The Promise of Spring

On Good Friday, April 6, I brought my little tyke to the office as it was the start of his spring break.  It was also a short day for me since I was invoking my religious right to end the day early.  We went out for our usual lunch date but decided to eat in Bryant Park instead.  It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining up high but not too brightly.  The wind had a pleasant chill that made it perfect.  We sat and ate.  Before and after lunch, we took pictures.

The tulips are back.  They are abloom and at my favorite stage —  just gorgeous.  I have always loved this time of the year when the bare trees of winter sprout new leaves and the flowers of spring come out.  Manhattan comes alive with the splendor of spring.  Tulips and daffodils in all shades and colors are everywhere.  The trees sprout their blooms — and you have to catch them quick because they change hues overnight and drop to the ground before you know it.

We enjoyed taking pictures of the tulips which were almost translucent when shot from below or ground level instead of from above.  The sun shone through their petals and made them look like they were almost glowing.  See what I mean?

When it gets warmer the tulips will be gone.  They only really survive in slightly cooler but not exactly cold weather.  Just after the so called last frost of spring, they bloom.  I love them best when they are wide open and don’t quite look like the bulbs we are familiar with.  They open to the world and show their beauty even if only momentarily.  Once fully open, the tulips eventually wilt and shed their petals.

I haven’t been here much lately.  I come in, take a peek, think of what to write, then just decide my heart’s not in it.  I actually have a ton to write about — at least half a dozen stories from the trip home, and half a dozen stories again from after I came back.  It’s just that too many things have been happening, my mind (and my heart) can’t quite keep up.

The tyke’s party is just around the corner — and I’ve been busy handwriting invitations from the party place he’s having his bash at.  I think I’ve bit off more than I can chew by promising to make him polymer clay souvenirs, more so since the character(s) of the moment are not exactly rendered easily:  Transformers Prime.  Hmmmmm… Let’s see if I can pull this off.

And last week, I just realized my etsy shop, GothamChick is actually on hibernation as well, as all the products have ‘expired’ and not been renewed.  * sigh * I haven’t really been there since I went on vacation last December.  I am creating again because I want to participate in a flea market at my local church here in Bayside end-April, and maybe after that, I can resurrect the shop again.  (Maybe I should concentrate on “GothamChick” instead of “PinayNewYorker” as my personal brand? — another thought.)

At least my reading has been progressing well — although I’ve been starting books right and left and have not finished anything. LOL… the curse of the Kindle — you can just leave your bookmark and jump to the next book!  The good news is that I’m progressing well on the spiritual side — I am actually attacking this on two fronts, and I’m proud to say I’m finally reading the Bible as I have always wanted to seriously do the past couple of years.  Still not quite as religiously as I’d like to– but I’m off to a good start.

I’ve also been seriously thinking about whether or not  if PinayNewYorker (the blog) has reached the end of its journey.  Perhaps it’s time to move on to something new — not exactly blogging.  Perhaps it’s just time to give it a rest and bow out, fading quietly into the night as they say.  Still just thought — not a plan at this point.

Do I start another blog?  Do I just resurrect one of the other blogs I have which have been “in hibernation”?  Do I think of something totally new to migrate to and move houses so to speak?  Or maybe I’ll just stay put.  I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately, and it’s just something that keeps popping up.  But when I think about how I’ve invested practically 8 years into this blog — and I’ve put so much of my heart and soul into Pinay New Yorker — it’s not such an easy decision to make.  Still, reinventing or evolving is something I’m doing right now, and as much as this blog is such a part of my life, I can’t help but put it on the block for re-evaluation as well.

New York is beginning to warm up.  Heading for my favorite part of the year which is summer — when the temperatures in my home state approximate Manila’s.  Not quite the same — but close enough.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to enjoy spring.  It’s a full season but it’s fleeting and reminds me that time passes by so quickly.  It catches you off guard, and you just find that the beautiful colors of spring are gone and the trees are bathed in green again instead of the rainbow of spring colors.  The colors remain, but not quite as dramatic a change of scenery as when the barren trees of winter transform into the magical look that spring gives the landscape.  It’s one of those things that falls into that category of “before you know it…”.

