For You, Daddy!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Age Is Just A Number

 

This image is from http://www.memegen.com/

 

 

 

And for Mum, that word is ‘blessed’.

 

 

Mum believes that she is blessed from the time she wakes up each morning to the time she retires to bed at night.

 

 

I think, we, her brood, are blessed to still have Mum with us.

 

 

Mum celebrated her birthday last month.

 

 

 

Ain’t THAT sweet!

In keeping with tradition, we began Mum’s special day at Mass in our chapel.

Mum outside the chapel after Mass.
Ginger Snaps, the chapel kitty, is behind Mum’s right hand. Yup, I named G-Snaps. :-)

 

 

 

Tradition continued with breakfast at this restaurant that my parents visited even before I was born.

 

 

 

L—>R: Sis-in-law, Mum, Big Sis, me.

 

 

 

On her birthday, Mum gets a lot phone calls and of drop in visitors during the day. That leaves her exhausted at the end of the day. When I returned to the nest five years ago, that first year, I noticed how washed out Mum was just when her celebrations were set to kick into high gear with dinner. The very next year, I began a new tradition.

 

 

A sit down dinner with the immediate family on Mum’s birthday itself.

 

 

 

The family that eats together ….

 

 

 

The formal dinner for relatives and friends is later in the year when everyone is back in town. (Mum’s birthday falls on a national holiday during the holiday period.)

 

 

At first, there were a few murmurs about the celebration being months after her birthday. Meh, used to ‘em murmurs. My concern is Mum.

 

 

I want Mum to be happy having people important to her to celebrate yet another year with us

and

I want Mum to have the energy to do so.

 

 

So having the dinner on a Saturday night during the non-holiday period and when she gets to rest earlier in the day, was the solution.

 

 

As with some of my other “madness”, this ‘tradition’, too, caught on with a few other people we know. :-)

 

 

Oh no. You know. This post is lame. And you also know why.

 

 

So are you jealous? Of all the fun I began having three weeks ago? Preparing for the renovations in our foyer, living room and dining room that will begin in two weeks?

 

 

I’m pumped! For Mum’s sake.

 

 

Daddy got a stroke in 1990. Our home has not had any touches, none, unless they were absolutely necessary, from the time Daddy got the stroke to the time he passed away 16 ½ years later in 2006. Mum refused to let herself get distracted with trivial issues like maintaining the pretty home she was known for or even getting modern appliances. (Look again at the photograph of our dining room above.)

 

 

Since Mum lived alone (with the house help; no family) until I returned, she did not attempt anything on her own either after Daddy passed away. Completely understandable.

 

 

Two years ago, before I began this blog, I got the kitchen and Mum’s master bath ripped apart. Mum was delighted to have a gleaming new space with more practical and convenient amenities. Now that she has recovered nicely from that upheaval, it’s time for the three front rooms of our home.

 

 

Oh, our home is 182 years …. young, so there’s a little bit of emotional upheaval, too, for all of us.

 

 

Now for messages to you, my regular commenters, The Hook and Elvie Rose, since I’ve been silent on your blogs for the past month nearly. Really? Yikes! Time sure flies when I’m having fun! ;-)

 

 

Hook blogs at

 

You’ve Been Hooked!  

http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/

 

and

 

The Book of Terrible

http://thebookofterrible.wordpress.com/

 

 

Hook, I’ve not said peep for a while now, but I’m still stalking ya! I read your posts, look to make sure that all is quiet on the Western front, heave a sigh of relief for all of you and go about my scurrying way.

 

 

Elvie blogs at

 

FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”

http://flowersblooms-elvierose.blogspot.in/

 

 

Elvie, I’m very pleased with all the fun you’re having with your new toy oven. :-)

 

 

When I read this line from one of your recent posts:

>This week the Philippines once again experienced the wrath of “Habagat” (Southwest monsoon). Manila and most parts of Luzon submerged in water due to heavy rains.

