– Of motherhood and memories

Preparations

As an expectant mother you would probably do your best to prepare for the coming of your little one. Reading books, articles online and some advice from mothers who have given birth to their own children. These things can give you the encouragement you need to face this new journey.

But as they say, always expect the unexpected. The experience is very much different from what you’ve heard and read (still thankful for the handful of knowledge I had before giving birth).

Newfound Strength

They say when you become a mother you will change, a lot. You transition from being a lady to being a strong woman.

Eversince I was young I have always dreaded injections. I was hospitalized countless of times that became the reason for my phobia for needles. I hated blood extractions and dextrose, anything needle related. When I knew I was pregnant it was suddenly game over. I’ve had several blood extractions during my pregnancy and I knew I had to face the worse one– dextrose.

But little did I know it was gonna get worse for me. My pain tolerance is average. When it was already my due date, I was shocked to know that I have to be induced to deliver my baby. I was in high physical pain for 13hours without a wink of sleep, food or water. I almost didn’t make it for a normal delivery but I tried my best to deliver my little one soon. I thought needles and injections were the worse but then I had to undergo perineal stitches and I almost fainted. It was much painful than giving birth(or maybe I just had low tolerance for stitches and it was the first time). I almost gave up with my delivery I almost fainted out of exhaustion but as I went through all the labor pains lengthy words if prayer helped me in gaining the strength I needed. I always hear from my grandparents and other people that the pain would all be worth it the moment you will see and hold your baby.

Nothing ever said was truer than this. The moment I heard our little one’s cry and held him, all of my hardships washed away.

Before I had our son, my strength was only at 60 percent. But after my experience I knew that truly in every woman there is that strength that we never know we always had. I can fully say now that I have reached 75 to 80 percent of strength to fuel me in this new journey of mine.

Surrounded with love

I wouldn’t have made it not without my family, friends and my husband.

Eversince day 1 they were very much supportive and helped me throughout the stress during my pregnancy.

To my college buddies and bestfriend¡ friends I met at work, thank you for the overwhelming support! You always cheered me up all throughout.

To our family who saw us through our ups and downs, we are very much thankful for the understanding, all out support and love.

But most especially to my husband whose love never wavered, thank you for being strong for me and your little one. Especially at times that I almost gave up. I love you! đź’‹

Coast is clear

And now we are ready to sail onwards. Braving the odds and storms along the way.

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Smile: A universal language

Have you ever found yourself in a middle of somewhere and caught yourself submerged in the crowd? It’s like everything is being zoned in and you notice everything. I have this habit everytime I go to a new place or just by walking in the busy streets of Iloilo. I notice people not in a physical way but something much deeper than what you can see. I wonder what thoughts are going through their head or how was their day. Some are having a good one while some are on the edge of giving up. Either way they’re there going through life’s motions.

Genuine actions

I love to smile. It’s not to look pretty but it’s just a habit of mine whenever my gaze meets that of another stranger, friends or family. I usually give a smile for others to give reassurance or to diminish an air of awkwardness. I’ve been doing this since I was little and I didn’t know that it has a huge effect on other people.

When I enter adulthood everything was difficult and stressful. Traffic jams, long queues and so much ramble on a hectic day. At this moment the only thing that could give me a hopeful feeling is when I would see a random act of smiling from a stranger. Not that creepy or akward smile but the warmest kind. The one that tells you “Hey, cheer up! You’re not alone with your struggles in life. You got this.”

But this kind of act is difficult to come by. I noticed how most people are getting more hostile towards others. Wearing fakeness as a mask to cover themselves every day. The bitterness of being stressed, tired, hurt and in constant struggle takes away that inner sparkle in each and every one of us. Making it impossible to share even a single smile or maybe an act of kindness towards others.

Seeds of hope

Fortunately, all is not lost. Whenever I find myself sitting in a corner of a coffee shop, sitting in a middle of a mass or waiting for my turn while on a long queue I would always receive simple gifts of smile from random strangers. Mostly in the age brackets of young kids or the elderly but none from my age level or the busy professionals. I always wondered why but maybe… just maybe. Most working people have drowned in their daily routine that they have no time to spare for others.

