My Lola is a living proof that love is timeless – that your better half doesn’t need to be with you physically to keep the love alive. My Lolo has been six feet under for the last 23 years but she always talks about him as if he’s just around the corner listening to her. And frankly, she’s one of the reasons why I believe that marr

I don’t agree with her at times but I understand that she says something because she loves me.

P.S. You’re Still In Our Heart

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Lately I’ve been reading tearjerker books and it suddenly hit me when a character from Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy died. That book made me cry – real bad. The truth is, I normally get carried away while reading so it’s really normal for me to suffer from a book hangover after finishing something good especially when it made me cry.

To make it short, I was recommending the book to my two friends and I was giving them the gist of the story when I suddenly remembered the upcoming death anniversary of Daniel Rivera Noga. He was my high school friend. He was one of the few real ones who got my back during fourth year but that’s another story to tell.

As I was saying he was my friend. And to make it clear he was my only close friend who’s no longer walking on earth. He passed away five years ago. Last year, I wrote about how I learned his death through Dennis’ phone call. A call that took my breath away. A call that shook me from inside out.

I’m not going to lie here, it’s not every day that Daniel would flash in my head. Every now and then I remember him but not every single day. Sure I can tell you that I recollect thoughts about him from time to time since I am claiming that he’s one of my close friends but what’s the point? Would it make him breath again? I highly doubt it. So I’m not in the business of claiming things I don’t do let alone lie about it.

So what’s the deal? Nothing really, I am just trying to write my thoughts down. No, scratch that, I guess I am writing for Dennis (Dennis Datumanong who happened to be Daniel’s best friend who’s also my guy best friend) Yeah. There I said it. This one is in memory of Daniel but also for Dennis’ emotional stability (Oh. Talking about emotional mess every time of this year).

Moving on…

I don’t miss Daniel anymore. Does it make me a bad friend for saying what’s on my head? Don’t get me wrong I miss how he was. I still feel sad when I think of him but I am not in pain anymore. Truth is, when I learned about his sudden death my heart was ripped into two and he left it ripped out because he wasn’t alive anymore to help me put it back together. I lost a part of me in Infanta and that part was buried six feet under with him. He was in my heart. He still here in my heart. Five years ago I tucked his memory into the far corner of my heart where no one, and I mean NO ONE can ever take it away from me. He owns that place. Maybe, just maybe… the underlying reason why I don’t miss him anymore is because he’s been inside my heart and I don’t need to worry that in a snap I might forget who he was. In that place he’s safe — forever.

I guess our heart is not capable of kicking old people out just to give place to new acquaintances. Our heart doesn’t work that way. I guess the good thing about having a heart is that, it expands. It gives more room to people in order for us to accomodate them. Allowing us to keep the old ones as we let in the new deserving people. That’s how our heart works. It always provides space for everyone that matters to us.

Losing your best friend is painful. Just the mere thought of me losing Patty would not only shatter my heart into billion pieces and I know… I totally know that I would never be the same again. So putting myself into Dennis shoes, I bet that when he lost Daniel, it was like a turnado hit him, he couldn’t see straight. He was a mess. I also said earlier that this is for Dennis. Why, you asked? Simple. He loved remembering Daniel and these are my thoughts about his best friend; a friend who once upon a time made me laugh like there’s no tomorrow, made me mad because he annoyed the crap out of me and most especially made me talk about God because he wanted to share the same thing with me.

I once read that pain is inevitable because it demands to be felt. Death is no joke. When somebody’s heart finally stopped beating, that’s it. You cannot go backward because it’s past. You can only visit your past through memories and that’s what I have with Daniel. His memories.

Honestly, I didn’t plan to write anything about Daniel for this year. When I wrote something about him last year entitled Even Just For Today, I thought that was it. After all, what’s more there to write? Well I was wrong, Fighting Redemption made me do it. As I was saying earlier, a character died there. It was Jake who died and he was funny and cool just like Daniel. One of the people he left behind was a best friend named Ryan who remembered Jake from time to time which reminds me of Dennis. So that book was a tearjerker and it pushed me to write what I have in mind.

