Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cheers to Life, Cheers to Everyday

Time flies! It’s been two years since Bunso was diagnosed with Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder and it happened 16 days before his fourth birthday. I already shared it through a blog post only last year when I felt that it was the right time. I also wouldn’t forget how we celebrated Bunso’s birthday then and it was only on this day that I was able to share it.

Our family is not used to celebrating birthdays or special occasions by throwing huge parties. Paps and I are not comfortable having these maybe because both of us belong to families that prefer intimate celebrations.

During Bunso’s fourth birthday, we prepared something simple that we thought would make him feel very special. We let Kuya plan the entire surprise simple birthday party not just because he insisted but also we wanted him to use his creativity to show his baby brother how he really cared.

On the day before the celebration, Kuya showed me the birthday card that he was making for Bunso. He was so excited to tell us that he started doing it during his free time in school and he would still do the finishing touches later. While he wasn’t looking, I asked Paps, “Did you tell him to do that?” Then Paps replied that he didn’t. How sweet of Kuya!

Kuya continued decorating the birthday card diligently. Right after finishing it, he handed it to me and said, “Mama, I know that Ice doesn’t know how to read yet. Will you keep this for me? When he knows how to read, can we show this to him?” I couldn’t help myself to cry while reading Kuya’s message and laughed out loud thereafter.

I hugged him and said, “Thank you, Kuya! You’re such a sweet brother. Ice will surely love and appreciate this. When the time comes that he knows how to read and understands what you mean, I am going to show this to him definitely."

The following day, I mentioned to Bunso upon waking up that it was his birthday and Paps and Kuya would have a surprise upon arrival in the afternoon. He patiently waited and he was very sad because Paps and Kuya went home late. His sadness faded away and he jumped with joy when he saw the small chocolate cake and Pancit Bilao that they were handling. We set up our dining table and prepared his “handa”, sang the Birthday Song, and ate together as a family. Bunso was very conscious with getting messy that was why he kept on wiping his face with Cheers, one of our most trusted and favorite tissue brands made of 100% virgin pulp, no artificial whiteners and elemental chlorine, truly hygienic and safe for my family. He also gave each a few pieces for wiping our mouths while eating. Moving on, while doing so, we could see in his eyes how happy he was! For a child who could barely talk and express his emotions, his smile was indeed priceless!

After the salu-salo, Kuya showed his first gift, a shape sorter, and Bunso opened the box quickly. He was so excited to play with it. When he felt bored, Kuya handed him his second gift, a ball. If Bunso was happy receiving his first gift, on this one he was more excited! He was not yet capable of expressing his gratitude and longing towards his brother and I was glad that Kuya didn’t wait anymore for his baby brother to say “Thank you” and initiated to play with him immediately without being told to do so.

I watched blissfully as my two boys played together with their Paps. I felt so proud of Kuya for doing the best of his ability to plan Bunso’s frugal birthday party and for making him happy despite not being sure how his brother would reciprocate the time and effort that he exerted in that thoughtfulness of his.

This happened two years ago. Kuya was nine that time. As days, months, and years passed, I realized that Kuya was digesting most if not all, the advice that Paps and I were giving him--- to make other people happy; being good, generous, understanding, and caring to others especially to his baby brother. We see a lot of improvements with Bunso and Kuya is the big factor in those milestones.

From that day on, living with a family member with Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder becomes very challenging everyday but we learn how to celebrate life not just during special occasions but anytime, everywhere daily. We appreciate simple things, joys, triumphs, milestones, blessings, and even trials that come our way. We believe that there is always beauty in everyday no matter how bad the situation it seems. We learn to be more patient, forgiving, understanding, and loving to one another. We become more generous of our time more than with material things especially with Bunso who needs it the most. 

We extend our efforts in all aspects. We do our best to become the best version of ourselves. We are contented with what we have but never contented with who we are. Our family life is not perfect but we always see beauty in that imperfection. Oprah Winfrey once said, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” It’s happening. It’s so true. There is always a reason to have “Cheers to life, cheers to everyday!”

