Relationships

The most difficult thing I have ever done in my 52 years is building, nurturing and keeping relationships.  Right now, the digits of one hand totals the number of friends with whom I still stay in touch.  I can count from one to ten the family members both nuclear and extended  that I communicate with on a regular basis.  Former co-workers especially those I closely worked with and whose families I even got to meet and ate dinners with are now long gone and perhaps have forgotten all about me.  Classmates from the grades, high school and college, well, I haven’t gotten to see them anymore since graduation and since the last reunion, a reunion at a friend’s house that I  attended only once.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not depressed because of my lack of social life. In fact, what I am going through is reminiscing and figuring out where those people who helped mold the person I have become, where they are now.

Considering my age, well, I suppose some of them have passed away already, some in hospices, some abroad and the rest may still be around scattered all over the country. But, it kept me thinking that these people who I think had the most influence in my life are the exact people with whom I have established a certain relationship — and my experiences with them may have been more good than otherwise, and they have acquired a special place in my mind and in my heart. So, despite their absence they are fondly remembered. Social networking and Google helped me find them; however, the part of “accept as friend” is difficult.

It is not really easy to establish relationships outside of one’s family. First, there is rejection. Initially, on first impressions you have a certain appeal to another person. Along the getting-to-know you stage, somehow the appeal gets lost and the other person would start pushing you away. Second, there is the risk of being duped – in different forms. There are pretensions on your part as well as the other person. Both of you might not want to accept what the other’s reality in life is. There are discriminations. It may not only be color but it may be social status, religion, education, cliques, and the like. There are differing standards or principles that are difficult to like and accept so this prevents a relationship to get started.

As said, tolerance is a virtue and the rule is: love is laying down one’s life for the other. That’s hard especially if the other person you are going to do it for has at one time or another shown a dislike, or even rejected you. Seriously?

I would have liked to have as many “friends” or establish relationships as vast as Russia which is possible nowadays, through social networks like Facebook. But this lacks the personal touch; the ability to help mold the individual to becoming a better person. I don’t know what “learning” could be derived from having a Facebook contact from Sweden other than seeing the timeline of that person. All I could get is information about that other person, the places she/he has visited, the pictures shared, the events attended, the apps downloaded but that’s it. I just wonder how that person would react if I happen to open up my personal problems with him/her. The one thing such social networks establish is just that – contacts, specifically for business; although Facebook has been instrumental in getting the attention of governments about certain issues, this has been proven. How about the companionship a person needs? Would having 1,000+ “friends” be some sort of upliftment? Will this replace lending an ear or having a shoulder to cry on, so to speak?

So, there are relationships and “relationships”. Which is preferable? Which will make me a better me?

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Losing Sleep Over The Game of Thrones

I suppose last Sunday, there were many TV sets on at one and only one channel at one specific time.  You guessed right, HBO which showed the last episode of Season 4 of The Game of Thrones.

I only knew of this show because of the game and got to understand finally that this has been made into a TV show when my hubby brought home a DVD of its first season.  I still didn’t watch it as when I had glimpses, all I saw was a lot of sword fighting and women and men copulating.  And judging by the costumes, obviously its setting was in the bygone eras – as I used to teach history, I’ve had my fill of Western Civilization that could last me a lifetime.

But then, whenever I had to sign in at my yahoo.com account, the homepage always had something about the GoT and this made me curious.  I watched the DVD at home, just got glued to it and continued watching through the end and lost sleep over. It was worth it, however.  By then, I asked my hubby to get hold of seasons 2 and 3 so I could follow the story without fail – got hooked on it, I suppose.  I followed this HBO series online and caught up with the ending of season 4.

Except for the slashing, beheadings, the sexual innuendos as well as the nudity that accompany those– scenes that leave nothing to the imagination — if one lived during those times, I could say that the writer of the show did excellent work as far as giving the televiewers an idea of how life was in those times.  I am impressed particularly with the rendering of power struggles within and out of the “Seven Kingdoms”.  Then as now and now as then spins in this world of men — to quote a poet I studied in the grades (I cannot remember the name of the particular poet, my apologies) – a reality that was, is and will be in this world.  I suppose dragons did exist and have become extinct.  It may be a case of humankind occupying whatever empty spaces there are in the world – mind you, the population is still growing.  How about the magic?  These are still very much in practice and perhaps even getting “high tech”.  We have soothsayers online and we pay them online as well now, don’t we?  Also, I look forward to knowing whatever will happen to Bran – I hope his gift will help restore the honor of the Stark family.  How about the maesters – we also have them in different forms.  We have consulting groups, cabinet members, ribbon committees, etc., members of which are experts in their field. 

All in all, I laud the people behind the GoT and the actors who portrayed their roles really well.  I liked Lena Headly in The Brothers Grimm, liked Sean Bean in National Treasure and Ronin, I haven’t gotten back to watching Clash of the Titans again to see The Hound actor play another role, maybe later I’ll watch it and of course, I’ll watch Captain America: The First Avenger once again to see the actor portraying Marjorie.  I’ve watched Kit Harington in Pompei, and I just hope I could see him act without swords the next time around.  I hope that in the next James Bond movie Ralph Fiennes’s assistant would be the actor who was married off to one of Lord Fray’s daughters and then put in the dungeon after the wedding. He was one of M’s assistants previously anyway.

Technology also had a lot to do with the success of this TV show, I suppose.  It was seamless, if this is the proper word for it.  If ever a blue screen was used to depict certain scenes, then both the actors and the computer people did very well.  The location settings of the series especially were impressive.