My emotions are all over the place as I am typing all of these. Why? Because no matter what I say, he’s not coming back. And once again, I’m sad. I’m sad because I wish I’m not writing things about him (about YOU Daniel) in past tense. But hey, the memories are still alive thus making the sadness go away.

I’ll stop here for simple reason, there are things better left unsaid because at this very moment I just want to curl in my bed and pray for Daniel.

P.S. You’re still in our heart!!!

The End

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It’s a water over the dam and at the same time it’s a water under the bridge. Something that I’ve tucked in inside the far corner of my brain. A memory that so old yet could be so fresh when I allowed it to. And today… I decided to look back and put those days into words. Words that could cut my heart like it was just yesterday but could heal me the moment I stopped thinking about it.

It was a tug-of-war. It had always been between my heart and my brain. I thought when you’re in love everything would just be magical — like fairy tales, it would always have, “and they live happily ever after” and that’s the end. But then, I realized, antagonist were also real. They could be a person or even circumstances and when they got you, you could either have your happy ending or just simply have your “the end.” I didn’t have my “and we live happly ever after,” I just got my THE END.

He was my first love, and as cliche as it could be, “you never forget your first love…” It’s not because you messed up and couldn’t move on but because it’s the first time you felt those jumbled emotions inside you. And it’s the first time you asked yourself, “Is he the one? Please let him be the one…” and then you hoped and prayed about it. And then pray a little harder when things weren’t working.

I wish I could remember how many times I prayed. How many times I plead the Lord to make me steady and more stronger. I wish I wasn’t that weak. I wish I fell in love with the same guy but on different circumstances. I wish, I could still wish. But I tell you what, even if I can, I won’t. I won’t because I don’t think I can.

And here’s the glimpse of my first heart beat and my first heart break.

I wasn’t a bad girl. He wasn’t a bad boy. We had good grades and both of us were in pilot sections. Being in the relationship didn’t drag our grades down. In fact, it actually accelerated our points up. We were in love and it was legal. My parents knew about him. We were happy. I always had butterflies in my stomach and loving him made me shiver but in a good way. I saw lots of imaginary hearts in the sky instead of stars when he’s around.

He was near to perfection. Maybe he was my simple twisted perfection. He had the ability to make me forget all the problems popping out on our way when we were together. He had the power to make me believe everything’s going to be fine. That I shouldn’t worry because he got my back. And when he’s around I knew I could go on and just be happy because I deserved it… I deserved him… we deserved our happiness. When I was with him my twisted feelings went hide and seek and I ended up not minding how twisted our relationship were.

I wish, I was always with him because when I wasn’t the reality got the best of me. Yes, I was happy when I was with him… only when I was with him. And that’s the hardest part.

It was Christmas, I got the best day of the year. Things were getting better. Issues were being settled. Until, someone who’s so important to him texted him saying things that caught me off guard. I wanted to cry. All I wanted to do was to love him, and I knew that he’d do everything for me because he loved me twice as much. But I knew the chips weren’t going to land in its place and one of us must do something about it.

The tug-of-war became more visible. How could I totally be happy and be absolutely sad at the same time? How could be something be so right yet so wrong? One minute I was the princess, another minute I was the damsel in distress and here came another minute and I was the villain. I was the villian – turned out to be the prince’s special someone. Totally messed up. Totally broken.

I wish I could tell everyone what really happened but that would mean naming people and it would hurt the crap out of him. I do not want their identity nor their relationship with him be mentioned to this. They might not liked me and I might not totally liked them either but I loved them. I loved them because he loved them. And I was ready to love important people in his life even if that would mean eating my pride.

Going back, I was emotionally stressed. Verbal words coming from the people who he could have even if I’m out of the picture left the wound so fresh and so big. I tried nursing it, I swear I did but I just couldn’t or it just wouldn’t heal at all. My worries got the best of me. His words were still the same but I couldn’t get things out of my head. I wanted to tell my brain, it’s okay. That everything would be fine. But my heart knew I’m dying inside. I didn’t have the heart to tell him what’s really going on with me. I knew he would try to console me just like what he always did. I wanted heart and flowers and I got those, but then I wanted approval because I was so worn out. I couldn’t hold on anymore.