Life is uncertain but when we see our kids, I know that Kuya is going to protect and love Bunso above anybody else when Paps and I leave this world. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Things That Make Our Marriage Work

There's no perfect marriage. Ours is not an exception to that. Trials, anxieties, and problems may arise. I think that what makes our marriage work for nine years is due to the following reasons:

1. Our marriage is rooted in best friendship.
My husband and I were classmates and best buddies in college. We have a lot of common friends of good influences. We know each other well and we are in the same wavelength.
2. We share the same likes and interests.
We used to work together in the same organization. We are both teachers too. We love to sit down and have a nice cup of coffee while having good conversations. We can talk about anything under the sun without any hesitations. Both of us love to write, read, watch movies, hang out with friends, eat, cook (I admit, he is better in the kitchen!), and we are both home buddies who love to spend time with our family


3. We grow together.
We support each other in all the things that we love to do and try to be involved in them.We push ourselves to grow more, enhance the skills that we enjoy. We never hinder each other's own ways of reaching our goals and fulfilling our dreams.

4. We respect each other.
We believe that if there's respect, there's love. We never  hurt each other physically nor verbally. We argue but we do it like we are just having an ordinary conversation. When I am feeling down, he's there to lift me up or vice versa.

5. We never end the day without mending our misunderstandings.
It is a pact between us that we would not sleep without talking things over and mending our misunderstandings. We don't want them to accumulate. 

We saw other couples separate thinking that the cause of their separation was their current misunderstanding, not knowing that their previous fights that piled-up were the reasons why they split-up. 

We are also trying to avoid conflicts as much as possible.

6. We know how to compromise.
We have our own share in doing the household chores, taking care of our two sons, doing business stuff, and consulting each other for the good of our chosen careers. When one is not available or not feeling well, we do our very best to substitute for each other.

7. We know how to listen.
Both of us are open-minded people. Problems are easy to solve, misunderstandings are easy to mend, we can meet half-way and make compromises because we listen not only with our ears but with our heart and mind. 

8. We are COMPLETE for each other.
I realized that married couples should not complement each other by  covering up each other's weaknesses. One must be COMPLETE in all aspects especially emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually in order to cope up with all challenges that they may encounter. 

One must learn how to change his or her own weaknesses and flaws to help each other grow and move forward in this lifelong journey.

For me, it's improper to say to my partner, "You complete me!", rather I say, "YOU MAKE ME MORE COMPLETE!"
We love, respect, support, and understand each other more each day that's why "WE COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER." 
9. We know our priorities. 
Both of us were prepared before getting married when reality sets in. 

Romance is in the air when couples are still dating but how about the real stuff when kids are born and financial obligations arise--- "Who's going to look after the kids?", "How do we budget and manage our finances?",  "How about the hospital bills when a family member gets sick?", "How can we save for our kids' tuition fee and allowance when they go to school?". They are inevitable. We can never escape from them.

10. In all that we do, we do it for God's glory.
We put God in the center of our relationship and we do our very best to be good examples to our kids.

I learned so much from my nine years of being married. Richard Poon was right when he said on one of his exclusive interviews with his wife, Maricar Reyes, that "MARRIAGE IS HARD WORK." 

Marriage is not a fairy tale that when boy meets girl, they kiss and live happily ever after. Marriage would surely stand the test of time if properly nourished and taken care of.


 I would like to take this opportunity to thank my husband, Hector, for 18 years of best friendship, 15 years of loving relationship, and 9 years of challenging but happy marriage.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and unconditional love especially in times when I was very emotional, unreasonable, and impatient.
If God will turn back time, I will still choose you to be my lifetime partner. I love you very much! 
Our marriage is young. We have more challenges and trials to overcome and fond memories to share. 
 I thank God that you are the one whom I am with for the rest of my life.

Photo Credits: Happy Wives Club and Time-Warp Wife
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