>Rescuers pulling a rubber boat in Las Pinas City. Filipino Bayanihan spirit in action.  Bayanihan refers to a spirit of communal unity and cooperation

- I knew exactly what you meant by ‘bayanihan’, Elvie!

 

 

During my time in Saudi Arabia, my Filipina friend, Fleur, and her group of friends warmly embraced me as one of theirs. One of the many nice things that struck me about the Filipino community was your ‘bayanihan’. I was blessed to be part of that community during my years in Aramco.

 

 

And now back to y’all.

 

 

Thank you all for bearing with my rather flat post, but look, it’s short, innit? Hooray perhaps?

 

 

 



 

Thank you, Tash Thomas and Equatours, for signing up to follow my posts.

 

Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!  and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.

 

Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!, Equatours, FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie” and LEAF AND TWIG, for liking my last post.

 

 ***********************************************************************

 

 P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 

I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!  



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9 Comments »

  1. Hi, I haven’t been reading many blogs lately, nor writing much lately…but yours is one of the few I have set to come to my email in-box, so I clicked! I enjoyed this post, but it makes me want to ask more questions! Perhaps later today when I’m laying around and trying to take it easy (trying to get over a cold), I will read some of your older posts and my questions will be answered! Happy birthday to your beautiful mother! -Chris

    Comment by misslisted — Sunday, 1 September 2013 @ 11:32 am |Reply

    • >Hi, I haven’t been reading many blogs lately, nor writing much lately…
      – You, too? Do you think this is some new worldwide, um, ailment? Then again, I think not because most of the others I’ve RSSed are on a roll as per usual. The ebb and flow of cyber life, I guess.

      >but yours is one of the few I have set to come to my email in-box, so I clicked!
      – Why, thank you, Chris! I am indeed honoured because you know I’m an unabashed fan of your material!

      >I enjoyed this post,
      – Really? When cobbling together this piece, I had bouts of feeling lame because I did not plan for my blog to be a pointless/braggy ‘This is where I went.’ and ‘This is what I ate.’ kinda one.

      I narrowly avoided my own pitfall by steering towards how I began to have Mum’s birthday bash in October or November (when her pals are in town) instead of August (on her birthday proper). With that, I had hoped to stress how I merged a couple of factors in the happiness formula* to make Mum happy, but I didn’t get down to drawing that parallel because I was crunched for time.

      Over the years, I have read articles that focussed on the factors individually or in some combination. When I read this recent article (deets to follow), I realised Mum’s birthday is yet another time I’ve used a couple of those factors.

      The formula for a happy life? Stay curious, live in the moment and look after your health

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2378821/The-formula-happy-life-Stay-curious-live-moment-look-health.html

      Three other family friends of ours are no longer hampered by tradition or people’s opinions, and have moved their celebrations around similarly to suit their convenience. *fist pump*

      >but it makes me want to ask more questions!
      – Fire away! Nothing pleases me more than blabbing about myself. Or just blabbing for that matter. :-)

      >Perhaps later today when I’m laying around and trying to take it easy, I will read some of your older posts and my questions will be answered!
      – If not, ask.

      >Happy birthday to your beautiful mother!
      – Well…. Mum (or anyone I know personally) does not know about this blog, so I can’t really tell her about your wish, Chris. But she knows about your blog! I get her to read your delish material, too. But I (cunningly cleverly!) don’t let her get to the Comments. Because more often than not, I’m yapping there. :-)

      But thank you very much for the thought. And the wish, of course!

      I don’t know if you meant “beautiful” in a ‘beautiful inside’ way. I think my mummy’s very purrty on the outside, too. Thank goodness, I look like Daddy! I would have, like, died if I got the kind of attention Mum gets even today. I can’t even imagine what her life must been like when she was a PYT. *shudder*

      >(trying to get over a cold),
      – Oh no. This supposedly simple affliction is not much to write home about in theory, but boy, can we churn out reams when down with this bug!

      Get better soon, Chris, and thank you for making the effort to comment despite your ‘(wo)man down’ status.

