Saturday, March 31, 2012

Welcome To San Francisco

Travel beyond the ordinary.
That was the first thing I read on a TV screen at the SFO airport ramp as I exited from the plane I took from MNL the other night.
"When you travel beyond the ordinary, it must be San Francisco". Still fazed from the trip, my mind was not quite clear yet as to what I've just read.

I was in Manila for almost a month. It always feels good to visit friends and family, especially my mother. Birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, high school classmates', grand nephew's grade school graduation, a nephew passing the bar exam - they were all big celebrations! In fact, one reunion was with my cousins on my father's side. There were about 10 of us, cousins, from USA and Australia who went home about the same time, without having talked about our trips previously. Some of them, brothers and sisters, had talked about their plans but didn't know exactly when the others were coming. The day after I arrived, my brother, Tony, treated us all to a sumptuous dinner at a chinese restaurant, reuniting both visiting cousins and the ones living in Manila. Many of us hadn't seen each other for ages! The irony of it all was another cousin from Manila died on the same day we were going to meet!... Strange??... How can you explain that?!

I had an accident. I fell down the stairs at my mother's home from top down - Yes, from the top, about 17 steps, down! Me, the so so so very careful me??? Well, sh__ happens!!
What happened, how'd it happen, I don't know! It happened so fast. The next thing I knew, I hit the tall table where the big statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus sits and I was waiting for the statue to fall on me and crush me... Then it stopped!!

I have a cousin on my mother's side, Minerva, from Canada. We call her the visionary in the family. The day I was leaving for MNL, I called her at the same time she was also trying to call me. She said she just felt she had to call me. I called her because the night before, I found my jewelry I was missing for a year, and I was so excited to tell her as she always said I would find it again. She was the first person I called when my jewelry was missing, to pray for its recovery 'cause her prayers are powerful, I tell you, and also the first person I called when I found it. Anyway, I asked her to pray for my safe trip, too, as I wasn't feeling well then and it was a long trip home. She said to pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and that when I got home, to greet the statue on the stairs and say "Hello" for her. "That statue is powerful, it is miraculous," she said.

After my fall, I stared at the statue and thought, "Were my cousin's words a forewarning?"
Because I hit the statue first, it prevented me from falling all the way down where, perhaps, I could have hit my head. Instead, I stopped short on the last step. Somehow, the statue of the Sacred Heart was there to "catch" me at the end. No, I'm not a religious fanatic, but after having talked to my cousin before my trip... I do believe in miracles -
"Truly, I tell you, if you have FAITH the size of a mustard seed, NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE." - Matthew 17:20

Yes, I was badly bruised and had serious hematoma. In fact, if you wanted to know the distance between each step of the stairs, and the depth of each one, look at the left side of my back! I was sore. I had abrasions, with one seriously infected. I had contusions on my ribs so that it was painful to breath. Yet I didn't have a fracture and no head injury - How miraculous was that?!

I stayed home with my mother most of the days after the fall to heal. I didn't go out anymore, no shopping! I didn't even visit with my childhood friends which I usually did when I'd come home. The irony, again, I must say, is, the day before I left, one of them died. Again, how can you explain that?!

I had a massage at the airport in MNL before I left. I felt it would help me on my long trip back as I was sore all over. My nephews and niece always treated me to a spa every time I went home, but this time I couldn't do it because of the infected wound. But at the airport, fully-clothed and covered, my wound wouldn't be touched, I thought it was all right. It was a long flight, (no, actually, shorter this trip, 10 hours 40 minutes. As I recall, it used to be 12 hours). Nevertheless, still a long flight for me with my condition...

I looked back at the TV screen just before I entered the terminal building -
Welcome to San Francisco.
Travel beyond the ordinary.

Indeed, I've arrived! And... more than just a Welcome, it's Welcome HOME.

Hi Y'all

I'm back! And trying my new iPad. I'm new to this so I'm still figuring out. I have so much to talk about so I think I'll go back to my computer. See you soon.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Can't Believe this, I Can't Believe This!!

I was looking for a carry-on bag to use for my trip to MNL tomorrow, (I mean later tonight, past midnight now), and guess what, I found my missing jewelry my mother gave me a long time ago - inside the carry-on bag I used last year on my trip to MNL!! Unbelievable! Exactly one year from my last trip! I can't believe it! And I thought I had thrashed it accidentally!

A year ago, when I first realized I was missing it, it didn't bother me at all as I hadn't finished unpacking yet so I knew it was just there. But the following day when I started to seriously look for it, that was when fear overcame me, "I must have thrown the box in the recycle bin about 2 weeks ago!"
I had a Nordstrom box similar to my jewelry box which I threw in the recycling bin. Actually, I had put my jewelry packet in a small Nordstrom box. And I had another small Nordstrom box which was empty which I trashed away. Suddenly, I felt goose bumps all over me - I threw away the box containing the jewelry by mistake. 

That's it!! I lost it!!

That was it! I knew it was gone forever... Guilty, sad, sentimental, I felt horrible! If the jewelry were mine, I couldn't care less. I could replace it anytime, if I wanted to. But it was my Mother's! And having just come back from Manila to visit her, then to lose her jewelry - that's irreplaceable, unforgivable!!

I couldn't believe I did what I did, as I'm the most careful human being on this planet earth! I'm so aware and focused... and I lost my mother's jewelry?? I tried to trace back the steps I did with it - literally intellectually analyzing and rationalizing!! I thought that if I had thrown the empty box before I kept my jewelry away, then when the time came to keep my jewelry, I would have discovered I was missing it. On the other hand, if I had thrown the empty box after I had kept my jewelry away, then, simply, I had kept my jewelry away. Period.

So where was it?? I remember having put it somewhere temporarily until I was ready to put it in a new jewelry box my Mother gave me, but where was it?!... Or did I plainly irresponsibly, mistakenly throw it after all?

As months went by, somehow, a part of me started to feel that the jewelry was still here somewhere! All of a sudden, I had hope. Then one day, Norman was looking for something and he found it where he least expected. It felt "ominous", not bad, but rather, a good sign! Suddenly, I felt I was "closing in" to my jewelry! And innocently, I was thinking how nice it would be if I could find my jewelry again just before my next trip to MNL.

Fast forward to tonight... 
YUP, I FOUND MY JEWELRY!! I FOUND IT!! - on the eve of my trip to MNL one year later!! I can't believe it!