10 Year Challenge

It’s been years since we were able to wander together. This year, we had an opportunity, so we decided to re-create the photo almost 10 years ago and join 10-year challenge hype early this year. Just for fun :)

Jaramillo Siblings 10Years BeforeTaken at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Minglanilla, Cebu

Jaramillo Siblings 10Years AfterTaken last month at Garin Farm, San Joaquin, Iloilo

Did aging hit us real hard?

We thought it’s more than ageing.
It’s more of the events and the experiences in 10yrs.
Ganap kumbaga!

There were changes, of course, it is inevitable.
2 weddings;
6 more grandchildren for our parents;
Christmases;
A whole lot of birthdays!!!
Not to mention, 2 Miss Universe crowns and another win for Manny Pacquiao

And…

There were life experiences we never thought would happen,
Overseas work;
Work Reduction Program;
Fire Incidents;
Premature birth;
Death of loved ones;

We often call them the ups and downs of life.
We cry, and we smile, and we laugh like there is no tomorrow. Life must go on so better enjoy the ride, eh!

Even after 10 years, we still have a lot to learn and its how we react to the experience we grow. Just like the saying goes that it’s the same boiling water that makes the egg hard and makes the potato soft.

How are you today?

HowAreYouToday

I chatted with my sister last weekend. Remember that sister who experienced fire incident three times? We talked until I asked about how is she doing. I saw her read it  (thank you for “Seen” info in messenger) but I then our conversation unexpectedly stop and I hesitated to ask again.

HowAreYouToday_Chat

Until I got her reply yesterday. Read on…

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It’s been a while since the last time I’ve translated my thoughts to writing, after watching a clip of an interview of Sheryl Sandberg, somehow, something triggered me to write again.
She said, instead of asking “How are you?” to a person who is heartbroken/grieving ask “How are you today?” instead; at the back of my mind, indeed it’s easier to answer the latter.
Let me tell you a short story, I was 10 when my parents lost their house, our home; I was only a child when my first fire incident happened – I had nothing to lose, right? I cried thinking of my schoolwork and school books and that’s all.

Fast forward to 18 years later, I got married, rented a house, we made a home of our own and some years later – poof – second fire incident, house was razed to the ground, all gone. Knees were wobbly as I saw the remains, cried all night and I recovered swiftly.
And as if I forgot all the sadness of losing (our stuffs) when we found out that we are expecting.
I had a normal pregnancy until the baby had an irregular heartbeat and needs to be delivered prematurely – never been so anxious in my entire life – anxious in its superlative form.
As the NICU graduation is nearing – we are at lost as to how to pay the bills since we have nothing to sell and 2-month NICU stay – Only God knows how we did it but we did it – he sent us angels.

And we were fine.
I guess – still recovering from the financial breakdown.
We had normal ups and downs.
We had laughters and tears.

Until, another fire incident happened – never in my wildest imagination, no one was ready for a third.
It was my parents’-in-law property and it’s been our home for some time, my daughter had memories with her late Grandpa there. Nothing was salvaged. We were heartbroken and still we are.
I think I had a mental breakdown – I was unable to function well. I was at lost again and “lost” is an understatement. I feel disconnected. I had to let the feeling out but – how to?
How can I console my husband, my mother-in-law when I feel I’m at my weakest?
Where do I begin?
How do I comfort me?
How do I call my inner strength?
All I did was cry….
Words of comfort poured in, help came in from all directions and in all forms.
Though my yoke is heavy, I know my God is with me and reconnected with Him. We will be okay.
WE WILL BE OKAY!

HowAreYouToday_Kellen

So, if you ask me “How are you?”, I may give you are blank stare and nothing more.

But…. If you ask….

“How are you today?”.

Still struggling but we’ll get by. Better than yesterday. Stronger than ever.

It’s been 3-months now since the fire incident, we’re still heart broken – not that we lost the material things but the thought of losing all the things where you invested time and sweat – it’s heart breaking.
We are slowly putting back the pieces and writing a new chapter.
We may not forget the feeling but things will get better. I know it will.

And by the way….
How are you today?