Making Memories

I was blessed to have joined a homeschool support group in our church last Monday. That was the second time I’m sitting in the Monday group. The first time  I attended was two years ago and I was overwhelmed by the amount of preparation the moms do in the group. At first I thought the group is a venue where I can relax, kick off my shoes and just chat with the other moms. I realized these moms were dead serious in what they were doing. They taught the kids Geography, Art, Music, and PE. Kids also had a lot of work to do at home. That was too much for me, I thought. So I opted not to join the group at all.

My experience last Monday was different from the first one because there were no lessons or reports to be presented. It was their Moms’ Day. A day of respite for moms and day of playing, as usual, for the kids.  During Moms’ Day they don’t teach but have devotions, sharing, exercise and of course fellowship instead.

Cecile, the mom who led the devotion that morning took a passage from the book of John where Mary poured out a jar of expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and used her hair to wipe off.

John 12:3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar[b] of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

Mary knew that what she did cost her a lot. In fact, she was ridiculed by Judas, saying the cost of the perfume could have fed the poor. But Jesus, who knew Mary’s intention, rebuked Judas and praised Mary for honoring Him that way.Mary was passionate about that seemingly simple act that she even used her own hair to wipe off the perfume. She probably have saved and prepared for the jar for a long time because she knew what was the purpose of the perfume and that to honor the Lord.

Cecile also  reminded us to look back at the reason for homeschooling the kids. Have I lost the passion to teach them? Do I still face each homeschooling day prepared? Or do my kids run around the house because they don’t know what to do and my chores are choking me. Have I forgotten my first priority? In this season of my family’s life, my priority and calling is to teach them. Have I allowed myself to be sucked in to the mundane things of life and neglect one of the most important things? That devotion gave me time to rethink, refocus, reboot.

The chores will always be there. The laundry will always get piled up. The dishes will always need washing. But time spent with the kids can never be neglected. They will only be little once and soon they will grow up, mature and leave our nest and be on their own. What kind of memories am I making with my children? Will they remember me as the mom who continued to encouraged them even if they feel they are losers? Or will they remember the mom who acts like a possessed woman ready to devour them? How about remembering me as the mom who was neck-deep in household chores that I neglected reading a book to them or even laughing with them?

Precious time is lost if we intentionally put other things before the needs of the children. We can never buy back time. The opportunity to love them, influence them and find magic moments is gone once we let time pass.

One of the fun things I remember about my own Mommy is that every night when my brother and I were still young, she would let us go up their bed. She would pretend that all of us were riding this huge ship but sharks were swimming around the vessel. So, we would curl up beside and pretend to be really frightened.

I am now enjoying the same “drama scene” with Coby and Jianne. I would tell them to stay in our bed and  tell them that sharks are around us so we should stay close and hug each other real tight so the shark won’t get us. Then I would say out loud, “Shark! Shark! Shark!” Not only is this so enjoyable for them but it’s also a way for me to remember some good days of childhood with my Mommy.

shaarkkk!

shaarkkk!

What’s your favorite childhood memory with your parents? How do you make memories with your own kids?

 

Gone Too Soon

A Time for Everything Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Today, I lost a dear uncle to liver cancer. He was only 47 years old.

Growing up in the 80’s was fun. I have fond memories of spending our summer vacation at my grandfather’s house. Technically, it was the ancestral house of my mom’s family. It was owned by my great grandparents then when they migrated to the United States my grandfather and his family moved there. Also living in that house were my aunts and uncles. One of them was my Kuya Charlie.

We were still in grade school when I first met him. He was out of high school or in college that time, I couldn’t remember anymore. I recall seeing him every afternoon riding his black BMX bike. If he is not pedaling, he would be running wearing those very short running shorts. I would always tease him then because of his outfit.

There were also times when the kids (me, my younger brother, my young aunt and uncle) would goof around with him. He would let us record our conversations over his portable tape recorder and we would play it over and over and laugh at ourselves. He would also tell ghost stories with a comedic twist. I’ve known him for being a funny person. He would always make me laugh.

I would sometimes go to his room and listen to music or tinker at some of his world war memorabilia. I would also go to his room when I’m in a singing mood and he would let me use his cassette player. After belting my heart out to my favorite songs, he would ask me if my tooth hurts. Puzzled by his concern, I would him why. Then he would say, “Oh, I thought you have a toothache because I thought I heard you crying!” Hahaha

My family also lived in the ancestral home but only for a year. When we left, I never saw him again. Many years had passed and we were reconnected with him. This time he had his own family. I don’t know what happened but we lost communication again. We would often hear about each other through my grandfather but we rarely saw each other. Two years ago, his wife died of a heart attack. I went to visit him and his kids at the wake of his wife. Since that time, we have been communicating a lot. In fact, we would see each other regularly because they came to me for dental treatment of his son, my cousin.

Late last year, he was complaining of migraine and frequent body pains. I told him to consult with the doctor. A month after, I was alarmed by his significant weight loss. He said it was probably because of the stress in his business. Soon after I received a text message from him stating he has a tumor in his liver. He never mentioned the severity of his condition. He didn’t want to let anyone know about his condition because he didn’t want them to worry. Cancer has taken over his liver and his lungs. Until he could no longer bear the pain and passed this afternoon at the hospital with his father, his children, half brothers and sister beside him.

I would like to believe that he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior when we led him to pray the prayer of acceptance or the sinner’s prayer. God’s ways are higher than our ways. He has His own timetable. Though still very young, it was already his time according to his creator.