget that look that daddy gave me. I can feel his pain and great love for me. If I can feel daddy’s great love for me through this how much more the love of our Father in Heaven.

The same way a loving father feels toward his children
—that’s but a sample of your tender feelings toward us,
your beloved children, who live in awe of you.

Psalm 103:13
The Passion Translation

THAT’S BUT A SAMPLE.

Imagine that, the compassion and love that I felt from Daddy is just a sample. Kung sa aton pa, tong compassion nga to na nafeel ko halin kay daddy, ang pagpalangga nya sa amon sample lang to. The love of my earthy father is but a sample. It’s like a free taste at the mall of the greater love of my heavenly Father.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

My dad is a mechanic, He fixes what’s broken and it reminds me of my Father in Heaven, who is a greater mechanic that fixes broken people.

As I said earlier one of my favourite things to do is to come to daddy with broken stuff.

When daddy died, I felt something inside me snap into pieces. I used to come to him with bits and pieces of things I cannot put back together. When he died, I was left with bits and pieces of my heart in my hands confused on how to put it back together again.

Charles Martin wrote this about brokenness:

“Somewhere in that intersection of broken hearts and shattered souls.
Broken is not the end of things, but the beginning.
Maybe broken is what happens before you become unbroken.
What’s more, maybe our broken pieces don’t fit us.
Maybe my pieces are the very pieces needed to mend you
And your pieces are the very pieces needed to mend me,
But until we’ve been broken we don’t have the pieces to mend each other.”

I know that all of us who grieves here today will have a hard time moving forward it would take a lot of time to pick up our broken pieces from the floor. It would take a lot of adjustment. It will be hard living a life without daddy.

But I take comfort in the fact that I don’t have to be strong in the midst of all these. I take comfort that I can truly be my weak and fearful self in front of Jesus. I know that I can bring my broken self before the throne of God for my God is a God who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds and I am confident that I am safe in His hands, the very same hands that hold the world, holds my heart and I hold on to his promise in Hebrews 13:5.

I will not in any way fail you
Nor give you up
Nor leave you without support
I will not. I will not.
I will not in any degree leave you helpless
Nor will I forsake or let you down
Or relax My hold on you
Assuredly not

Hebrews 13:5
Amplified Version

On his other book, Charles Martin wrote this words that is a good reminder on how God views us in our brokenness and how he uses our brokenness for his glory.

“Just because something is broken doesn’t mean it’s no good.
Doesn’t mean you throw it away. It just means it’s broken, and broken is okay.
I wanted to tell you that broken is still beautiful, still works,
still wakes in the morning, and at the end of every day past
and those to come, I can love broken.”

Jesus can love broken.

And as I share to you how daddy’s love reminds me of God’s love for me let Ephesians 3:17-19 be my prayer for each of you.

And I pray that Christ will be
More and more at home in your hearts,
Living within you as you trust in Him.
May your roots go down deep in the soil
Of God’s marvelous love,
And may you be able to feel and understand,
As all God’s children should.
How long, how wide, how deep,
And how high His love really is
And to experience this love for yourselves,
Though it is so great that you
Will never see the end of it or
Fully know or understand it.
And so at last you will be filled up
With God Himself.

Lastly, let me share to you an edited version of something I wrote for father’s day a few years back. I added a few lines in the ending.

He is the simplest man I know
He takes me to hardware and mechanic shops
And buys me jigsaw puzzles instead of dolls
He can enroll me to a ballet class
But he chose to enrolled me to a martial arts class
T-Shirts and shorts is his coat and tie
He owns the roughest hands I ever touched
I grew up to know him as the one who fixes broken things
He can teach me to paint in canvas
But he chose to teach me to paint primer and second coats in walls
He is the person I run to when I don’t have a clue
He has ways of making old things new
He showed me that life can be lived in simplicity
He can watch Barbie’s re run with me
But he chose to watch basketball with me
He means when he says he means it
Instruction manuals is too mainstream for him
He is the dad of second chances
He can turn me into a princess
But he chose to turn me into a warrior
He believes in me more than I believe myself
He did not give me instructions how to live my life
He lived his life and showed me how
He has the saddest eyes I have ever seen
He has this longing I can never figure out
He is the dad that he longed for
He is the dad in his memories
He is the dad that his mother loved
He is the dad that his sisters miss
He is the dad that he missed having
He is the husband my mother will miss
He is the son his mother will miss

He is the brother his sisters will miss
He is the dad that my brother and I will miss
He is the dad that I will be missing.

The One with Dreaming

Untitled-1Listening to Cheat’s These Kids Are Only Dreaming and asked myself,
How many dreams of mine are really mine?

