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Archive for January, 2009

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

In one of our light moments the past weekend, my daughter came up with a brilliant realization about her soon becoming an official adult. She’s turning 18 in March. She said to me in jest:

 

“Mom, I realized that when I turn 18, I will be old enough to get married, be put in jail, and I will not be covered by the Child Protection Program anymore!” J

 

Nyahahahaha!!! J

 

We had a lengthy laughing session after that statement was made and discussed all sorts of silly possibilities that an almost-18-year old could imagine. J

 

But behind the amusement of the moment, I sensed that my daughter was seriously pondering about the new chapter she is going to begin in her life. The expectations and responsibilities that accompany adulthood; the grown-up choices she has to make; and the accountability that follows each one of those choices.

 

Yesterday, as I listened in the back of the room while she and her young women friends practiced singing “I Walk by Faith,” I felt a sense of peace in my heart. Part of the song goes:

 

“I walk by faith, a daughter of heav’nly parents.
Divine am I in nature by inheritance.
The Spirit whispers of my mission, my individual worth,
So I seek for precious knowledge, for learning, and for growth.

I understand the meaning of accountability;
Ev’ry choice for good or ill is my responsibility.
I want to build the kingdom and good works is the key.
By doing what I know is right I show integrity.”

 

(Words and Music by Janice Kapp Perry)

 

Focusing on the lyrics of the song, it was a time for me to reflect and hope that I had taught my daughter well enough in all the years that she had been with me as a child, so that as she now enters adulthood she would be ready to face whatever comes her way.

 

As I looked at her from where I sat, I had confidence that she would be fine as an adult—far better than I had ever been. Because she recognizes who she is, understands her purpose in life, maintains a personal relationship with our Father in Heaven, and knows where she is going—even without the coverage of the Child Protection Program J—and so I felt very proud, in a very good way! J  

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tree

We sat on a bench under a tree in the middle of a green field as she reminisced some of the things that happened in the past. Experiences that happened to her that I didn’t have any knowledge of. Incidents in her life that she used as stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks. Feelings that she tried to overcome in order to be strong while raising her children.

 

I have known this woman from the day I was born, yet for the first time in my life, I saw her from a different light. There I sat, not only with a woman who has aged cheerfully despite all the challenges she had faced in her life, but I was more than happy to spend a few hours alone, exchanging stories with her—my mom. J

 

I guess life offers us a variety of roles at different points in time. At some point while we were young, we may be the apple of our parents’ eyes; at another while growing up, we might have caused them grief without meaning it. But more importantly at some point, we should consider each other as equals and as very good friends. 

 

While my mom related stories of her life as we sat on that bench under a shady tree, I learned that trials in life can either bother us or build us; that in this battle called life we may be wounded but not necessarily defeated; that for everything that we have been blessed with, we should not just take all, but also give back.

 

I’m grateful for the chance I had to spend time with my mom. And I look forward to the day when we could bridge the continents and do it over again—sit on a bench under a tree while she imparts to me her words of wisdom. J

 

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lake

(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

On New Year’s Eve, we were privileged to have my mom’s brother and his wife for dinner. It was the first time that my uncle and aunt spent New Year’s Eve with us. I was very close to my uncle while growing up and have highly esteemed his counsels at various points in my life, so I was extremely delighted that he could join us that day. 🙂

 

As I prepared the meals in the kitchen for my special guests, I could hear them talking to my children around the dining table. I was touched at how they remembered the child I was and how they appreciated the woman I had become. I was deeply grateful to listen to them relate some of my childhood stories to my very own children—stories that I could hardly even remember anymore. It was humbling to listen to them talk about their tender feelings for me as a child.

 

I suppose the reason why our parents and elders can love us unconditionally and beyond compare is because they remember the children we were. They see past our flaws and imperfections and magnify our potentials instead.

 

I attended my best friend’s 8-yr-old son’s baptism yesterday. It’s been awhile since I last saw some of the children in their ward. All of them have grown! Some are now teenagers and a few are already in college! Yet I remember the children they all were. And like my parents, aunt, and uncle, no matter what they will become in the future, however bad some of their choices may be, I will always see the child in them and will always remember my tender feelings for them as little children.

 

No wonder our Heavenly Father loves us so very much! He knew us eons before we came here on earth! He has seen us in our very best and knows exactly what our potentials are! He must have a whole lot of tender feelings for us!! 🙂

 

I realize that we would become better persons if we would strive to treat each other the same way. If we would try to imagine the kind of child a person was, then we could probably look beyond each other’s imperfections as adults and be more tolerant of each other’s weaknesses and shortcomings. 🙂

 

 

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light

(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

I love New Year celebrations as they herald the dawning of a new beginning!! It’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over! A fresh look at another year; an opportunity to recommit ourselves to becoming better persons and aim for higher objectives! J

 

For this year’s celebration, most of my family members travelled together to a place where it’s cooler than the city we live in. We drove a couple of cars and a van to accommodate the 11 adults, 2 toddlers, and a 3-month old infant who all joined us on this trip.

 

It was one of the best trips I’ve ever had! J   

 

All three vehicles convoyed from a starting point to our common destination. It was approximately a 5-hour trip so we had a lot of opportunities to form bonding memories with one another. I loved the beauty of the sunrise, the soothing feel of the countryside, the gentle swaying of trees, the scenic view of the mountains, and the best part of all, the exchange of stories, laughter, and food! J  Not to mention all the fun activities we’ve done together once we got there! J

 

I was more than glad to be reminded of the importance of unity, support, love, and lasting happiness through this experience. Each time a car pulled over for something—to stretch, to snack, to refuel—the other two cars stopped as well to offer support. One car led the way and the other two followed and maintain that lane behind until we reached our final destination.

 

Much like in life’s journey, we must be mindful of where the road we’re travelling in will lead us, the companions we’re travelling with, the examples we are following, and the choices we are making along the way. Let us strive to seek for happiness that lasts and renew our commitments to form associations that would support our righteous goals and help us reach our divine destination—our Heavenly Father’s kingdom. J  

 

As we start the New Year, may we all pause and review the past, recommit ourselves to become the best that we could be, and look forward to a brighter future ahead of us!!! J

 

I wish one and all a very happy New Year!!! J

 

 

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