Sunday, March 21, 2010


After uploading some photos on FB today I realized that today was 1) one of those perfect Sundays and 2) my husband is really my best friend.  You can't plan perfect days.  You can hope your one day off is relaxing and try and make it that way, but truly awesome days just come together somehow. I slept in this morning even though Wayne had to go to work super early, but at around 9am he came back from work with a triumphant , "it was canceled!" Yippee, we slept in later :)   At noon, we got the kids in the car and took a road trip to find some of Saipan's more popular landmarks.  The girls got to see some places they'd never been to before and I realized that there may not be much to do on Saipan, but that's proportionately dependent on what what you value to be worthwhile. Sometimes you just have to get out and find your bliss.  We make it a point to do things that the kids can get actively involved in, but our usual beach Sunday turned out even better on the road. 
One thing I love about my husband is the fact that we have fun doing even the most mundane of things. Maybe fun is not the word.  We enjoy each others' company no matter what it is we are doing.  That's both new and amazing to me.  As we prepared dinner, I caught myself thinking how great it was to share a task with someone who loves being with me.  We laughed and joked, chopped and mixed and by the time we were done we had a great meal prepared in the time it took the kids to finish their dvd.  After dinner, the kids took over the cleaning and we sat outside in the cool Papago air together.  I love that we laugh.  I don't remember ever being like this and I'm grateful for my best friend.  A lot of times we can't wait for Fridays and we spend our whole week counting down the days, but if every Sunday were like this, Fridays would definitely get bumped off my TGI list.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Even more than anything

Sometimes I hesitate to wear my faith on my sleeve because I still selfishly harbor so much animosity towards Christians who affected my faith and the subsequent decisions I made about how to demonstrate my own love for a God I know is real.  Then there are times like now when my prayers are bouncing off the walls and I know it's of my doing.  And, I can only sit and mourn the fact that I've separated myself because of what others, not the Lord has done.  So before I could chicken out of writing this post because I am afraid of what you think I am typing furiously and making a conscious decision not to care.  Because there is something sad and achy in my heart and I know exactly what is missing. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You don't send me love letters anymore

Are you old enough to remember what it was like to pick up letters at the post office?  When good news and bad news came in an envelope penned and sealed by human touch? I remember the anticipation of it all, checking each day to see if I got mail.  When it finally came, I would hold it in my hand and try to guess by the bulk of it how many pages there would be.  I'd put my letter in my bag like a wrapped up Christmas present, eager to get home and find a quiet place to unwrap it.  You can read a letter over and over again, marvel at the penmanship, scour the meaning between lines, stare at it as though it had eyes to reciprocate feeling.  They were kept safe in special boxes, tucked away for special times you needed them.  The more you read them the better they got, though tattered and faded.  They were precious artifacts of life, each printed letter emitting the energy and life of the sender.  I don't feel that way about email today! Email I want to hang by the personified fingernails and archive in the box labeled "execution".  I want to spam every correspondence that doesn't come from a breathing human being.  I want to delete the blinking daylights out of every ad in my incoming!! 
I'm supposed to be home resting.  Tap, tap, tap.  Beside the fact that I look 6 months pregnant from the post-op swelling, I'm supposed to take it easy and heal properly.  Tap, tap, tap.  There's just one little problem.  My email inbox.   Each time I go to check my mail is like walking into a matrix, flashing data that transports me to a virtual desk piled high with demands..  I can't ignore the memos and notices, the scheduled trainings, due dates for submission and requests for data.  I mean I could.  I could just not log on and pretend I live in some technologically deprived country, but who am I kidding?  There's some kid in a barangay in Mabini playing the latest version of Final Fantasy XIII online right now.  What's my excuse? The same place I go to find out if Old Navy has Spring Faves for Girls on sale is where I also find out I'm non-compliant in my submission of report #287.  And the mental checklist begins, huge stick-on chart paper on the wall of my mind that constantly flickers neon warnings "Due Now! Due Now!"  Every notification begs an answer to the question, "didn't you get my email?"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pushing 40 is better than pushing up daisies

I'm 39.  There, I said it out loud.  I sat in the holding room of the Manila airport waiting for the flight back home.  I don't know why I was thinking of my age.  I remember looking at 30 something year old women as a teenager and dreading the day I was that old.  I wanted to be worldly and witty, like the cast of thirtysomething, but only at the age of 18.   Now I am that old and I look around and realize I will one day be middle aged.  I looked around for some 40something year old women and wondered if I'd look like that one day, then wondered what that was. They looked happy.  They looked ... like they had seen too many things. 
I've never been afraid of getting older before.  I don't think I'm afraid now, not so much the physical part of aging anyway.  I listened to their conversations.  They were more substantial than mine; less about dreams and plans, more about family and life already lived.  Am I being overly dramatic? Will I stop talking about my dreams one day?  I can feel my heart pounding.  I don't want to settle, to sit around and talk about what I did and what I could have done; what went well and what I wished I could have avoided, no. 
Maybe I'm feeling this way because I have time sitting in my room healing, not being busy, not occupied enough to forget there are things I don't want to think about.  Like wasting time.  Like wasting life. A friend says it might be a sign that I need to slow down and look at things a little longer. The OCD part of me wants to start a bucket list, but the flesh and blood Boni part of me thinks that's really truly overly dramatic.  Still, I can't help but think of the things I want to do still.  There are big things like I want to write a children's book.  There are semi-big dreams like traveling to Greece.  Then there are the dreams you can't control like I want to see my children grow up to be kind and successful men and women.  I want to always wake up in the morning excited to go work.  I want to feel loved and give love each day that I have breathe in me.
I don't want to think of the nevers, who wants to dwell on the unpleasant?  A friend says it's our experiences who make us who we are.  I'll be whoever it is I was who endured whatever it was that came my way... no matter what.  Perhaps that's what both frightens and fascinates me.

