Google+ peggy aplSEEDS: February 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WOYWW: Gratitude and Grief

I missed WOYWW last week.  The first time in a long time.  It was my Mom's funeral. On my desk today are the stuff I brought home from the hospital.  Our community songbook, from which we sang so many songs as we stayed by her as she peacefully passed away.  A little bible and prayer book from which we read to her even when she could no longer respond. And novena prayers...

As Roman Catholics we pray for those who have gone before us and we also ask them to pray for us, just like we do for friends and family who are alive, because we believe that they live on...

Last January 12, Mommy turned 80 years old and I felt happy she reached that age because the bible says in Psalm 90:10 "Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures".  

It is hard to get used to being one person less in our family gatherings.  We are always together since we all live so close to each other.  But God's grace is abundant and we have been able to be grateful for the time she had with us, for the full and blessed life she had and for 80 years of God's faithfulness.  As I said in my eulogy (in the previous post), no goodbyes, because the faith that she passed on to me, makes me certain that she lives on.

Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement during this difficult time.  It is wonderful how my web friends, people I have never even met in person, have helped me cope during this time.  It is much appreciated.  Blessings to all!

'Til We Meet Again

Socorro "Corit" Alejandro
January 12, 1934 - February 15, 2014

My Mother is an exceptional woman and her example greatly influenced who I am today. In the career I chose, my hobbies, in parenting, in being thrifty, in having faith in God and in many more ways.

She finished B.S. Architecture, and I decided to become an architect.  She loved making all kinds of crafts, and I do too.  When we were young, I remember how she cut and glued felt into shapes of fried eggs and pancit (noodles) so that we could play make believe kitchen or dining.  We did not have a lot of store bought toys but with her example, we made our own.  She showed us how to make paper dolls and playing with paper dolls and making them kept us busy for a long time. Given an old box and a Sears Roebuck catalog that Daddy would pass on to us, we would cut out pictures of clocks and curtains and glue them to the box to make our own dollhouse.  We would make all sorts of projects together with Mommy.  And so when my daughter, Elyse was a child, I would sometimes have our neighbor's daughters come over and we would also do arts and crafts like potato printing, crayon resist and drawing.  This way of creating things, of teaching others to also make things became the seeds of the work I do now in our family business.

Mommy wanted to have a store and she prayed for it.  But even before that, she would make stuffed toys and Daddy would bring them to his office to sell. And they would get sold! When we needed to transfer residence because daddy needed a phone line for his work, we transferred to Tomas Morato, where there was a store space on the ground floor and we lived on the second floor.  At first, Mommy made the stuffed toys and displayed them in the store window.  She also bought dolls without clothes and sewed clothes for them.  When a customer rang the doorbell, she would go down and also be the sales lady.  She was so industrious and she taught us the value of work.  When we had started making figurines and plaques, she hired us to paint them or hammer on them to make them look antique.  We found out that it felt good to have someone buy something we made!

I am really thankful that mommy and daddy started our business (Papemelroti). Not only has it given me my livelihood and an opportunity to take care of my daughter while working, it has helped many people and this is why I love my work. We are able to provide livelihood to those we employ and to our suppliers, it enables us to express ourselves and our beliefs of love of God and family and the environment in the products that we sell.  Her favorite saying was "Yard by yard, life is hard; inch by inch, it's a cinch."  And that is the way she built the business, little by little, one step at a time. It grew to become more than she ever dreamed of.  She gave all the credit to God because she thought of herself as just an ordinary housewife.

Mommy taught us to be thrifty and even when income was not that big, she really tried to save money, putting aside a certain percentage as savings and spending the remaining balance; a really good example of knowing how to live simply and spend on what is important.  She was not one to go for beauty parlor visits (well, she was already beautiful) or shopping for herself.  In the early years, she sewed our clothes.  I remember she sewed our school uniforms. To be thrifty, they needed to be "one size fits all" and we would wear them as hand me downs.  And to be thrifty, the blouse was kinda short (less cloth). But then, when I would raise my hand, I also needed to hold my blouse down, LOL!

Even when she could already afford to buy clothes from the mall,she still preferred to sew.  She loved altering clothes to make them fit her and while she was altering them, she would often change the design as well.  With that example, when I have the time, I also alter clothes that don't fit (but I don't change the design).