On Sundays, my family usually go to church maybe at Molo or Leganes. After mass I would always see 25 to 30% of the churchgoers who has a smile after the mass has been celebrated. The only people I’d see smiling during this time would be the kids outside who are working for a living, the friendly barkers, some random lady selling food in one corner and other common folks. Even with their hardships they are able to share that precious smile for others planting the seeds of hope in every person’s heart.

True love that makes you smile

One thing I usually notice are the beggars on the streets. They are the epitome of hardship and misery but it’s always a mystery for me on how they always manage to smile despite these things that gives them suffering.

It thought maybe because of all the people that I meet every day they are the ones who witness what true love is. Out of 10 people who would pass them only 2 or 3 would care to give alms. Some would just continue walking without looking back or caring. But during that moment of contact where a stranger would stop by and offer something for them they would totally witness unconditional love from a brother or sister and in return they would smile back with that glimmer of hope in their eyes.

I once asked my husband about his opinion on this matter. I asked him, “Why do you think beggars smile even if they are in the middle of their hardship? Their struggles are much more doubled than ours.”

He told me that it’s because eventhough they are lacking of worldly things to give back to the people who helped them they still have that precious gift to offer and that is their smile. They know and understand that with just one smile they are able to convey their utmost gratefulness to their brothers or sisters who extended help. For the glimmer in their eyes it’s because even in the middle of having nothing to receive genuine support or a random act of kindness is already everything for them.

This made me change my point of view and made me want to smile more not for myself but for others as well.

Wake-up! Call

May this reflection be a nudge to all of us to never forget to take a pause and breathe. To look around us and not just be self-centered individuals. Each day of our lives has something to offer.

Let’s not forget that a smile can be a universal language that can be used to convey a lot.

Sincerely Yours

People come and go in our lives. Some stay and some would leave. They usually leave behind imprints that could either teach us a lesson or damage us. Either way, instead of being confused on how relationships work it would be better to think of it as a blessing in disguise. Each and every person could teach us a valuable thing or two. Instead of being bitter why not try to be hopeful? As I am in this story on how I met you.

We were both lost souls before we met each other.

You were a lost boy trying to make his way in life and just wants to be found. Just like everyone else you look for distractions to drown your anxieties and fear. Disco lights, blaring club music, fake smiles, and the familiar scent of night clubs you religiously go to every night is your comfort zone. You were drunk not with the intoxicating alcohol but with the bitterness that pain caused you. You were sick and tired of mind games and empty promises but still you faced each day with that well known smile on your face. Your eyes betrayed you though. It showed you already had enough.

I was that girl who sees the extraordinary out of the ordinary things in life. Always optimistic and seemed like I got my life figured out. But the truth: I was trying to find meaning as I slowly sink in the quicksand of time. Achievements piled up but I’m not moving forward. I was lacking the fuel I needed to fire me up to continue. I was optimistic but less lively. Hiding all the pain, disappointments and my very own depression. Concealing it well but almost reaching the limit.

Meeting you at the crossroad of life.

It was exactly on the first week of April that we actually met and spoke to each other for the first time. You had that hint of gentleness in your voice that got me hooked to your personality. Your friendliness and being bright was what attracted me to you (plus the fact that you are such a genuine person).

Our friendly chatter turned into late night talks exchanging advice and deep conversations until the wee hours in the morning. I was very careful and had my own walls up but I didn’t realize that with your genuinety you slowly broke it down into pieces.

I remembered how “torpe” you were when you gave me this boquet of roses. On that day we both took a risk and let each other in — to our heart and our life. You’re not perfect and you will never be (because no one is) but I know I have met the person that is “the one” for me.

Purpose — found.

Things happen for a reason. More than a year has passed. Just like the flowers our relationship keeps blooming gracefully in the midst of confusion. I know that we’ve got this. God’s love and grace will see us through now that we both found our reason to go through the debris of our past lives and move towards greener pastures where abundance and warmth resides. We were both damaged souls but now we have recieved the greatest gift — our little one. Who will fill in the cracks with his love making us whole as a family.

Nothing could ever compare to this. Knowing that all of it was part of God’s plan to turn us into the best version of ourselves for the future.