The song opened with these lines:

These kids are only dreaming

Learning at the safe side of the road

These kids are only dreaming

Searching for a race that they can’t lose.

 

And the chorus asked

Have we run out of time?

This year, I turned 26 and I’ll be turning a new leaf soon.

Some nights, I lay awake thinking about time, dreams and growing old.
Have I run out of time?

But then

Some nights, I lay aware thinking about time, dreams and growing old.

Who says I’m too old to dream again?

May I have more nights like the latter.

 

 

 

 

The One with the Father’s Day ’19

Daddy

Recycling my 2013 father’s day piece for this day. Every word still rings true, forever grateful for my heavenly Father for blessing me an earthly father that reflects His love for me.

He is the simplest man I know
He takes me to hardware and mechanic shops
And buys me jigsaw puzzles instead of dolls
He enrolled me to a ballet class
No, He enrolled me to a martial arts class
T-Shirts and shorts is his coat and tie
He owns the roughest hands I ever touched
I grew up to know him as the one who fixes broken things
He taught me to paint in canvas
No, he taught me to paint primer and second coats in walls
He is the person I run to when I don’t have a clue
He has ways of making old things new
He showed me that life can be lived in simplicity
He watched Barbie’s re run with me
No, He watches basketball with me
He means when he says he means it
Instruction manuals is too mainstream for him
He is the dad of second chances
He turned me into a princess 
No, he turned me into a warrior
He believes in me more than I believe myself
He did not give me instructions how to live my life
He lived his life and showed me how
He showed me what I want in a husband
He has the saddest eyes I have ever seen
He has this longing I can never figure out
He is the dad that he longed for
He is the dad in his memories
He is the dad that his mother loved
He is the dad that his sisters miss
He is the dad that he missed having
He is my dad

The One with the Mother’s Day ’19

 

moMother, I’m blessed to have more than one.

Here’s to all the mothers
the warriors, the fighters, the champions.

Here’s to all the mothers
the fortress, the comfort, the place of safety.

Here’s to all the mothers
the listener, the forgiver, the giver

Here’s to all the mothers
and the love that we can’t repay

There is no word in this world that can encapsulate your strength and awesomeness.

The One with the Kamingaw

September has come and gone and the last days of September will always reminds me of youth play.

Tonight I spent some time catching up with friends. We reminisced about our past youth play experiences. I remember losing some sleep, I remember being tired and drained every after youth play. I remember being absent at school every Monday after the youth Sunday, but I also remember having good sleep after each events. I remember my strength being renewed. I remember missing out on school but gaining so much more.

I miss Cebu.

Oh the challenges & sorrow I felt in that place. The island where I lost and doubted myself but found and gained and received much more than I gave and asked. It whispers joy and comfort. A place where friends have turned into family. A place, I’m sure I will always have a space.

It used to scream: broken dreams. bad choices. disappointments. wasted years

but

It also screamed: new dreams. choices that made me stronger. growth. discipline and training ground for the future.

and it will always scream: home.

The One with the 25th Birthday

Few years ago, I celebrated my birthday with a lunch out, a trip to a bookstore and I spent the afternoon reading my new haul of kiko machine comics.

Today was one of those quiet celebrations.

Last night, before I went to bed I had praise and worship in the dark. Singing along my favourite hymns. During my quiet time I asked the Lord of two things for my birthday. Good Health because my 24 year-old self was very sickly. From countless tonsilitis, sprained ankle with torn ligaments to mild pneumonia and to top it off a bad case of allergies a week ago. I also asked that He restore to me the joy of His salvation.

I was supposed to spent the day with my cousin, watch a movie and eat potato corner fries. That’s all I wished for today but my dad asked me to reschedule and stay home instead because he will be going to the farm.

I spent my birthday at home re-watching some of my favourite movies and reading one of my new book.

Today was one of those quiet celebrations and I’m happy and content.

I heard my dad on the phone after dinner talking to my mom who’s in Bataan right now. He sound disappointed that I wasn’t able to go out and watch a movie for my birthday.

It moved me.

It breaks my earthly father’s heart to withhold something from me for it brings him joy to give and do things (he fixed my old laptop yesterday) for me.

How much more the desire of my heavenly Father to give me the best things in life. How many times have I broken his heart when I traded His love and good gifts for my pride.

Today was one of those celebrations of God’s faithfulness.

His grace still overwhelms me and it still leaves me in awe of His mercy. Twenty five years. God has been with me for twenty five years. He saw right through me and held me for twenty. five. years. and He still redeems me day by day.

Thank you Jesus for my 25th.

I’m grateful, not because I’m overwhelmed but because I know that I am held. I’m grateful, not for what I’m walking through but because I know it leads to You.

– Hawk Nelson, I’d Never Know