Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Story of the Day

My daughter came running to me. Behind her was the man I hadn't seen in years. So weird and unsure to see Karma after six good years. Beyond destiny's bound.

Karma and I dated in college. Lovebirds. Sadly, we parted in a not-so-nice way. I was pregnant when I left college. He couldn't go against his mother who had other plans for him. With an unsure future, I returned home with a degree and a belly.

I was blessed with a cheerful girl. In every bit Lhasen is me - from the way we laugh to the way we poke each other with our toes. Except that she has her [unseen] father's face. His every bit of feature. 

"Sir, don't we look alike?" Lhasen is said to confronted him. Well, this is the upside of having a cheerful girl, one who is easy-to-talk-to and one who wins hearts immediately. 

Imagine this scene: a six-year-old making a big claim, to the man whom she had no idea would be the man written in her destiny. In Karma's words, "Without a knock, this little girl walked into my classroom, gazed for a few minutes and blurted out how similar looking we were. I felt like I was looking at myself."

My family had accepted us wholeheartedly. My parents said they would help me raise Lhasen. It wasn't easy but knowing I had help, I gathered strength to raise her as a single mother. There weren't many occasions where we had to talk about her father and the few times she asked, I told her the truth (with no bitterness). Lhasen accepted early on that her father is alive somewhere, just that he isn't with us.  

And today, she brought him home.

In that flash, my alarm rang. I was to wake up my niece Lilly and had set the alarm few minutes before 8:00 a.m. I certainly couldn't go back to sleep. I tossed and turned for another hour in the bed, trying to make sense of the dream. A dream it was, yet so real. What if it was real? 



Friday, January 13, 2017

Our Princess Bella - the one who brings the best out of everyone: Happiest 4th Birthday

Dearest Lolo,

Your Mama finally sits down to write the annual birthday letter to you.

Yes, I missed your birthday this year around as well, but you and I know we mean well even with the time and distance between us. Watching you celebrate your Bella Birthday with our family made me realize and accept that you are not only my daughter but everyone's. I am always so proud to tell every person I meet that you are the gem of three generations, three families. You gotta be proud of that, darling.

How coincidental that you choose Princess Bella to be your birthday theme this year. I am sure you know the fairy tale already (because you know every story by now) but let me narrate in brief, anyway. Bella represents not only beauty but kindness, love, and patience. She brings the prince out of the beast. She sacrifices for the happiness of others. And in you, I will look forward to these qualities as you grow up to be a woman. I know you will - for what we see in you for now and for what we wish out of you.

Four years since you redefined happiness for us. Four years since you captured our hearts. Four years since you colored our laughter. 

I still remember the day I knew you came to me. I also remember the look on your Papa's face when I shared the news. He was five minutes short of going to Paro for a meeting that morning. I came out and blurted the news. He stood still - so unlike your Papa who likes to stand firm, devoid of any emotion (at least he tries for reasons of his own). In a moment, he held me tight. A new life was born for us. 

The story didn't end there. As the news passed from one ear to the other, everyone in the family wanted to be the best for you. It was like nine months was too long to wait. Impatient. Anxious. Excited. Cautious. Prepared.

You came. Announcing your arrival with the longest labour I can recall. But you came and that mattered. Without that moment, I would have never known the joy of life. A life out of life. Thank you for choosing me to be your mother. 

And now four years? Girl - you are growing up faster than we wish. 

I apologize for being away and for missing the [precious] ten months of your childhood. One day, we will sit in a cafe and look back to this moment. While I will be forever sorry for being away from you, you may see a silver lining - for this separation has groomed you to be more independent than you would have otherwise; for this separation has brought you closer to your Papa; for this separation has gotten you a new best friend (your Grandma); for this separation has made you taller (did you know you have grown three inches taller since I left?); for this separation for brought us closer. Oh, I love you, my girl - no matter what separation between us, you will always be Mama's girl first.

I wish you the best. Thank you for being the light of the house. Under the same sun and the moon, your Mama sends her love and thoughts. 

Signed with love,
Mama for Jan 08, 2016
Woodside, NYC  

Friday, December 16, 2016

Introspection...After a long time

I am struggling with the last assignment for the semester and this is the perfect mood to blog, which is understandable because such "student" moments allow one to reflect upon whys of life - Why am I struggling? Why am I here? Why this? Why that? Why why

Let me start by admitting this - crowd doesn't fascinate me anymore. I get tired easily (and look out for spaces to enjoy a quiet moment). What others brand as "indoor person", I think I am getting introverted! No, if you think "age" is catching up with me, you are not even close. The only time I felt "old" was when a student gasped, "You go to college? You are too old for college!" Thank you, how insightful. Other than that, I still have the legs to wear dresses.
View from my room

When I was born in the mountains, the gene to withstand the cold was purposefully excluded. I don't know what it is called (haven't read Biology since my high school) but I know I don't have that even to this day. This explains why snow scares me, more so the snow storm predicted tonight. I am staying in, by all reasons. The fifth day of the third snowfall in Minnesota looks too tempting for a hot cup of coffee and less for a stroll down the road. I am exercising my creativity by taking pictures from my bedroom window. 

Saying so, it makes me sad [sometimes] to be this far away from home, from family and friends, and from work. I woke up to a skype call with Lolo, who by now knows I won't be home for sometimes. She has ceased to ask about my return. Instead, she focuses on what she has learned in my absence - nursery rhymes, songs, dances, new words, and new tricks. She is smart - a blessing that is helping both of us cope with the distance.

I should mention my husband KP as well, a man who has earned his credibility of being a good father. The few times we talk on skype (we are distanced not only by the miles in between but also by the time zone. 12 hours is half a day, right?) KP reassures nothing to worry about. His emails are always signed off with, "All good here. All is well." On return and for a long time, I promise no fights. [Ha]. On a serious note, yes, we have reached that level of maturity in our relationship that we understand each other pretty well.

Family is a given source of joy and I am thankful for my big fat (literally) family. I couldn't have asked more. Big family is big help. My brothers and sister are around to fill in, especially this time when I am not home. Such big help. I am grateful. More so for taking such great care of our parents and my Lolo. 

All right. That was quite a lot of introspection. 

My assignment is still due. 
Time is ticking. 
Sun is setting. 
Snow is not melting. 
I am going for a coffee break. 
Until next time.