(Photos in Barkin’ Blends, Zoo Coffee, Rufo’s, and Zark’s Burgers and with our close friend Levi’s sister Liezl are from my friend Julie)
When I look back to July, I see a month of meetings – unexpected and planned. To meet with someone – to actually schedule a day or an hour to be with someone we love – is an event to look forward to when we are working hard for the week or when we are longing for the company of our loved ones. To meet with someone unexpectedly – that is an event we cannot really look forward to as we wouldn’t know when it would happen. Nevertheless, it is still a good surprise to see dear family and friends at the right time and at the right places.
- When the Marketing Team at work would meet and share stories and ideas with each other
- Seeing Lolo Junior, Tita Alma, and Tito Boyet again with my Dad
- Spending two weeks with my Mom and Dad
- Going home to my Mom and Dad
- Meeting my closest friends since elementary school Cleudine, Julie, Sarika, and Levi and listening to their stories
- My dear friend since high school Kate sleeping over, swimming, and traveling back with her to the province
- Attending Ang InK’s monthly meeting and participating in Sir Rev’s workshop on illustrating emotions based on Orlagh O’Brien’s Emotionally Vague
- Being with my two of my good friends Julie and Sarika for three days and two nights
- When our boss invited us one evening to have Filipino streetfood favorites like fishballs in their lounge
- Seeing a puppy outside a hardware store
- Seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in National Bookstore with my friends – I honestly did not expect it
- Seeing family friends in the mall
- Seeing one of my best friends Levi’s Mom and Dad in a mall, and listening to my Mom talk with them for an hour!
- Seeing Levi’s sister Liezl (She saw us first actually!) with Julie and Sarika outside a mall
- Meeting an old friend I respect in a dream where he was holding the leash of a dog who came up to me and greeted me hello
- Paola and I meeting in National Bookstore while I was looking for books on leadership one Sunday, then having coffee together afterwards, because every time we would plan to meet, it wouldn’t come through, so God perhaps knew it was time for us to meet on that Sunday afternoon
- My Dad meeting with a close friend of his
- Mother Dottie, Tita Tess’ sister-in-law, knocking on our gates one Sunday morning with her companion Sister Chona, then meeting her other fellow sisters and her brother and his family
- Mother Dottie seeing and getting to talk to Tita Tess and with my cousins again
- Meeting Sister Albina and Fr. Peace, two people that my Mom is close to, in the new place where the Carmelites Monastery was transferred to
3. Some more good things to be thankful for or smile about:
- Buying frames for my Tita Susan’s paintings with my Dad
- My cousin Kuya Alvin’s and Ate Katiya’s wedding
- “We love you.”
- Passing through the street of my old elementary school and reminiscing childhood memories with my Mom and Dad
- Learning to drive (in theory) when my Mom and Dad give me tips and advices
- Ellen Cooney’s book The Mountaintop School for Dogs and other Second Chances
- The Lord guiding us and protecting us when traveling
- Baking and cooking meals for my Mom and Dad
- Drawing with my Dad in my sketchbook
- My Mom and Dad cooking meals for us
- Kind people who return things we’ve lost
- The prospect of learning how to ride a bike soon
- Gilas Pilipinas putting up a good fight to join the Rio Olympics
- Learning so much from Mother Dottie’s sharing her story and lessons since she was a nun
- Hearing about Kuya Popoy, our family friend whom we would call when we need help around the house, being concerned about my Mom
- Buying groceries with my Mom and Dad
- Sharing a big plate of nachos with my Mom and Dad one rainy afternoon
- Buying pasalubong for my Mom
- Birthday celebrations in the family – my twin cousin Igo, Kuya Romar’s son Connor, Theresa, Tito Manny, Kuya O, and Lolo Ando’s 100th, and Lola Nene’s 110th Birthday in Heaven
- Birthday celebrations of friends Julie, Ms Rochelle, Syrine, Harry Potter (haha!), JK Rowling (Happy Birthday, JKR!)
- Hearing about my friend Denise’s chance to speak at Ayala Museum’s Passion Pitch Project on their Inspire Every Day event last July 30
- Joining taryndraws’ Potter Prompts Challenge in Instagram
- Joining art challenges and exhibits
- One of our teammates healing already from his condition
- Listening to my officemate and friend Ms Rochelle’s solo birthday adventure to Sagada and receiving a gift (a book!) from her all the way from an arts and crafts café in Sagada
- The birth of my cousin Ate Leanne’s first child and my cousin Alexa’s first child as well
- Conference calls with my Mom and Dad when we are not together
- Watching Ignacio de Loyola with my friends Julie and Sarika last July 31, on St. Ignatius’ Feast Day too! Up to now, I still cannot stop thinking about the movie. It is a magnificently produced film by Filipinos, and I cannot recommend it enough to others.
4. Valuable lessons
- Take care of your health, so that you may take care of your Mom and Dad and other people God want you to help.
- When you get lost, ask. And still be street smart. And trust that God will not let anything bad happen to you.
- Healing takes time.
- Honor your parents. Listen to their advices and apply them.
- You can’t do everything at once. You have to sacrifice something in order to fully focus on something.
- Think forward, not backward.
- Stop the habit of complaining. Be sensitive to other people’s dreams and needs.
- Think and determine if what causes you sadness is actually a problem or not.
- Do not pass on your own frustrations to others.
- Give people respect and dignity and always work and coordinate with others with integrity.
- You wouldn’t learn much without making mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process.
- Be open to criticisms. Learn from your teammates.
- Avocado tastes bitter, so add a little more sugar than usual to make shakes. And don’t scrape too much of the meat that clings to the avocado’s skin! I baked an avocado almond cake for my Mom and me one time; it looked good, and it tasted good at first then there comes the aftertaste. My Mom laughed at my face while eating it! But my Mom still ate a few more of it. I was touched by her simple and kind gesture.
- When working on something with someone and one of you is giving up, there is a rule that one should not agree to her friend and give up altogether. Be the one who encourages the one being discouraged. Be the one who says “One last try,” several more times until the one last try becomes successful. Be the one who supports.
The meetings I’ve had in July, and the lessons.. I can feel that God’s handprint were on July’s days. These days were of His orchestration. Truly, our God works in mysterious ways with a dash of His own humor and delight. I need to write more elaborately on some of these stories… July has been beautiful. Jesus has been beautiful.
August, let us meet. Have an August of serendipity and accomplished plans, friends! 🙂