I thought “You-and-Me-Against-The-World” was just fiction, but it wasn’t. Maybe I should blame my age because I was young and have no idea what to do. Or maybe I should blame people because they said things against us without validation. Or maybe I should blame circumstances for putting us to that situation. Or the universe for spinning against us. Or maybe I just have to blame myself because I was the one that got away.

And then one day he told me we needed a minute. I was so scared. I knew I’ve been thinking of letting him go for good but I just didn’t have the strength to do that. I knew he wouldn’t leave me. I knew he would still find his way back to me because I was his heart. But I wasn’t sure anymore if I could still endure the pain. And I used that time to think. And no matter how hard I pushed my head to find another way to deal with things, one thing kept on playing in my head, “I needed to grow up.”

And growing up means breaking his heart. And I did. I did because I knew one day he’d thank me for breaking his heart. I lied when I told him I was in love with someone else. Lame excused but I said that so he would let me go. I didn’t do that just because I fall out of love, I did what I did because it was the only option I had in mind. I didn’t want to ask him to choose between me and them. I didn’t have the heart to tell him “I love you so I’m letting you go…” because I would just give him another reason to fight and I couldn’t fight anymore because I was so broken and I needed to heal. I didn’t want to see him after the break up because I knew even if I was wearing my poker face that if he tried harder to get me back I would end up agreeing with him. And I just couldn’t… I just couldn’t because I loved him pretty much that it hurts big time to stay with him. I was so mad because I had to do those painful stuffs.

Asking him to wait for me didn’t cross my mind since I didn’t know where my growing up thing would lead me. I needed him to stop babying me. I needed him to tell me I was wrong and deal with it not do the other way around. I needed the pain to go away. I needed my own dose of medicines and I needed him to stop giving me pain relievers. I needed to get up on my own. I just needed those things even if I never wanted to be away from him. I never wanted that, I just needed them.

And for the record, breaking his heart was not the last thing I wanted to do in this world. It was something not in my to-do list. Maybe given other circumstances, I could’ve stayed. But that’s the thing, I wasn’t given something else… only that.

When he was crying, I was crying harder. I broke someone’s heart, how could I even feel better then? How could I be happy when someone was suffering because of me? And how could I even console his heart when I didn’t know how to mend mine? Probably I was stupid. Maybe I was the one that got away and at the same time I was the one who pushed him away. But looking back to those days, I realized it made us a better person. It lead him to someone else and he’s happy. And it’s more than enough.

Well, my first heart beat was full of love and I’m glad I experienced that kind of love. My first heart break killed me slowly and then hit my core so bad I couldn’t see straight, but I guess, pain was there to remind me I loved true. And then, I realized I was quoting, “Sometimes people fall in love with each other but not meant to be together forever…” which could be true or not true.

To make things shorter, I didn’t get my happy ending but sure, I got my happiness in between before I got my… “The End.”

Run With Your Heart

Just because you can run doesn’t mean you are a runner. And just because you can’t run doesn’t mean you’re not a runner. As what I’ve read somewhere, “When your legs can’t run anymore run with your heart…”

Running is just a word… a mere movement. The only moment a word can convey a thousand meaning is when we give depth to it. It is when we acknowledge it beyond its denotation. It is when we give our personal touch to a certain word as if it describes a part of us. Speaking of which, I have a friend who is fond of joining marathons, it’s his way of enjoying his free time and challenging himself. In fact, I’m thinking of putting an imaginary tagline between his first and last name that goes something like: “Edison the-epitome-of-a-true-runner Cruz

Recently, Edison joined two fun runs namely Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2013 and Run United 3. And I tell you, he ran 42 kilometers a week after he ran 21 kilometers… Oh, well, I’m kidding not! He really did that. Anyway, this time, not only will I give you the glimpse of what had happened but I will also try to once again relate running to life as its metaphor.