Almost Friday and thinking of Dad

Written on Thursday

I think I know how Angelo feels now when he asks if the weekend is near on a Monday morning.  I’m looking forward to the weekend because of two reasons: we’re going to get 80s weather, and more importantly, Alan is coming back from a week-long business trip in the City of Lights again.

It was easier this time around, and I’m glad he’ll be here after just another “sleep” (Angelo speak there..).  I’m already planning dinner.  (Reminder to self: FreshDirect!)  For some reason, my mother-in-law would always have a hospital emergency each time Alan leaves for Europe, and it was just such a relief that this wasn’t the case this time around.

I am already thinking about the different things we can do over the weekend, and I’m starting a list of things I hope to accomplish in those 48 hours.  I haven’t even started writing that down yet and I’m already wishing I had an extra 24 hours to go.

Two days ago, I called my Dad to find out how he was doing.  It was something I had been postponing for a while now, and we last spoke during my birthday at the beginning of the month.  He seemed to be doing better judging from the tone of his voice.  He said he’s doing okay, his bedsores have healed and he is still unable to go down to the ground floor but he is walking around his room little by little.  He has also been able to extend his “two-oxygen-tanks-a-week” to one tank a week.  It went well and it was a heartwarming conversation except that he started asking when I would visit again.

After taking three trips to Manila in a span of 17 months, it was not hard for me to say I cannot make any immediate plans because I haven’t quite recovered from the financial burden of those three trips.  I didn’t even mention that there is the additional obligation to catch up to the costs of his two hospitalizations.  I just wanted to dwell on the fact that he was doing better.  He seemed to be in high spirits.

I haven’t stopped thinking about his words since we spoke — I keep hearing him saying “Hindi na pala tayo magkikita..”  I didn’t even push the subject matter because I know Dad can get emotional and he seemed okay as we spoke.   The thought has weighed heavily on me, but I feel helpless in the face of all the obligations I have to meet.  I could’ve made a promise to try, but that would be an empty promise that I know is next to impossible to keep.  All I can do is pray that he lasts until I get to go home again.

Although my own mother-in-law who is turning 80 years old in a few days is pretty mobile and is not bedridden like my father, I try to do my part in caring for her by making sure her food supply is current, and that I prepare healthy meals for her.  There are moments when I cannot help but wish it was my own Dad I was taking care of instead.  I wish..

I don’t even want to think about when I will see my father again.  I just know I will try to talk to him more often.  This just one of the many adjustments of being so far away from everyone else.  I try to convince myself that I had two chances to take care of him when he was weakest.

Try as I might to figure out a way to pay Dad another visit soon (meaning in the next 12 months), the thought of it is simply beyond me.  Of course there’s that one in a million chance of actually snagging some price or other in the lotto, but realistically speaking, crossing the oceans to my other favorite part of the world is just out of the question.  (Big sigh.)

The thought makes a knot form in my chest which I wish away with a prayer.  I cannot ask for more after God had so generously afforded me not one but two chances to be with Dad.  I have been luckier than most, I know.  Others pine and cry in the face of the same circumstances but I cried and yet was able to hold his hand.

So will I be brave and resign myself to the fact that the next time I will go home will probably be to bring Dad to his resting place?  The eternal optimist in me says no.  God works in mysterious ways as He had shown by way of the miracles both big and small that I have been witness to.  All I can say is, His will be done.

It’s late and the bus drivers are all griping about the traffic jams they waded through to get back to Manhattan.  I’m finally on my way home but I’m going to be very late.  I will get  home soon enough to one of two reasons that convinces me my life and place is here in New York.  I cannot hold Dad, but I sure can hug my son.. And tomorrow evening, my other half.