Mother’s Hands

Mother’s hands

are strong, stubby, smooth and soft.

It touched my forehead
When a fever burned
Massaged my back when I could not sleep
While white ladies floated in my imagination.
It gently caressed me when something hurt,
From a stomach ache,
To a wounded knee from a daring fall
from rollerblading a downward slope.

When I was a little girl
my eyes gazed at her fingers
gracefully scribbling her signature at the cashier counter
watched her draw smiling faces and trees and houses and mountains
observed her cut apple peels
And knead dough for apple pies
Her hands knew everything
For everything her hands touched
Was perfect and polished
Incomparable to the works of my tiny, incapable hands.

Until I learned script at 3rd grade
My drawings turned from sticks to shades and shadows
My fingers learned to strum the guitar at 13
And by college
It could tinker scales and arpeggios on the piano
– eyes closed.
My hands shook President Obama’s
It has traveled far and wide
Packing and unpacking suitcases
From place to place,
(searching for fingers that could intertwine with mine)

It now knows where to go
And which finger to raise
For specific and special occasions.

But many times
My own hands betray me
They have played the wrong notes
wrote terrible poems
Shook hands with politicians
Grabbed things
That were not good for me
And made a terrible mess of myself.
It has learned how to cover my face
Rub my eyes
And wipe my own tears.
Many times,
Cold and clammy,
My hands shake from anxiety
Of the future
Of not knowing what to do,
what to build
Or who and what to keep.

I turn to my mother’s hands
Imperfect hands that
made its own mistakes
And cleaned up
Much of life’s dirt.
Yet still massages my back
On sleepless nights
When demons start to dance in my mind;
Opens the door for me
When I come home at 2am,
Drained and tired, heartbroken
And holds my hands together
When I have lost faith.

My mothers hands
Are stubby, smooth and soft
A little bit wrinkled now, yes
But still with unyielding strength and beauty
I take her palm and trace the lines and curves
That tell the story of her fate
Somewhere in her palms,
I look up to an invisible Almighty,
I’ve been given such honor
To be written in her destiny.

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Wrapping Up 2013

After skimming through my facebook newsfeed on the eve of the 31st of December, I’ve managed to conclude the 2013 highlights of a number of people from my circle of acquaintances and friends. These highlights somehow define my age and generation and this supposedly phase of my life (middle of midlife).

Here are some of them:

Found someone

Got Engaged

Got married

Had babies

Got a new job

Got promoted

Started a business

Moved and migrated elsewhere

Travelled the world

Ive only managed to put a check on the last one. Add: sang loads of songs and met lots of awesome people while was at it! I’d like to think that though there may be only one check on that list, the amount of experience, learning and adventure I had traveling with the Madz largely largely compensates for the things I may be missing out on in my mid-mid-life. I still do get bouts of quarter life blues every now and then but when I think about it and count all the blessings I’ve had this year, I really couldn’t ask for more.

Surprisingly, as opposed to other New Year’s statuses over the past years, more friends have been candid about how 2013 wasn’t their year and how this year was filled with failures, heartbreaks, frustrations  and losses. Perhaps this is so because this is the phase when we are exploring and trying different things; discovering more about ourselves and continuing to improve our skills and potentials.  This is the phase of our lives when our spectrum of experiences and emotions start to boost exponentially to broader and wider ranges. I’ve had my fair share of failures and frustrations and self-doubt this year, too. But I don’t think anyone is an exception to that. I don’t want to dwell and focus on that too much though. I would rather think about what I have been blessed with the past year.

I am thankful that my family is complete and in tact and though my parents have illnesses that come with age, I am thankful that they are managing well and very much alive and spirited. I am thankful for my brothers who may be a pain in the ass at times, but I love and care for them dearly. I thankful that God has provided for everything we need and even more. I am grateful for my set of friends from high school  to college and of course, I am very grateful for my 2nd family, the Philippine Madrigal Singers (Madz). Recently, I was looking at my old CD collection and stumbled upon 2 CDs of the Madz. Back in high school, I never even dreamed I could be a part of the group since it seemed so impossible then. Now here I am… and its been all surreal.

For 2014, I think I will  give up on the mindset that this could be MY year, as everyone hopes for themselves. I don’t even want to make a list of the things I should do, should change and should achieve. This year, I’ll let loose and go with the flow. I do however want to acquire better habits that will make me into a better person. I want to continue to slowly but surely evolve  into the person I want to be, and enjoy life while at it.

As reported in CNN.com, the most hashtagged word in instagram for the year is #LOVE. ❤ Next comes #friends and #family. I do hope it would be carried on to the new year. If you look at life at a wider perspective, those basically are the things that really matter.

For 2014, let LOVE be our defining word. Let love lead the year for us. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

With love,

Cel

Here is a video of one of our many travels for the year – New York City! We covered the song of Sara Bareilles’ “Manhattan”. This experience was definitely one of my highlights for the year 2013. 🙂