Promise of a new dawn

I remembered way back during my College days I used to ask my friends or random people about their preference about something and I usually try to understand it more deeper. One of my favorites was “Would you prefer to see the sunrise or the sunset?”. The majority always answered that they would choose to see the sunrise and I noticed that they are the ones who are usually cheery and full of positivity in life. Only a few chose to see the sun setting. I wonder was it because the feeling of melancholy, a hint of sadness or a symbol of an end that some people would like to see the sunrise instead?

I have always loved seeing the sunset. Every chance I get I try to go to a place where it would be majestic to see this phenomenon. I loved how intriguing it is. Stirring my emotions as the sky bursts with warm colors. During this moment I couldn’t help but have a smile curve on my lips. I take this moment usually to reflect on what has happened that day or just sit there and be thankful for everything.

Some people would tell me “Sunsets make me sad because it is reminding us that some things don’t last and have to end”. Sunset, a symbolism of endings. For me, endings can be quite scary but nature itself reminds us that some endings can be beautiful and makes us hope for a better tomorrow.

Nowadays, most people are stuck in a daily routine that takes away the spark of life. Everything is moving on the fastlane that it is a distraction if we take a pause. Or is it? Daily work responsibilities, school works, strenuous activities and a lot more drain our energy and time. We could barely catch our breath if the day is too busy and work is at its peak but it is never too late to take a break and just breathe.

My husband works in an office-based tutorial job and he usually leaves home early in the morning and comes back late in the evening (mostly at 11 or midnight), my sister leaves her school at 7 or 8 in the evening and a lot of other people taking overtime at work. I always thought they only get to see the sunrise and less chances to have the luxury to see the sunset and I thought maybe it’s the reason why most people would choose to see the sunrise because it’s the first thing that you see when you wake up. With a situation like this being able to see a sunset within a day or week is already something special to people. It makes it more meaningful and brings a sense of peace once you see it. As the beauty of a sunset sinks deeper in your heart a sense of appreciation for it takes place. A wonderful feeling to behold.

Sunset, a symbol for endings? I think not. If you just think about it sunsets can also be a symbol for hope, a new opportunity and promise. A hope for each and every heart that tomorrow would be much better and brighter than it was today and that things would be much better. A new opportunity for new beginnings as you continue with your journey in life. Lastly, a promise that whatever tomorrow may bring at the strike of dawn you will be much stronger than the who you were yesterday.

Cheers to a new dawn and new beginnings!

Gift of life

There is no such thing as being too early or too late when it comes to a person’s timeline in his life. If it is willed by destiny to happen, it will and everything will fall into the right places. The problem nowadays would be how people who serves as critics and not encouragers judge you for what you have which could either be a fit or a miss in society’s standard. It heightens up the pressure of being so perfect that we forgot that being genuine is the most important value of them all.

Recently, my former boyfriend who is now my husband knew that I was pregnant. We were both thrown off of our feet. How in the world are we supposed to pull this off? But we both took responsibility and due to our love for each other each day that pass us by becomes more worth our while. It wasn’t easy. Every beginning is never easy. Our families showed support and love for us but people will always have something to say and it usually leaves a scar. Words might be harmless but it will always be damaging especially if it is laced with poison. My husband and I talked things out and we realized that what people think and say against us doesn’t matter. What’s important is we both chose to be responsible and go through this with God’s grace. With that in mind, we both knew we had taken a great leap onwards.

Being a mother is surely not an easy feat. It is the greatest gift a woman could have which comes with a side note: responsibilities. You will undergo certain changes, physically and emotionally. But the one thing is that with the responsibilities you have as a mother will surely fire up the inner strength you never knew you have. In my situation, the love of my husband, his family, my family and our real friends have been a constant reminder for me to never give up and I will always be thankful for that.

Our loveseed has brought all of us an inner warmth and truly he is more than just a “gift of life” At the age of 23 his father and I are just normal people who tries to live in a day to day basis. But when he came we were both given a purpose to truly live our lives. To be much stronger and better in the upcoming days not for ourselves but for our little one.

Every day gets better as a new beginning unfolds for us.