 

MEN’S HEALTH URBANATHLON & FESTIVAL 2013

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Mr. Epitome-of-a-true-runner runs for Men’s Health Urbanathlon & Festival 2013

Mr. Epitome-of-a-true-runner joined 21k for this event. It wasn’t a regular kind of run since there were obstacles along the path making it more exciting and far way challenging.  Among the obstacle courses were composed of bars, walls, scaffoldings, etc.

A month before his run he told me he’s looking forward to what the event organizers prepared for runners since there would be some additional obstacles for 2013. I then asked him if it’s possible to just run and by pass those hurdles since I’m assuming not everyone would actually go through those barriers. I was in awe when he told me that you have to go through all of those challenges otherwise you won’t experience the underlying principle of what urbanathlon is all about. I guess the boy made a fair point statement there.

Sadly, I wasn’t there to see things right before my eyes. I failed to witness every runner as they moved and overcome each obstacle. But my friend Google helped me with some information and Edison fueled me with stories allowing me to come up with my own train of thoughts.

In fact, after processing what I’ve read and what I’ve heard I take hold of the idea that running is actually a metaphor of life. Men’s Health is actually closer to it. Why? Well, because of its obstacle courses. It is my desire that those runners who’ve joined the said marathon were able to see the underneath lessons that the event was trying to impart to of each of you… to each of us. I’m nobody – not even a part of Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2013 in any form. Perhaps I’m not in the position to speak for them nor do I know if their real objective is the same as mine yet I still dare to say that there’s more than just running, beating the obstacles and  getting your finisher’s shirt – and for me it’s called Life Lessons.

What about that?

Life is full of challenges and we get to experience one of its kinds day by day. Let’s view things this way; the event itself is what we called life and the obstacles within the course of running connote life challenges and difficulties. The moment you signed up for Men’s Health Urbanathlon, you also acknowledged the truth that there would be obstacles to face and that you’re up to face them. At first it was easy but as you get by, the obstacles seem to be tougher and tougher and you just wanted to skip every barrier but then you maintained your focus and realized you’re not just the one struggling. And if they can do it, then you certainly can survive it.

And here’s the good thing, no matter how difficult things may look like from a distance, as you get closer to it, you’ll find out that there are people who are willing to help you get through it. Often times, they are just around the corner waiting for you to come near them. It’s taking risk but it’s always worth the risk. That’s exactly what made Men’s Health Urbanathlon closer to running as a metaphor of life.

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Edison with his friends after finishing Urbanathlon 2013.

 

RUN UNITED 3

No way will I ever get myself involved in any 42k runs. The idea itself is killing me, let alone doing it. But that’s not the case with my favorite guy; imagine he joined the RunRio with three different kilometers such as 21k (Run United 1), 32k (Run United 2) and 42k (Run United 3). The events were held in three different dates to give each runner enough amount of time to prepare for each run. Well, Mr. Epitome-of-a-true-runner called it a challenge… I called it death run!

Looking from a different perspective, it may seem easier since there were no obstacles involved. But let me tell you this, it wasn’t easy. Yes, obstacles were not presented the same way as what Men’s Health did but the distance alone had given me pain in the head… it scared the crap out of me! My brain couldn’t process how on earth I will ever get through it without me fainting or passing out! (Okay… okay… I didn’t join but the mere idea makes me feel like I’m going to throw up!)

Going back, just because there were no obstacles along the way didn’t mean it’s a struggle-free-zone. As what I saw from Edison’s facebook wall, he was cursing out when he saw the finish line. Again, running 42k was no joke! He didn’t run just for the sake of running or boasting that “Hey man, I’m good… I’m a 42k finisher” I believe that he did what he did because he wanted to complete the three medals. Those three medals can be formed into one big medal once you have the three pieces. And you can only attain your objective if you’re able to finish the RunRio. It’s called Goal – he has his goal and he was able to achieve it.

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RUNRIO medals: Run United 1, Run United 2 & Run United 3.

Here’s the thing, probably you’re running because you want to get the perfect body, to release some stress or maybe to think things over. And you’re throwing yourself into the field not because you’re nowhere to go but because you have goals to achieve. And you’re pretty aware that the only way to accomplish it is when you do something about it.

