HELLO, WORLD!!! #atozchallenge2015

H of A to ZYes, “H” is for HELLO, WORLD!!! Because isn’t that the default greeting newbies get when they start something online? According to Wikipedia (and I think they can be relied on when it comes to simple info like this):

A “Hello, World!” program is a computer program that outputs “Hello, World!” (or some variant thereof) on a display device. Because it is typically one of the simplest programs possible in most programming languages, it is by tradition often used to illustrate to beginners the most basic syntax of a programming language.

My keyword there, really, is “beginners,” because after being gone for quite a while, it almost feels like I’m a newbie again in the blogging world. Just almost, since I haven’t really gone and have been visiting and commenting on blogs I follow. I did want to post badly, but time, health and resources did not permit me.

To update you, and many maybe wondering why I am still doing the A to Z Challenge that’s supposed to be just for the whole month of April, well, I am continuing with it. I failed last year, and to think I only had “Z” left! I just don’t want to be a quitter. It’s not like it’s do or die or anything, for Pete’s sake. Maybe I won’t have enough luxury of time and resources for now to do it regularly, but I will finish it….

Can anybody tell me, though, how to go back to the classic version of the editor??? This new one drives me nuts! It doesn’t ask anymore if I want the old version, but I want it back!!! I want to be able to add text color, for one thing, especially when I add links (I just make them bold and they also automatically appear to be underlined somewhat). [UPDATE: I know how to go around it now]

Going back to updating you, in case you’ve been wondering, I was on leave for two months due to a very personal loss. I was required to go on such leave. I thought I could go back after a week, but doctors themselves always advise otherwise, so I decided I’d rather not risk my health anymore. It really was quite new to me as I’m not so used to getting sick for a long time. It was even my first time to be hospitalized.

I hated that I could not move fast, that I was not allowed to do more stuff that I normally could, that I could not take advantage of the free time to fix whatever stuff I wanted fixed at home. It’s nice to be cared for, especially by my sweet husband, but too much dependence bored me. It did not help either that within my recuperating period, I got sick again. Double whammy! The good news is there won’t be a need for surgery anymore. I do need to take some medicine still to make sure the swelling’s really gone ’cause I think it’s still there a bit. Seemed like it was pregnancy-related, but when I’m able, I’ll go have some tests done to be sure. Better safe than sorry, right?

It really gave us a scare, I admit. April had just started and I thought I could complete the challenge on time. WRONG-O. That second whammy took me away from my blogging because (1) I didn’t have enough energy, (2) I wasn’t supposed to stay up late, and (3) I couldn’t just spend fifty-pesos per day so that I could get connected to the Internet when we needed the money for my meds and our everyday expenses. Priorities first (redundant, but just to drive a point).

Dads, too, I know!

And then, there were the kids. His kids, also mine now. They now live with us, and now I know how it really feels like to be a mom. And anyone else who does, or anyone who understands, knows that lots of times, kids come first. It doesn’t help that I’m pretty OC, so I now realize I can be really strict (I know, gotta loosen up!). It was like giving rush lessons on how to be good, little boys, and actual rush lessons on reading, writing, counting,…Hey, school starts this June, so, you know. And, oh, we got two pups, so it’s like having two additional kids in the family.

I am back at work. Just in time for my birthday last Monday. No offense to my colleagues at work, but I didn’t enjoy it much because, well, I had to work, and especially because I wanted to spend it with my love and kids. But anyway, do expect more posts from me. Also, do expect they won’t be daily posts. Gotta work, y’know 😉

Thank you to my new followers, by the way! Sorry I am not able right now to say my thanks individually. Keep on writing, guys!!!

Death, Denial, Depression #atozchallenge2015

D of A to Z“D” is for DEATH. We all know death, but it’s still a big word, considering that grief causes two other Ds, DENIAL and DEPRESSION.

I wish I could write about something else, something lighter, like dancing, which I really considered but my tablet is making it harder to post vids and I don’t have much patience right now, or dogs except I don’t have nice pictures to share of past canine pets. Instead, “death” kept insisting itself on my mind. No, I didn’t want to write about it. I wanted to write something much more fun or something lighter like last year. But here I am. This is much more raw than my “A” post.