However, Star Wars, its first three episodes is still unmatched in my opinion as far as use of technology in movies is concerned.  But then that’s another story entirely.

I can’t wait for the Season 5 – will Arya meet up with the Man with No Face in Bravos? Will Sansa be Littlefinger’s wife? Will Jon Snow stop the Walkers from overcoming the Wall? Will Bran be able to fly? Whatever happened to the youngest Stark child? And, will The Mother of Dragons become the Leader of the Seven Kingdoms?

A Mother’s Dedication

A Mother's Dedication.

Exactly 19 years ago today 10 June, I gave birth to my son, Joseph Anthony. Having undergone caesarean section, I only came to see him two days after delivery, boy, was he a screamer. He was also a colic baby having 4pm and 10 pm and 3 am schedules of endless crying until after he was three months old. He took his first step during his first birthday and spoke his first sentence when he was 4 years old. He was a regular at fast food joints like McDonald’s and the local Jollibee so that he can collect the toys bundled with the Happy Meal and Kid’s Value Meals.

From the other people’s standpoint, our son was an impressive boy. At age 8, because he was the only one available for practice, he sang solo in a concert for the centennial celebration of the Crowing of Our Lady of La Naval. He did that also during the 9-day novena in which devotees admirably commented that the boy who was singing had a beautiful voice. He was cited by the lay missionary, Bro. Bo Sanchez as a responsible boy who can be relied upon to “start the ball rolling” so to speak, during the charitable event for orphans conducted by the Homeschool of the good lay missionary. He was given a Service Award during their J-S prom, being recognized by the faculty as the student who is still concerned with orderliness within the school campus. By force of habit, he picks up pieces of paper or bits of trash lying around and puts these in the garbage bin. Our son is a stickler for peace and quiet so as class officer in the grades until his first year in high school he had this habit of keeping tabs on his talkative classmates and reporting them to their homeroom teacher. His classmates hated him for this. However, despite this experience with him, they cannot help but like him still because he is actually a sweet and gentle fellow with a good sense of humor.

Our son at home though is none of the above. When he rises in the morning, how he left his bed will be the same way as how it will be when he goes back to sleep at night. I have to constantly remind him to make up his bed when he rises. Just like your typical teenager whose hunger is insatiable, our son munches whatever he can find in our food stock but then leaves the wrapper just lying around. You can find these on the PC table, on the dining table, in the easy chair or wherever else he was when he was eating but never in the waste basket. He never shows an initiative for telling us what he wants to do or where he wants to go when we go on a family outing. He also leaves us to decide for him where and what to eat. This irritates my hubby so much so that he constantly drills into our son’s head, “Whatever is going to happen to you when the time comes that your mother and I will no longer be here?” My hubby worries that our son doesn’t have enough common sense to make it on his own in the real world, outside of our home, outside of his school and outside of our community. I don’t share that opinion, however.

Our son exhibits opposite personalities within and outside of our home and this actually makes me confident that he has the ability and the good sense to make it on his own. He is just like every teenager who at ease in the company of his parents, his immediate family knowing full well that nothing wrong is going to happen with mom and dad there. He is just being a teenager complete with the raging hormones; thus, the exhibition of opposite personalities.

I guess just like every other mother, I wish for my son to start thinking in terms of what he wants to achieve in his life. With this in mind, I wish he also would start thinking of ways and means of how to achieve that dream. And just like every parent, I wish for our son to be the best of what he can be.

Father

It’s been quite a while since the last time I’ve said the word “Dad” to someone who is actually my biological father. Of course I say the word “Dad” to my hubby’s father but it isn’t the same, you know what I mean, I hope.

Father … The strength of the family, the protector, the leader and, the provider.  My father was an imposing figure – not in built but in personality.  My hubby says my dad is “A man’s man”.  I didn’t actually get that until after he, my dad passed on.  What I remember of him is that he was strict, a disciplinarian, somebody who lives out the saying, “whatever you choose to do without consulting me or your mother, in the event you find yourself in a bind because of that, learn to get yourself out of it on your own.”  We all, my brothers and sisters resented that when we were younger. But looking back, I guess that was a lesson in character building.  Going back to being a man’s man, my hubby said that after being with my dad for the short period of time that he knew him, my dad was admirable.  He was a man of his word.  He can control his drink, pay his way out of chain smoking – he even beat colonic cancer.  He was also a man in control of his emotions.  The only time I ever saw him cry was when my second to the eldest sister died.  I did not see my dad shed a tear when my mother died.  Perhaps it was a case of one’s child passing on before a parent; and that in itself was painful.  Further, because our dad was really tight-fisted financially we had to cheat on the actual amount of our tuition fee so that we could buy our books and school supplies.; but, I guess my dad knows that and he just did not say anything about it.

The best thing that my dad did for me was I was able to go abroad because of him.  He helped me get back on my feet when I was abandoned by my first husband who took with him our two sons.  Again, the wisdom my dad imparted to me then was to concentrate on my career and enrich myself so that if and when my two sons and I ever reconciled, they wouldn’t find me in a pitiful state.  This, I’m still working on.

 

I don’t know if being the dutiful youngest daughter that I was when both my parents were alive were enough to have honored them. I guess that by bringing up my son along the principles handed down by my parents, especially by my dad is a way of honoring them. But, just like my dad, I think bringing up my son the best way I know how is what parenting is supposed to be.

To my mom and dad, especially my dad, Happy Father’s Day!