      Kate

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Monday, 2 September 2013 @ 8:19 am |Reply

  2. “Mum believes that she is blessed from the time she wakes up each morning to the time she retires to bed at night.
    I think, we, her brood, are blessed to still have Mum with us.”

    What else is there to say?
    Your parents must have earned the Fates’ favor many moons ago, my friend, for they were blessed with the best daughter this side of my own child.
    Beautiful post, my lovely friend.

    And thank you for your enlightening e-mail; your words gave my wife ammunition which she used to make me see a necessary truth. My family appreciates your friendship and concern, Kate.
    As do I.

    Comment by The Hook — Friday, 6 September 2013 @ 10:24 am |Reply

    • I’m salivating at the prospect of responding to your comment, Hook. But I don’t have time right now. I suggest you savour the silence in the meantime. ;-)

      Kate

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Friday, 6 September 2013 @ 11:51 pm |Reply

    • Hi Hook,

      The workers are expected on Monday. I’ve stripped the three rooms and they are almost ready to be torn apart completely. I have a respite-ish of two days, so you’re next on my ‘Reply Due’ list. (Yes, I actually have a list for this, too.)

      >What else is there to say? Your parents must have earned the Fates’ favor many moons ago, my friend,
      – Thank you, Hook. My life today is a reflection of my parents’ teachings. AND my own efforts via educating myself on life matters and being disciplined enough to practice what is important to me.

      >for they were blessed with the best daughter this side of my own child.
      – You are completely biased, Hook … but I’ll take it! :-)

      You know, had you met Big Sis, you would never even look at me! She truly is the sweetheart of the family. Big Bro is very nice, too, but is a bit of a grouch. I’m a big mouth, but Big Sis? She has the nicest way of correcting someone (and that someone is me a little too often), and she is just very, very generous with her positive words, her time and oh, her mah-nay! :-)

      >Beautiful post, my lovely friend.
      – I’m still confused about why you and Chris liked it. It’s completely different from my usual posts … and therein, lies the answer to my confusion, I guess?

      >And thank you for your enlightening e-mail;
      – Oh-kay. Since you’ve, um, taken this outside, I mean, brought up my e-mail out here in the open, I’ll follow suit. I’ve noticed you’ve dunnit on your own blog, too. So I shall post my response to that e-mail out there, too.

      To be completely honest, I wrote that e-mail because I was worried about Sarah.

      As I wrote, I have been worried about something happening to you because after your wife’s brush with a false alarm, it appeared that you just seemed to carry on with your blogging life as if your personal world hadn’t turned upside down for a while.

      I know that writing/blogging is a healthy release and a distraction to a certain extent, but you are no ordinary blogger, Hook. Like me, you reply to every comment and you visit every commenter’s blog. Unlike me, (I think) you comment on their posts, too, because via your responses on your blog, you go beyond superficial pleasantries; it’s like you know (the majority of) your commenters.

      All this – responding to comments on your blog, visiting their blogs, commenting out there – takes time. A LOT of time. That means less time dealing with that painful issue (of your wife’s health scare) that you’d swept under the carpet of your blog. So as I said in my e-mail, it was only a question of time when the whole thing would blow up in your face. And in Sarah’s face. :-(

      I was older than Sarah is right now when Daddy got a stroke. Until that point in time, he had never been ill. I can’t even remember him having the flu. Daddy was active physically, an occasional tennis and (field) hockey player, a non-smoker and a poor excuse for a social drinker i.e. even at social functions, he drank one beer on Sunday afternoons and a half peg of stronger stuff only on a Saturday night. He didn’t touch alcohol through the week, no matter the occasion.

      Yet Daddy got a stroke. 23 ½ years on, I remember every miniscule, excruciating detail of the first twenty fours; from the time I received the news miles away to the time I hugged his unconscious body in his ICU bed. One of the first thoughts that hit me then was, “I’m too young to suffer like this.” This = the terror of my daddy’s life being in danger.

      Sarah already went through that rollercoaster with her mother’s scare a little while earlier. Something serious happening to you would … I’m too scared to even think what her fate might have been had something really happened to you, Hook.