Seriously, I had no idea on what he was thinking when he was struggling to finish the Run United 3 marathon. All I know is that running is about taking risk and Edison took the risk. He knew right in his inner core that he’d survive, he just needed his body to bear with him. I’m sure that he was so stressed and too tired while doing the challenge. I’m also certain that his legs… his feet were excessively sore but his brain was shouting, “You can do it…” and his heart was telling him, “Go on… we’ll get by…” And a voice from within was reminding him, “Man we set our goals, we’ll get through this…” And he was able to push through because he was running with his heart.

 

WRAP UP

I’m not a runner physically, my feet have no ability to run as far as 10k or worst even 5k. It’s Edison’s thing. He’s expressing his life through running and he makes the best things out of it. Me? I run using my heart and my brain. I get to run with runners because I can put things into words.

What I am trying to say? I’m trying to give justice on my opening statement that you don’t have to run to be a runner and that you have the ability to give your own connotation to whatever words available in the dictionary as long as you can give justice to it otherwise the word will remain as it is.  And for my part, running is when you allow your brain to function so at the end of the day you can be able to share some words of wisdom to those people around you. It’s not my body doing the task, it’s my heart and my brain and normally they do have marathon inside me; it’s like, should I follow my head or should go along with my heart? They are running even if I stand still. And yes, that’s how running goes when I don’t do it on track. How do you do yours?

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Always RUN with your HEART! (Photo credit: Flickr)

Lastly, as we grow old we tend to lose our strength. Time will come that despite our desire to run, we can’t help but to shake off the idea. It will be painful yes, but take heart… you can always use your heart to run. You can always tell your stories and go back to the time when running was as easy as saying ABC– we are a natural story teller and I tell you, life is fair! And because running is a metaphor of life, you can count on that aging will not steal your experiences. You may forget it but it will remain somewhere inside your heart.  So as early as today, allow me to remind you to always run with your heart.

Beyond The Word Best

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Some of my photos with the birthday girl.

Dear Reena,

Just because you’re not part of the original Best Company doesn’t mean we value you less. While it is true that you came after highschool, it is also true… without a doubt that what we have is real! People may always say they are original but can they prove that they are aunthentic? It’s not who was there when we established Best Company… it’s more on who stayed and proved that this friendship will always be worth something… that it’s worth fighting for no matter how difficult things may be, and that it can go beyond the distance when everyone gets busy. That it can survive because the idea of us falling apart is too scary…

And if it’s still not clear, I don’t care what term of endearment we have… what I value more is who we are. I believe that Mighty, Rose and Patty will agree with me that our hang outs will never be the same without you. So I suggest that you take that idea away from your brain. Or I’ll go make some surgery so I can remove that idea inside your head.

Happy Birthday Reena! Let’s make our dreams come true. And I pray that our good Lord will continue to use you in ways unimaginable. Great things will still come along your way because you’re destined to receive them. And I may not know why Mr-God’s-Gift is taking so long but I’m sure he’s on his way… he’s preparing right words to say when it is time to see you face to face.

I love you Reena! Enjoy your day.

*Hugs*
With Love, Ann

Today Is Mighty’s Birthday

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Dear Love,

Eleven years ago when you asked me to be your best friend and saying YES to you was one of the best choices I made at early age. Though it was a roller coaster ride with the ups and downs and some misunderstandings, we still managed to talk things in ways no one can understand but us. It was an argument full of love and care.

Having said that, I am truly grateful for having you around. Giggling with you every single time that we wanna swoon because of the movies we’re watching or books we’re reading has been one of the priceless moments ever!

I have seen you in tears in numbers I cannot count… and you’re lucky because I’m a girl scout with my tissues and handkerchief ready to lend you. And I won’t get tired doing the same in the future – but I’m looking forward for happy tears!

This year has been very good to you… some people were removed from your life but it’s God’s way of saying, “Mighty, my beautiful daughter… I love you and I have no plans on entrusting you to anyone who doesn’t deserve any minute of your time. Let me show you what I have stored for you…” And He just did! He did and still doing things for your betterment! You are truly blessed!