Those who have followed me enough times are aware of what I went through these past three years. At first, I refrained from discussing much about death in the family, then I realized I could not get away from it — I had to give in sometime. What better way to do that than to pay tribute to my parents?

I tell you, it was not easy watching your loved ones deteriorate everyday. It was not easy doing the best you could, swallowing pride to ask friends and others for any amount they could share, sacrificing your job, and taking care of your parents while wondering if you’d still have a job to go back to after…Yes, after, because despite everything I did, at the back of my mind, I knew with a certain dread that the end was near for both of them.

When all of these were going on, I hardly wept. At rare times, I just felt a lump on my throat, cleared it, shook my head and continued with my–our–day. I wanted to keep emotionally strong and to always have a clear head for you would never know when a decision had to be made. There were many, in fact. Together with some relatives, I had to rush my mother to the hospital monthly, without fail, until July, which we all thought we would finally skip and it turned out to be her last month on earth.

All the while, I had a clear head. I could not let myself feel down for so long. While I communicated with my sister regularly, she was still miles and seas away; any immediate decision had to be made by myself and I could not afford to make the wrong one. Could it be called strength? I don’t know. It would be very presumptuous and self-serving of me to say it was. All I am sure of is this seems to be the way I react when faced with circumstances that call for me to have a sense of responsibility.

I could’ve cried when my father had the stroke when I was 20, but I didn’t, not in front of my mother anyway. How could I when I saw her break down in their room and right away, I had to hold her and reassure her that things would be fine? Somebody had to be strong for us during those times and I was the nearest family member to do that. I only cried when he was first diagnosed as having suffered a stroke, but that was when I was alone at home and they were in the hospital. It was also very short-lived — I had just started weeping when my cousin called out to me from outside, saw my eyes and basically berated me for being a wimp as she saw that as a lack of support for my mother. I did not have the energy to argue that crying was normal, even a healthy reaction. After that, I don’t remember a time that I cried about it ever again.

facing-griefI guess this coping mechanism was something that got developed in me. “Surreal” is the only way I can describe the feeling. It’s like being sad, worried and alert all at the same time. When my father was pronounced dead, I already knew even before the E.R. doctor could tell us. My friend who stayed with me would later tell another friend how brave I was. Brave? Not sure about that,  just that when another cousin and I were already alone with my father’s lifeless body, I surprised myself when I bawled out, kissing his face, saying sorry for everything bad I had done, especially for getting mad two evenings prior.

Months after losing my parents, I still did not really cry save from the actual funerals. I could have gone through the Denial phase of grieving, for all I knew. I did know that I got to the Anger phase the next year. Being angry at one’s self could be quite debilitating itself. I do believe I suffered from Depression.

Recently, I lost my baby. S/he was just more or less two months in the womb. Can you imagine feeling elated after finding out you’re having a baby, then learning after a week that s/he doesn’t seem to have a heartbeat anymore? Can you imagine the additional stress of waiting after another week to check if the findings are the same and then they are? Now imagine going for a second opinion, getting yet another ultrasound test and still, no heartbeat…

Definitely, I cried several times to my husband over the course of waiting. On that third test, I had no time to really cry. Then again, I was with one of my bestfriends and I decided I was not going to cry until I was alone. That did not happen, though, for once I was alone after two hours, I was bleeding and had myself brought to the hospital. I did not cry either during the whole thing and sang “Defying Gravity” to calm myself. I did not let myself cry for hours while I was at the recovery room. When I requested that my husband be let in for a few minutes for I needed to tell him something, however, I was again surprised by the sudden surge of emotions as I waited. I saw him and then the tears went and rolled down, upsetting and worrying him…

Honestly, I don’t know how to properly end this piece. I guess I just needed to share. So forgive me for the long post and for posting a day late (at least where I am) because I just had to sort my thoughts out and kept typing them down. This is one of the most vulnerable times in the history of my whole blogging experience…