      I was scared for Sarah. So I wrote that e-mail.

      >your words gave my wife ammunition which she used to make me see a necessary truth.
      – I hope she whacked you nice and proper. I’m kidding!

      Actually, I was very worried about your response (all of you, in fact) when I realised that I couldn’t zip it and I was going to go ahead with my instinctive reaction and express how I felt in that e-mail. I am hugely relieved that all of you accepted my mail in the spirit that it was …. hammered out in. Yes, I banged away at the keys here with a desperate urgency to not quell my big mouthed self and in apprehension of a possible negative response from all of you.

      >My family appreciates your friendship and concern, Kate.
      >As do I.
      – You’re welcome, Hook, Wife and Sarah. And Chelsea. :-) You’ve got to pat yourselves on the back first because Hook has always struck me as reasonable person. Oh, and you can’t be the good person you are on your ownsome, Hook. Wife and Sarah have moulded you and brought out the best in you.

      Cyber abstinence is a breeze, ain’t it? The Stats columns, the Likes, the Comments; all those are good and fun and elating. But they are ephemeral and they can NEVER take the place of real life interactions.

      That’s why this e-pal of yours is most delighted that you’re back with your flesh and blood (and fur!) loved ones.

      I, of 01 (i.e. binary code) DNA, am happy to lurk around and wait for the bones you toss on your blog. They may be occasional, but I know they’ll be juicy bonesies, uh, posts. :-)

      Thank you, Hook, Wife, Sarah (and Chelsea!) for letting me be me. :-)

      Kate

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Saturday, 14 September 2013 @ 8:27 am |Reply

      • And we hope you never stop being you, Kate.
        Thank you.

        Comment by The Hook — Saturday, 14 September 2013 @ 10:11 am

      • Oh dear. I thought you were smart, Hook. Tsk tsk. ;-)

        Kate

        Comment by For you, Daddy! — Sunday, 29 September 2013 @ 11:07 pm

  3. Happy Birthday Mom ! You are truly blessed with your family and friends around you and having a loving daughter, Kate.

    Yes, I enjoy baking these days. I enjoy it more that what I do in the office. It brings out the creativity and best in me but I still have to learn more things on baking. Hoping to have a small bakery someday :)

    Comment by Elvierose — Saturday, 14 September 2013 @ 2:28 am |Reply

    • >Happy Birthday Mom! You are truly blessed with your family and friends around you and having a loving daughter, Kate.
      – Why, thank you for your wish and kind words, Elvie. Yes, Kate is the best child anyone could have.

      Ha ha ha! I’m having a moment here, Elvie. As I’ve said, no one I know personally knows about this blog, but your words are still appreciated very much.

      >Yes, I enjoy baking these days.
      – I think I would enjoy the results even better! ;-)

      >I enjoy it more that what I do in the office.
      – That is not an uncommon tune you sing, you know? I’m happy for you that you have found yet another source of happiness for yourself.

      >It brings out the creativity and best in me
      – Cooking surely does! Once you get comfortable with the process, then the variations creep in. In a very nice way.

      >but I still have to learn more things on baking.
      – There will always be things to learn … about everything! That’s one of the things I find fascinating. When I exclaim, “Oh, I never knew I could do that, too!”

      >Hoping to have a small bakery someday :)
      – Keep dreaming …. and keep baking in the meantime.

      A very important tip from someone who gave up a well-paid job to pursue one that pays much less, but is incomparably more fulfilling – save, save, save.
      Starting ones own business is risky in many ways including financially. Save for the initial growth period, save for that rainy day.

      A quicker way to save – cut down on the frills. It’s not fun at first, but now I wonder why I even needed all that fluff. *shrug* The magic of hindsight and, dare I say, maturity?

      Thank you again for your time and your comments, Elvie. Regards to your family, especially the fluffy ones. :-)

      Kate

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Saturday, 14 September 2013 @ 8:17 am |Reply


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