The chills :(

Mom had an episode of the chills today. It was quite scary.

After taking a shower, she cleaned the bathroom a little.  Then we cooked lunch and cleaned up the kitchen together.  Given her condition, doing all of that right after each other took a lot of effort and of course, wore her out.  She got so exhausted she couldn’t breathe and was literally shaking from the chills.  Then she started panting and couldn’t even open her eyes. Yikes! So dad and I wrapped her with an electric blanket, then really tried our best to massage and keep her blood circulating.   It took a bit of time, but we were so happy and relieved when she finally got back to normal. Then she napped and felt a lot better by the evening.  Whew!

From now on, no big efforts for you, Mom.  Don’t even think about it.

No matter what happens….

So I’ve spent the last week or so cleaning, packing and sorting out my life.  I’ve accumulated so much, and want to hang on to so much that this moving process certainly hasn’t been easy.  In between all the mess, I found a note I carried in my purse for months.  It’s something I wrote to myself as an encouragement when I felt lonely and confused.  Now it comes as a strong reassurance that no matter what happens, it will all be worthwhile.

“Be patient with yourself.  Allow yourself all the trepidation and clumsy uneven infatuation that you would with a stranger.  Try only to be kinder, softer and remember all the things within you which are worth loving.  Listen to the voice at the back of your head which tells you, as much out of sadness as anger ‘You are ugly, you are boring, you are stupid.’ Give to the fleeting moment of attention it craves, then remind it “even if that were true, I’d still be worth loving. No matter what happens, whether people drift away or as life challenges you, never forget that you would always be worth loving.”

I leave San Francisco, my home for the past 8 years, tomorrow and found this just in perfect timing.

Home is where the heart is…in Seattle.

I’ve always had a bit of a struggle defining “home” for myself.  Is it where I was born (Baguio), where I grew up (Seattle), or where my family and I currently live (San Francisco)? Add a confused sense of nostalgia, identity, and affiliation and there goes my life story.  I eventually realized that my “home” is simply a sum of all of the places and people I’ve shared a part of my heart with.

The past few days in Seattle reinforced that sense of home. Although I’ve been away for the past 8 years, this city always welcomes me back with such love.  Every return trip there has been more and more fulfilling, every departure more and more difficult. This trip was such a treat from beginning to end — friends went out of their way to fly me up, freed up their busy schedules to reunite, set up a BBQ at the beach, brunch and dinner at my favorite restaurants, drinks at the bowling alley, and even happy hour right before my flight back to San Francisco.  Sigh…..I really wish I could have stayed longer (or even forever). 

I literally spent the last hour crying over how supportive everyone has been.  The past few weeks have felt like the world stretched out its arms to hug me, I am at a loss of words how great it feels and how I can even return the kindness done for me.

In the meantime, here are some photos of such a special trip:

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Catching up with family in LA

Just got back from spending 3 days with my family in LA.  It was my Grandma’s birthday on August 6 and my Aunts birthday on August 7, and I certainly wanted to see them before leaving for the Philippines. Since I live in SF and they live in LA, we seldom get to see each other, but when we do it’s always quality time at its finest.

This trip felt so bittersweet for the following reasons:

  • This was my first trip to visit without my parents or brothers and it was truly special.
  • Had a lot of fun playing with my 6 year old little cousin, Kristen.  I’ve always wanted a little sister or younger cousin to play dress up and goof around with, really wish we could spend more time together.  She’s growing up too quickly!
  • Enjoyed exploring LA by metro (subway) with my Grandma and Aunt. It was so nice of them to tour me around Hollywood, South Pasadena, downtown LA etc.
  • Made me miss our annual family outings with everyone
  • Ugh! Since I’m leaving for the Philippines next week, I’m not really sure when I’ll see them next. 🙁 Really wish they could come with me.

Here’s a photo of me, my Aunt Iris and my Grandma Pita with the Hollywood sign behind us

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ps. I need to be better about taking more photos.