Sun, sun, sun!!

I started writing this post earlier today when the sun was shining full force.  I was sort of expecting an “extended day” like we had last Thursday when the sun shone brightly way past the usual 4pm dimming.  Alas the sun grew tired early today and bowed out as the clouds started creeping upon us mid-afternoon.

I was trying to make the most of the sunshine streaming into New York today.  I’m hoping I can wish the snow away — weather forecast has us being buddies with the cold again the rest of the week beginning tomorrow.  The tyke was complaining when he heard the forecast this morning.  Why are we getting snow again, he asked?  Well, because it’s winter. 

Not that we have to worry about shovelling, but the commute to work is never easy when the ice is still lining the sidewalk as it was today.  Dropping off Angelo, we had to find a “break” in the snow embankment on the sidewalk so he can step to the dry portion.  And of course it means continuing to dress for the slushy business of walking around in ice-laden streets.  Picture us in our suits and wool coats with the unsightly yet uber comfortable sheepskin (faux or original) boots to help us walk safely and warmly through the snow.  I had finally put my pair aside and braved the day wearing my leather boots this morning.  No 4 inch heels, though.  I go for comfy.

So I think “warm” thoughts.  Like the beaches of Laiya.. the heat of Greenbelt.. (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 — take your pick!).. the traffic and smog of Manila.  I’m homesick again as you can see.  Early this morning I exchanged e-mails with my sister-in-law.  Dad is fine, she says.  A bit emotional but otherwise eating okay.  They tried calling me when they were there but I was deep asleep thanks in part to the meds I loaded up on to help my body cope with the onslaught of an asthma attack waiting to happen.  We’ll try again.

Back to reality and time to think about what’s cooking for dinner.  My brain, I think, has been numbed dumb by the threat of more cold weather.  I am not particularly inspired to create any culinary masterpieces tonight.  Perhaps some Pinoy Spaghetti (read: Sweet)– or I have a special porterhouse cut I have in the freezer.  I have side dishes galore.  I just have to nail the main dish first.

I miss Dad.  I have been starting an e-mail I’m hoping one of my siblings can read to him for days now but I am just not into it.  Close as we are, ours is a very complicated relationship.  It seems all attempts to simplify things and uncomplicate our lives just keeps leading to more entanglements.  Talk about family drama.

I know we keep telling ourselves we’ll do better than our parents did.  But as I type away here, and thinking about Dad now as he is probably still asleep in Manila just waking up to the sounds of the jeepneys coming and going beneath his second floor window, I must say I still feel lucky I had Dad as my Dad, no matter how he may not have been a perfect father or a perfect man.  For all his faults and shortcomings, he taught me how to be generous with my love, he gave me my first glimpses of how to be a leader.  His sense of humor gave me optimism which has helped me countless times through the toughest days of my life. 

Twice in the last 12 months, fate has been kind and has afforded me the chance to be by his side when he needed me most.  I wish I could be there but our separation reminds me that I have my own life now, and much as I long to be back where I grew up and be amongst family, I now have a family of my own, 10,000 miles away.

Snow.  Sunshine.  Missing home.  Life has a funny and uncanny way of reminding us of the things that matter in the everyday things we encounter.  So let the snow fall if it must come.  I have my boots to keep my feet warm.

Dad holding Abril as we posed for a photo, ca. 1970
Dad holding Abril as we posed for a photo, ca. 1970
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