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Friday, August 26, 2011

Goodbye, Baby Theodore

24 August 2011

Dear Baby Theodore,

I am so, so sad because we never got the chance to welcome you in this world. And I feel so lost right now because I don't know how to comfort your Inay and Itay.

You are very much loved, baby Theo.

Your Inay and Itay were very much looking forward to having you in their lives. They really didn't know yet if you were going to be a boy or a girl, but your Inay was very positive that you will be a boy. Woman's intuition, she said. So they thought of names they want to give you -- Noah, Adam, Samuel, and Theodore. I voted for Samuel because I like that name. But your Itay is a big fan of presidents, so he wanted to name you Theodore. And I have to concede, because he is your dad after all. Hihihi. But I got dibs on giving you your nickname, Theo. ;)

Did you know that your Inay can't stop talking about you? She was so excited to go shopping for her maternity clothes, and she also can't wait to buy cute baby outfits for you! She's constantly thinking of what would be best for you -- like is it better for you  if they use disposable or cloth diapers? She kept on wondering if you will be a scientist, a jock, a businessman, or even the next president.

She wanted you to grow up with the knowledge that you are very much loved and accepted for who you are. She wanted you to have good Filipino values. She wanted you to be the person that you want to be. Your Inay and Itay wanted you to have your own values and beliefs and opinions. She would always tell me that whatever path you end up choosing for yourself, she and your Itay would be very proud of you no matter what.

It's really sweet how your Inay and Itay hopes to be the best parent for you. One of their fears was that they would not be good parents. But I think that just by having that fear, they are already one step closer to being good parents. And I know that they will be awesome parents when it is the right time. Especially with what just happened, they would really love and cherish and treasure the children that they will have in the future.

Your Itay just attended this week-long retreat of self-discovery. And he is very happy that he was able to do it, especially since they were expecting you. He hopes that as he re-discover his true self and let go of any limiting beliefs he had before, he will be a very good and loving father to you. Your Inay, she's been through a lot in her young age. And I guess, she has this fear that she might project towards you the treatment she had when she was a kid. But you know what, I believe that she would have been a very loving and nurturing mother to you.

I can see your Itay being a supportive and loving dad. He'll be busy with his work, but he'll make time to be with you -- play with you, read you bedtime stories, ask you how your day was, going to your important activities.

Your Inay, I think she would be stricter than your Itay (shhhh). She works long hours, but I know that no matter how much work she has to do, she'll make sure that above anything else, she'll be a mom to you first.

Oh baby Theo, I really want you to be still inside your Inay's womb and steadily grow for the next 8 months. I want to welcome  you in the world and be your tita. I am actually looking forward to playing with you and teaching you stuff. Know that I love you very much. You are always in my prayers. I'm really sad that you're not here with us anymore.

You will be remembered, baby Theo. Please watch over your Inay and Itay from heaven. Help me pray for them, okay? They are hurting very much right now. And as much as I want to do something to ease their pain, I know that the only thing that I can offer them for now are my prayers, presence and support.

I'm glad that there is one more angel in heaven looking out for my dear friends.

Your Tita

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Lesson on "Helping" and "Giving"

It was the middle of the day yesterday, the sun was at the peak of its intense heat. I was lost in my work -- eyes seeing only the numbers on my laptop screen, fingers typing miles a minute, and mind focusing only on the invoices I'm working on -- when suddenly, a knock on our gate and a loud "tao po" (Is anyone there?) interrupted my perfectly set pace. I was so tempted to not answer the door, but then another knock and call was made.

Reluctantly, I got up and looked at who it was with half a mind; the other half was still trying to stay in the zone I was in whenever I'm focused on my work.

"Ano po iyon?" (What is it?), I asked.

"Manghihingi lang po ng tulong. Yung anak ko po may hydrocephalus,"
(I would like to ask for help. My child has hydrocephalus,)
she replied whilst holding out a plastic envelope. Inside were a copy of her child's medical report and some money that was given to her.

As I have always done whenever someone asked for solicitation, I took the envelope and scanned the written letter of the mother at the back of the medical report. As I was getting money, I quickly looked at the pertinent details, looking at its authenticity.

My eyes saw the name and then proceeded on looking at the age, the name of the hospital, the findings, and the signatures at the bottom. Feeling satisfied, I added my 50 pesos to the money already on the envelope, and quickly gave the envelope back to the lady outside.

With a loud "maraming salamat po," (thank you very much) the lady went on to the next house.

Quickly following her words of gratitude, I replied a hurried, "sige po"  (okay) and went inside.

Our screen door had barely closed when I realized something I deeply regret up until this morning. I wanted to send a quick prayer for the lady and her daughter, but with a big shame, I realized that I have not even bothered myself with taking note of the name of the baby. The paper was already in my hands, I "looked" it over, but nothing really stick to my mind. I was also ashamed of my nearly dismissive attitude towards the lady. Instead of the hurried "sige po," I could have given her a heartfelt "God bless po" and wishing her daughter well.

After uttering a short prayer for the nameless child who have hydrocephalus, I sat down with a heavy heart and remembered my past actions. Thoughts of going back to my work momentarily forgotten.

Cold Giving

I realized that my automatic response to strangers who are asking for monetary help is this: look at the piece of paper that states their name and the reason they are asking for help; get some change in my wallet; and then give back the paper with the money to the solicitor. Not even for a short while, do I really look at the person -- not seeing the human being -- asking for help.  I might say a quick prayer for him/her, but after that he/she is just another nameless face in the crowd.

I consider myself very blessed and I regularly thank God for His great providence. I thank Him that even though I only have enough for my basic needs and little splurges, I am able to regularly tithe and still have some extra money to give to someone begging for alms or soliciting financial help from time to time.

But then, this practice of giving financially has inadvertently led to the mentality I now only realized I have. It showed me how "cold" and incomplete my helping and giving is.

When LYF Throws U Lessons

There are three Ts that we can give to someone: our time, talent, and treasure. When we give our time and talent, there is that connection and bond formed between us and the ones we are helping. We are able to interact with them and see them as a real person, a human being. But most often than not, when we give our treasures, there is a distance between us and the people we are giving to. And that's when we might fall into the trap -- into seeing  them as only people asking, begging, needing our help. That is what we should avoid at all cost.

There is nothing wrong with donating money. There is nothing wrong with helping someone financially. But I think it is important for us to consciously remind ourselves that the person asking for help is a human being. They are not just someone asking for money; hoping for our mercy and compassion, and sometimes even pity. Above all, they are a person of worth; a child of God; our brother and sister in need. And this is how we should see them, a fellow human being.

God bless!

Praying for your happiness,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Blog Created

Hi all!

I just want to share that I have created a new blog:

It's where I will share Bible verses and at times my own reflection on the verses, by means of personal stories and testimonies. It is not really an attempt to interpret the Bible or learn about the meaning of the verses. It's just to share the word of God and how these words touched me.

I hope you could visit it. And I pray that you will be blessed by it.

Praying for your happiness,

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