One of her favorite stories about me as a baby was about how I could sleep through the night even in a soaked diaper.  To be thrifty with laundry soap and water, during the day, if a diaper was only very slightly wet, she would just let it dry and at night she would make a super diaper for me made of clean diapers sandwiching these reused diapers. It made her so happy that I slept thru the night, the first time I did something to make her happy.  She really could find ways to be thrifty.

Mommy was also very generous.  When the business grew and we had some employees already, it was her dream to provide housing for them.  My dad's sister told my parents about a property in Bulacan with an area we could use for a factory and some apartment units beside it.  They bought that property and her dream came true. When her church group, Women for Christ, honored her, they shared even more of how generous she was with helping many of their members. She was generous with her treasure because she was generous with her love.

Mommy, Me, Elyse and Pepito (her "baby" egg)

In the area of parenting, I learned a lot from Mommy.  She was a hands on mother.  When I was pregnant, I decided to work full time with our family business so that I could be with my daughter during the day.  She was an example of loving unconditionally, of taking parenting very seriously, of being firm in what was important to her as a parent, of providing for her children.

She wanted to provide for us in the best way she could.  She and Daddy bought lots near to them and we were able to build our houses in these lots.  She wanted to save for us and she wanted to have enough so that she would not burden us financially in her old age.

She wanted to protect us and was quite strict with her rules. No dates without a chaperone, no boyfriend until you are seriously considering marriage. I was already a widow and I still needed a chaperone.  Good thing our kids were our ready made chaperones.  When my daughter rolls her eyes at those rules, I tell her, but look how we ended up with excellent husbands.  The guys knew we were precious to our parents and they would only persevere in courting us if they really valued us also.

But more than all these admirable qualities, more than anything, Mommy is a woman of faith and she passed on her faith to us.  I am blessed to have been brought up by God fearing parents who taught me the values of loving God, of honesty and of knowing right from wrong and choosing to do right.

In the late 70s, Mommy started going to prayer meetings and eventually, I was curious enough to go with her.  Going to these prayer meetings led me to attend the Life in the Spirit Seminar, and have a personal relationship with God.  It was in one of these prayer meetings that I first saw my future husband and it is thru him that I became a member of Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon. The legacy of faith that my parents passed on to me is the most precious inheritance I can ever receive and this is the same legacy I strive to pass on to my children.

When Mommy was already very ill, we got a caregiver and nurses to care for her.  They were so sad at her passing and they said it was because she really touched them.  We wondered how that could happen specially since one of them never even got to see Mommy when she could still communicate.  She said she grew to know Mommy by the family that Mommy had, by the children and grandchildren she raised with Daddy.  How wonderful to know that Mommy lives on in us.  And I will continue to live my life according to what she taught me.

No goodbyes, because the faith that she passed on to me, makes me certain that she lives on.  I know she will be praying for us and we will see each other again. I know that she continues to love me even now.  'Til we meet again, I love you, Mommy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WOYWW: A Reflection

Perhaps my post for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday today is a reflection of how I feel.  A messy desk for such a challenging time for me and my family...

and my prayer journal for Word Art Wednesday reflecting the faith and peace I have in the midst of the storm we are going through...

Yesterday, I was with my Mom in the hospital and had to sign a Waiver for Resuscitation.  Although we had discussed it as a family, it was not an easy thing for me to do...

But I rely on God for strength and pray for God's will for my mother.  Thank you for your support, prayers and encouragement.  It means a lot to me that even if I do not get to visit these days, you still come around to see me.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WOYWW: This Week's Finds

What's on Your Workdesk this Wednesday? Here's what's on mine - a bargain book on scrapbooking, some dried pods I picked up while on my early morning walk...

an old "Barong Tagalog" from my husband (traditional Filipino formal wear for men made of woven pineapple fibers, with lovely embroidery)...

Since parts of it are already frayed, I get to use it for some project (don't hold your breath waiting to see the project though).

And as always, a page from my prayer journal, this time with a bit of old gift wrapping paper for her dress. I will also try to share this in Word Art Wednesday.

Thank you all, for your prayers and support during this challenging time for me and my family.  I really appreciate it.  Blessings to all of you!  

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