Monday, March 8, 2010


What's that? That's SPAM at Burger King! I can handle red rice at KFC, but this is a bit too much for my taste.  It's a good example of regional branding though, but I'm not sure it's the best.  This was on an enormous billboard right outside St. Luke's Medical Center.  Perhaps another way to keep the hospital in business?  Breakfast and a bypass anyone?
Here I am getting prepped for my cholecystectomy.  I left the hospital bruised up, but feeling better than I expected.  At one point right after surgery the nurse left to get my bedpan.  That's about the time I decided to get dressed and make a run for it.  A laporascopic cholescytectomy is non-invasive surgery for which I was glad.  I don't think I could have taken more than a couple of days cooped up in a hospital room. 
 The view from our hotel on the 16th floor.  They say that when a storm comes the skies are blue.  I didn't see a horizon for a week and the noise was almost unbearable at night, but it was clean and had warm water for showers.  The Regalia Suites is pretty new, and nicely maintained.  I hope that in a few years it will still be the same. 
This is Ashley and Christine.  Christine is the daughter of our nanny, Auntie Emma. Ashley is her first grandchild.  They came on a bus from Cavite to meet us.  I've met Emma's other son Christopher on other trips to Manila.  Ashley didn't say a word to me the entire time we were together, but I'm told she had plans to practice her English.  Maybe next time. 
 We offered to drive them back to Cavite because we wanted to get out of Manila and see new places, but Ashley had some plans to visit for a while so Wayne took me on a drive to Tagaytay to see the volcano.  There were beautiful flowers and fruits along the roadside.  The two hour drive each way did some good to cure boredom.  If you stay in Manila too long you might think that's all there is to the Philippines.  Busy streets, pollution and noise are part of all big cities everywhere in the world.  It was nice to see a different side.  I'd love to stay in Tagaytay one day.  Tagaytay is famous for the volcano and pineapples.

I never knew the true meaning of what it was like to be stuck in traffic until the four hour drive from Cavite to Manila. The drive normally takes two hours, but Erwin our driver said that it's always stop and go traffic on the weekends and the streets are always empty when Manny Pacquiao is fighting. 

My honey and I broke some rules and took a walk right before my surgery.  If it weren't for him I'd be in so much more pain, but he managed to get my butt up from my hospital bed the day after surgery and kept me occupied, which meant keeping my mind off the pain.  For the first time in my life I am learning to be cared for, it's a weird feeling but I think I can get used to it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

5 Reasons you should never eat anything fibrous at the Mall of Asia

1.  The stalls do not DO NOT (did I say don't?) have toilet paper in them!  The toilet paper dispenser is right there at the entrance of the bathroom.  So you are standing at the dispenser with a hoard of women waiting to get your goods while everyone watches to see how much you get.  Hmmm...
2.  OK, where the heck is the toilet seat?  There are no men to blame for leaving it up.
3.  You may know how to do squats and you may be potty trained, but when you have to suddenly demonstrate physical knowledge of the combined tasks? Now that's a challenge.
4.  The bathroom attendants.  There are two.  They stay in there the whole time chismising.  Talk about ruined concentration and diminished sense of dignity.
5.  There is no such thing as a paper towel dispenser anywhere in sight.  I'm still peeling off the toilet paper residue I had to use to dry my hands with  after washing them.
YUCK!  From now on I am only drinking water.  That's my gripe for today. 
Aside from the CR culture shock, the trip is going well. We scored a great hotel, Regalia Towers.  It's  missing a few amenities, but it's clean.  My only real complain there was the slow service, but you find that everywhere in Manila.  Hurry up and wait, like the Military, only no one's yelling at you, they're just silently pretending you don't exist.  Wayne and I spent 8 hours at the hospital running from center to center, back and forth from the doctor's office to the insurance department just to confirm what two trips to the ER had previously made evident. I am so glad my husband is patient because my blood pressure was steadily rising as the hours ticked away.  We're sitting at Starbuck's resting a bit before we have to pack up for the night's stay at St. Luke's.  Tomorrow morning I will get wheeled into surgery.  The doctor says there are enough stones in my gallbladder for a rosary.  Praying it all goes well, maybe that's a good sign right?