Thursday, July 02, 2015

Letters to Marge & Maddie: Chapter 47 (Happy Birthday to me... again)

Dear Marge and Maddie,

Hi, guys. By tomorrow (or today, or a few days ago, depending on when i get to finish this post since I've been writing less and much more slowly lately), I will be forty two years old. Yeah, happy birthday to me. Again.

And yes, thankfully, it has been quite happy by most standards.

But there's always something about birthdays in one's forties that makes one dwell a little more on one's mortality than usual. It's in these years when one keeps bravely planning ahead while secretly continuing to kindle the fires of old undying dreams, while also quietly stopping to catch one's self in the mirror more and more often. Counting the lines that run deeper and deeper every summer with a mixture of tired resignation and more than a speck of mortal dread.

Or sometimes, one looks at one's own lines and sees traces of a life so beautifully imperfect, yet glisteningly colorful and less bitter than sweet.

That stuff they say about appreciating warmth after the cold, and vice versa? No light without darkness, and other similar wisey stuff? They're right. And that's what has helped make my life so wonderful. The ups and downs, the moments of having and not, the periods of crazy compressed activity that have made me more appreciative of the quiet moments of life. The fear of loss, which made me hold on like my life depended on it. And depend on it it did.

Can i ask the universe for more? Of course. That's part of what life is about. The continuance of dreaming. One asks and works for what one asks for, while never forgetting to nurse quiet contentment all throughout. And here I ask for a long and healthy life for you both, and your mother. I ask that we will continue to be surrounded by more people who wish us well than ill. I ask that we continue to be put at the right place and right time to be right there when people need us. I ask for so much more. But most of all, i ask that we never lose the state of gratefulness for everything that fills the halls of our home.

And grateful i am right now as i write this. And so as last year, happy birthday to me indeed.

'Catch you later.



Sunday, February 01, 2015

Letters to Marge & Maddie: Chapter 46 (Happy. Birthday, Maddie!)

Dear Marge and Maddie,

First of all, a belated happy second birthday, Maddie!
Your mom, sister and I wish and hope that you enjoyed all that "Frozen" merchandise: "Frozen"cake, "Frozen" dolls, and other little "Frozen" stuff.
But anyway, more than the late birthday greeting, I'm writing to you about something else. Around last October, your mom and I took you guys to one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's called "El Nido." You, Maddie were only a year and eight months old at the time, while Big Sis Marge was a little over six.
We always get a lot of this whole "you-don't-bring-little-kids-out-on-vacations-and-out-of-town" thing. They always say it isn't worth it, since they say that you guys probably won't remember a thing about them. Science actually says that they're probably right. The chances of you remembering any of that trip to El Nido is extremely unlikely.

I've actually posted something like this not too long ago here.

But you see this picture here? This is a happy Maddie playing in the sea, frolicking in the sand, and having a generally wonderful time. Maybe they're right and you won't remember this. You won't remember what the corals look like. Well, mostly since you didn't exactly go underwater anyways. You probably won't remember how beautiful the beach was, or how sparkling to ocean was. You probably won't remember the boat rides. You probably won't remember much or probably anything at all. But...

Maybe your mind won't remember, but somehow I'm sure that no matter how old you will eventually get (and i hope you BOTH get to live to a reeeeeeeally ripe old age), somewhere in your heart, you will remember there was that happy time at the beach. And that though you don't or won't remember much detail, like what we ate, what you saw, or whatever, somehow I'm sure that in that happily hopping heart of yours, the laughter that you had in those days will go on and on, and those echoes will keep your heart healthy, and will help you learn to love life a little more.

So by the time you read this you probably won't remember any of that at all. Of course, there will always be the pictures. But your mother and I, and probably your big sister will surely remember how happy we were watching you have all that fun.

But most importantly we will all remember how happy we were that we were all together.

'Catch you later.

Love you,

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Letters to Marge & Maddie: Chapter 45 (Happy. New Year, Ladies)

Dearest Marge and Maddie,

It was an exceptionally beautiful evening.

And the black velvet sky dusted with tiny crystal shards blanketed the world and sung soundless lullabies heard only with one's captivated eyes.

It was one such evening where your mother and i would sit around and discuss "this-and-thats." One such "this-and-that" was that another year was about to end and yet another beginning. I told her we would be hitting forty two in the coming year, and that i felt old. She said she didn't, and that age was merely a number.

Your mother then asked why i felt old. And i said i felt so, because i feel that i've been having a good run at life. Not because my body felt rusty or creaky and so on. Although i have had my spells of that. But because life has been immeasurably kind to me and us. In fact, i said i enjoyed feeling slightly old. For me, feeling old also meant i carry with me all the beautiful years i've lived. The colorful happy-crazy years i had growing up with my friends and even my brothers before youth ended, the challenging yet thoughtful years discovering myself, the beautiful years with your mother, the even more joyful years when you guys arrived, and many more coming along so far.

Yes, simply put, it has been a good life. A life i am thankful for. So sometimes when you guys catch me i saying i feel old then smile, that's actually me thanking God for what a wonderful life i've been blessed with.

Decades from now, i wish you too will feel old the way i do.
And yes, it's another year. Happy 2015, ladies. Let's all have a good one.
'Catch you later.