September 30th ended with my family going to Aunt Lydia’s surprise birthday party. The remaining matriarch of many families will be celebrating her 90th birthday on October 1st, but nothing gathers the gang together like weekends and good food and lots of gratitude, and this was what happened. You know, when you reach the grant 90, you’ll have many things to be thankful for, that is, if you still remember them. And Aunt Lydia remembered well. At last, when the glasses toast, when the messages were spoken, the grand stood in the middle, and made even a funnier joke.

September made me think about life and how I’ve been living it. When you’re at my age, you’re supposed to know where you stand. Built a house. Made a family. I have none of that; I only managed to slip through the small holes and the limestone paths of El Nido. I just wrote a book about a story that has followed me ten years since. And I, like my beloved Old Rosa in the book, survived storms. Like, literally.

If I’m to wind up the entire month in a nutshell, here’s what I should be grateful that happened:

  • I ate bibingka and puto bumbong first thing just when the -Ber month lands
  • I queried, then realized H&S needed a massive overhaul, and with a hole in my heart, I closed the book about my former Qs and started, for real, anew
  • Visited two funerals in one day before the grand storm Ompong. Also, met people who turned out to be distant relatives
  • Had a very comfy ride to El Nido, where we spent three days in the beach-tipped island, and where we got to talk to amazing people, soaked in amazing sights, went to Puerto Princesa where Pastor Jay and kuya Jojo helped us with our airport troubles, and went home carrying kilos of danggit
  • Went back home and went back to work, finally had a haircut
  • Listened to local music, wrote a song for Marcus del Rios, and somehow my heroine turned out to be nasty, but I loved her for it
  • Finished my September edits, and I’m ready for October

Not much, but not bad

All the while, God has been teaching me patience, and on my part, patience was learnt in the most beautiful way. Sunday Schools were less stressful. I even had a pep talk with the SIUMC kids on Sunday, because nope, I’m not going to be silent about a little boy’s addiction to watching x-things. Like the prophet Ezekiel, the burden of speaking out is on the one who knew what’s right, and I’m not pursing my mouth, even to sensitive things.

These kids should be saved from their future, possibly not-so-good selves.

In the last week, I started waking up early, like 4 am, and I realized it’s lovely to write when you’re up earlier than the morning. The sky is still dark, my neighbor still hasn’t played their regular playlist, and I could finish a lot more things instead of dragging myself at night. I am, after all, a morning person.

I’ve had a lot of failures this week, but if there’s anything that saved my butt, it’s God’s grace, ever and always. And should I have been scared about my savings, I know He’s going to provide a way for me to provide for myself. Trust, I guess, blossomed full well in this season, especially when I rode boats and kayaks when I couldn’t even lie flat on the water to swim. And trust is where I, somehow, gained a better perspective of people. And of God’s way of working through the background.

When we got home last night, the only prayer in my heart is that my parents, like Aunt Lydia, would stay strong, physically and mentally-wise, as they age. Because nothing makes you feel alive than remembering beautiful things. Which is why I record them. Because I want to remember. And maybe, remembered.