And what more can I say? Well, thank you for always reading my blogs. Can’t wait to read yours too, soon.

I love you Best! May the Lord continue to use you in touching others – in helping them to know Jesus more. You aren’t just my friend, you are my Christian friend and that makes our relationship the best! Let’s continue to serve our good Lord together.

Happy Blessed Birthday Twinny!

*Hugs*
With love, Ann

Dear Heart & Mind, Please BEAR WITH ME!

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I don’t know why I am even typing at this very moment. All I know is that I’m trying to figure out one thing that has something to do with the state of my heart.

There are days like today when I put my thoughts into words because by doing so I’m able to understand what’s happening inside me. Perhaps, this is the very reason why I am writing right now. I am hoping that by writing freely I could be able to at least understand what’s going on.

Yesterday, I was telling Patty, my best friend that I drafted three paragraphs before about her effect on me when she says something and repeats it endlessly… but, I didn’t pursue the idea because I never wanted to think about it anymore. But… what can I say? Well, the thing is, the idea is getting under my skin for days now and though I hate discussing it, I also understand that I have to face it and so I need to write it.

So here it is.

What are you going to do when someone is sending you mixed signals and you can’t decide whether to believe what he says or take his words as a jest? And what will you feel when all these time you’re taking everything as if he says normal things but one day you realized that you are being affected of every lines he’s throwing at you? And worst… how are you going to face the fact that he is your friend?

Well… this is so hard for me. My mind says, “Ann stop writing… you don’t even know what you’re talking about!” However, my heart together with my hands keep on whispering, “Go on… just write. You know Ann, later we’re going to figure things out. Just get a grip.” And then the latter prevails.

Ahhhh. This is so hard! I feel like I’m digging my inner self and I’m putting myself into hot seat which by the way, the prosecutor is none other than me and me alone. See, this is why I wanted to just forget about this and move on but again, I also have to know the truth.

And here’s the truth.

He makes me smile and I trust him in every way possible. He’s a good man. I never saw him as someone more than a friend but… I’m no longer sure if friendship is just the right term to use right now.

Though I am not in love, I cannot guarantee that it won’t happen. Push me more and the probability might get higher… who knows? (What did I just say? Oh no… Now my heart is speaking for me) But on a second thought… Do I want to take the risk?

Fact is, I never thought of seeing things this way until Patty told me that I might be in love to a friend and that she’s smiling endlessly whenever the topic pops out. And because she is my best friend, she has the power to ruin my calm heart. What she’s been up to? Well, she’s been rehashing things over and over nonstop and my shield against her convincing power is now gone. And Mighty, my other friend is backing Patty up. Too bad, even myself is betraying me. (This is another truth). I trust my best friend and therefore I also trust her words. And because I trust her words, I cannot help but agree with her. In short, I’m thinking things through because her words have the power of changing my way of thinking – even my feelings.

I am writing with no particular abstract in mind. I just putting thoughts into words so forgive me if this is some sort of a mess writing… doesn’t matter anyway.

Urgggh.I don’t want to see things differently. I don’t even want to give another color to what he (the guy friend I’m talking about) says. Okay… okay… okay… I have some other guy friends who are doing the same thing but I know there’s nothing behind their words. And him… I don’t know. Maybe… or just please bear with me because I can’t figure things out myself.

It is wrong to assume. So I’ve been reminding myself every now and then that “Hey Ann, you know him for so long and by now you should know better. You have to keep in mind that he used to tell you these things even before, maybe it’s getting extreme for the past few weeks but aren’t you supposed to get used to it by now? Why are you suddenly seeing things differently? Get a grip and forget all of these thoughts!”

Maybe I just need some time… I need my own time away from him (including social networking sites) I need to clear my head up because what scares me is the possibility of ruining our frienship. It won’t happen… I swear never!

Unsure of what to feel… of what to think I decided to pray. And I don’t intend to share my prayers yet.

I may not figured things out until now. But did I accomplish anything by writing what I have in mind? Well… Yes, I feel a lot better.

*This too shall pass*