Remember me, Anna

It has been 8 years. I have no idea how we all climbed out of our grief but here we are.

Should I remember you with sadness? No. I remember you with love. You were very much loved, Echik. You still are.

A lot has happened since then. Would you believe that I went to stay with Mommy and Dad? I even dated and now I have a boyfriend.

Here’s even bigger news. Joshua has a girlfriend now! Were you surprised? We all were. 😁😁😁

Chongee is also dating now. That should take the cake. Can you imagine our baby sister getting lovey-dovey with anyone? I know, right? Boggles the mind.

Liam is growing up well. He’s so tall now, Chik. I’m sure he will be as tall as you are or even more so. Much like you, he’s quiet and well behaved. Unlike my little one who is now 10 years old!

Echik, I wish you’re happy there in heaven. We are doing what we can here amidst this pandemic. We also have family devotional every weekend. It’s nice. Somehow, it also makes me miss you more.

Do you miss us? Do you remember me? Do you think of us? I don’t know. I want to believe that you don’t. I want you to be carefree and happy there. I want you to be at peace.

I know you have lived as fearlessly as you could. You also never lost your faith and your strength. You were confident and brave. You continue to inspire me and make me strive to be a better mom, a better sister and a better daughter.

I miss you, Anna. I love you. We will continue to pray for you. I hope you wil continue to pray for us, too.

I love you, Echik. You’re forever in our hearts.

Missing Chikki

Dearest Echik,

Happy birthday!

I know you’re well. You’re with Jesus and truly happy with Him.

I’m writing to tell you that I miss you. I miss you so much.

A lot of things have happened and some of those things, I need your guidance and advice.

I will not write it here because I know you know what I mean.

Liam is growing up well. You can thank Josh and Chongee for that. They look out for him and care for him. Of course, only you can love him the best.

When we were there in Manila, I did my best to shower him with all the love you would have wanted him to feel. He’s a great kid, Chik. You should be proud.

He takes after you. He’s so tall. He’s now 4 ft and 9 inches at 9 years old. 2 more inches and we will have the same height.

I just want you to know that I miss you. Please continue to look after our family, especially Mommy.

I think that I’m liking someone and I hope you’ll look into his heart and find out for me if we are a match. I guess it is something we both failed to experience, the love of a good man. So I don’t know if this is a chance for me to have that for both of us.

I miss you. I know you will be the first to tell me if I’m being weird about the things happening or if I should just surrender it all to God. I’m sorry your older sister simply can’t leave it alone. This is why I still look to you for advice.

Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being there for me always.

Happy birthday, my Chikki.


Ate Jing

Gone too soon

I was running late. For the first time, I left my watch at home. I have no idea what the time was. I thought to myself, “It’s okay. I’m mad at time, anyway.”

I was rushing everything and went to the covered court where the rest of the student body was. It was time for our flag ceremony.

I walked with my head down. I did not want to meet anyone’s eyes and have to answer why I’m not made up or why my eyes were swollen. Still, I had to answer politely for every “Good morning, teacher.” a student says.

The ceremony just about started. My phone started to beep incessantly. I answered it immediately after I saw that it was my other sister Monina who calling.

I said hello and then I broke down and cried.

My sister Anna died at 7:10 am on July 10, 2012.

It was literally like someone punched me in the stomach. I have always thought that writing those words now was a cliche but now I realize that the truth literally hurt.

I ran away from everyone and went to the faculty room to simply bawl my eyes out.

After explaining to the assistant principal what has happened, I took a leave of absence, bought a ticket for Manila and packed.

Now, I’m done with the packing. I was rummaging for pictures of my sister and me and realized that I don’t have much.

Why did I have to take so many stupid pictures of places I have been when I should have taken more pictures of my sister?!? 

Note to self. You can’t take too many pictures of your family.

This is an awful post because it’s an awful time. I hate the fact that she’s gone. I hate it. I know that she’s at peace now. No more pain. No more suffering. She has been an angel here on earth. She never complained to me about what she’s going through. Not once. She was just happy.

I can’t even be happy for her.

I’m such a terrible sister.

Between the two of us, she acts more mature and was simply wonderful. She was a calm soothing presence in any room. She loves unconditionally and waits patiently for everyone.

I remember teasing her about this one guy who kept looking at her during church service. She blushed furiously and denied that the guy wanted to know her name or make chit-chat. She was such an innocent, still.

I miss her. A lot.

I love you, Echick. Always and forever.

Please share this to help my sister Anna

This is a fundraising project for my sister, Anna Carmela, 23 years old, single mother who was diagnosed with Leukemia.

This is a fundraising project for my sister, Anna Carmela, 23 years old, who is a single mother to her two year old son. They are living in Manila, Philippines.

She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia last March 2011. She had already undergone several chemotherapy sessions, blood transfusions and six bone marrow biopsies (with Minimal Residual Disease) from May to November of the same year.

By the end 2011, her Hematologist confirmed that she was in complete remission already and was about to start a three-year maintenance medication of two oral chemotherapy medicines.

My whole family thought and knew that it was already the end of her fight with cancer. But then, by May of this year 2012, she had experienced several complications/infections. She had Herpes Zoster for almost 2-3 weeks and a Hand Foot Syndrome for 2 weeks. Her two oral chemotherapy medicines were immediately put to a stop for the doctor said that these infections might be already due to a drug induction.

So for almost 3 weeks, my daughter had no chemo meds aside from her anti-anemia vitamin and some antibiotics. When she returned for a follow-up check-up, all of her blood counts dropped very low. The doctor immediately said that she needs to undergo another bone marrow biopsy to know her latest condition. The results showed that her cancer is back with a 93% blast population. Yes, she was in relapse. But this time, the Hematologist was not yet sure if she relapsed in ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) alone because her bone marrow results showed some positive myeloid markers which may lead to AML (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia).

She is now in a LALLA 94 protocol. She will undergo a more severe treatment which will run for 4 months. Hopefully after that, she will reach complete remission again. For if not, the last resort would be being a candidate for a Bone Marrow Transplant. We really need all the support (spiritually and financially) we can get to help her fight this battle.

All proceeds of this fundraising project will be used for my daughter’s medical expenses there in the Philippines including: chemotherapy sessions, hospitalization, doctor’s fees, blood & platelet transfusions, and future bone marrow biopsies.

2 Corinthians 9:7
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”.

Just when we think there is no hope, God reaches down and says, “Take My hand and let Me lead the way. Be still and know I am God and we can do this together.”

Believing that God is our Hope, Healer, and Provider.

God bless everyone! 🙂