No, Cali doesn't mean California in Rookie Dad's household. It's the name of the most important woman that keeps our small family sane :)
Today is Mommy Cali's birthday. I would just like to say happy birthday to my lovely, understanding, caring, beautiful, sexy and loving wife and mommy to Amanda and Cassandra. We love you so much.
I was about to write my very first article for 2015, recapping all the things I learned and hopefully welcoming the new year with a much cheerful article than the last one I wrote for Bong. Early morning on January 3, as I was about to get in the zone for writing, I got a call from our family friend in Baguio. She said, "Can someone from you go up since we rushed Tita Ludy in the hospital?" I immediately asked, Why?! What happened?! And then she said, "she collapsed but Tito Ador was able to catch her and then asked for help."
It was the longest hour I ever experience where we were just relying on text messages to get updates on mommy's condition. We got some good news that she was revived only to find another message saying the doctors are trying their best to revive her again as her heartbeat dropped.
I tried to contact my sisters and brother (who at that time was out of the country) to convince them I can drive going up but it was a wiser decision to find someone who could drive for us.
I could write out all the details of what happened but the one thing that I couldn't forget was the call I made to daddy and confirmed (what I was fearing) that ...mommy's gone.
Then our world stopped.
I started this article last January 4th. A day after she died.
I started again as I drafted my eulogy on January 7th... and failed to finish again.
January 23rd, I mustered the courage to continue writing. Mommy left 20 days ago. But still, tears roll off my cheeks involuntarily when given a moment to rest and stop for a while. I guess it would really take time to get used to having her not around to talk to.
January 28, I still couldn't find my momentum in writing despite hoping that things would normalize soon a week after I return to work... yet I still fail.
January 29, I tried to write again. I just realized that for this week, I never kept my eyes dry at night before going to sleep. Indeed it is hard to recover.
February 9, mommy's birthday had passed and it's getting harder to finish this. Two days from now, it'll be her 40th day. Yet there are still occasions were I missed her terribly.
Today, February 16... mommy's 40th day and Valentines weekend went by and it's been 45 days she's gone.
Allow me to be a son today and honor the woman who have shown me what unconditional love means.
Love In Action
I've mentioned this a thousand times already but I'll say it again. We can never repay the sacrifices our parents gave us.
It is a fact.
No amount of money or time or effort can ever equate to the sacrifices that mommy gave us. For nine months, she had to endure being uncomfortable and had to bear the labor pains when I was delivered. Then she had to put up with sleepless nights to pacify me when I was a baby. And when I got into my teens, I could vividly remember all those times that I have to be annoyed and angry at her because I have to cancel my gimik since she needs me to drive her to an emergency meeting in her business. Yet she didn't say anything back and just absorbed the pain.
For me, it taught me a lot without her telling me directly what it means to love. That you just have to be generous in loving people even if they can't pay you back. That you choose love, kindness and compassion not because you can get something out of it, but rather know that if they learn how to love, they can pass it on to others.
Moms will be moms. I remembered the first time Champee stood in front of her class, me and Cali were so proud of her that she didn't stutter and was able to speak loud and clear. As parents, we're the president of our kid's fans club.
...and so was Mommy when I was young. I remembered she enrolled me in Yamaha for a summer guitar workshop. At that time I don't think I was outstanding, but she kept on believing in my talents. That when she met with her amigas, she would boastfully say that her son is a good guitarist and even won first prize (without having to say that we're just two in that competition :))
She believed in me. She believed that I'm great even if my gut is saying that I'm not. Even if my guitar was out of tuned during the recital showcase. Even if I don't have the finger dexterity needed to complete my recital piece. She believed. And that paid off, as I not only was able to play the guitar, but learned how to play the bass, drums and keyboards as well. And that after some years being able to play live in MUB (ugh if you don't know this you're not in my age group) UKG, ASAP and of course the CFC community gatherings.
Faith and Hope
As I try to check her things out, I was able to see all the awards she received, the Malacanang Palace oath taking photos she had and more plaques she got. I couldn't imagine myself being able to achieve what she's done.
Then her business went down. Throughout the final decade of her life, I never saw any hopelessness in her eyes. She remained faithful to God and believed that He will see us through. She never lost hope that relationships in the family will be healed. She never lost hope that God is in control and there will always be enough financially for the family. She never lost hope.
Five years ago, I was having a hard time if I can start having my own family. Financially, it was scary but then she's the one who pushed and convinced me that I can do it. She even prepared the engagement ring that I'm going to give just to show that I'm ready. And true enough, despite my worries, God has shown my family His great providence.
Mommy, I would really miss your loud laughter, your happy disposition in life, your assertiveness when you wanted us to bring you Ferino's bibingka, Tita Paring's suman, orange marmalade, microwaveable buttered popcorns, Dimasalang's Di Ko Akalain, or tasting your culinary specialties, Taiwanese chicken, morcon, lumping sariwa with peanut sauce, chicken embotido, and banana bread. Thank you for all those precious life's lessons you've taught us as it really augmented Daddy's tips on me to become a better rookie dad. Thank you for letting me know how it means to live life to the fullest. I know you're in a happy place with God in heaven. I love you.
Just wanted to extend our family's heartfelt gratitude to those who mourn with us during our saddest moment.
I'm a technology geek, photographer, musician and a rookie dad trying out to speak my mind through writing my daily experiences as a young Pinoy dad.