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Laong nila an taga Tago kuno para-away pero hanugay. Mamingawuni naman ganahani mandahap-dahap nan notisya. Naman ini na pabyon inhimo para kita na mga Tagon-on magkasinusihay, magka-binayluay nan mga gilaong, nan notisya, nan kaayuhan.
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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:47 am 
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Death, Sorrow, Horror and Laughter.

Wednesday, 1/20 at 6:20am another dear, dear friend lost her battle with cancer. Theresa was just about to turn 48, she and her husband has two girls: 15 and 7.

For years, she responded well to medication but soon after her failed bone marrow transplant in the fall of 2008, we watched her suffer and deteriorate. The harsh toxic chemo treatment made her weak and she grew thinner and thinner until it was hard to imagine she could stand upright and not crumble to pieces. Despite circumstances she stayed positive, lively, effervescent even hopeful and forever thankful.

Medicine took her a good distance then intervention from God.

God saw you were getting tired,
And a cure was not to be
So He put His loving arms around you
And whispered, "come to me".

With tearful eyes we watched you,
And saw you pass away
Although we loved you dearly,
We could not make you stay.

A golden heart stopped beating,
Gentle hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.


The sad news reached me at work. Before I could pick up the receiver, somehow… I felt it and knew.

Last I saw of her was few days before, something about her eyes haunted me. They were not hollow but certainly look glazed. She was talkative and clingy, we held hands and she refused to let us go. In a minute she kept saying, or stay sandali nalang... Lu and I thought it was the morphine and oxycontin.

After Dan’s call, we were at high alert awaiting his further direction and instruction. When done informing Theresa’s blood relatives, Dan emailed us Theresa’s wishes and what needs to be done. Tearfully, we move into action.

I went to the restroom (couldn’t hold back sobs) and BlackBerred the caterer and the florist. Laura called their parish and talk to their parish priest. Nina works downtown, and live closest to Theresa. She turned back home to console the girls. May’s a stay home mom so she did the running around, choosing outfit Theresa’s to be buried in and visiting local hotels negotiating room rates for families driving/flying in.

Theresa had wished it to be quick, minimize disruption, so friends and family can go back to their normal routine.

Wednesday afternoon, arrangements were made and in place. From work, we all converged to their home to start the somber 9-night prayer.

Thursday evening, half of the relatives had drove/flown in and their house was a picture of organize chaos as blood and surrogate families poured in before going to their hotel. Phone and cell phones were vibrating, ringing, chirping and singing all over the place needing attention.

Friday, I showed up for work groggy, with a plan to leave at 3. Laura was to do the same. From work, we’d go straight to the funeral home. I’m from the north shore; the funeral home is on the south shore of Staten Island. The plan was for me to take the south shore bus then Jennifer (Dan’s sister) will pick me up at the bus stop. Texted her I was on the bus. Travel time, 50 minutes to an hour depending on traffic.

My electronic implements were quiet; the warmth of the bus has envelope and ease me to slumber when suddenly I got startled by my mobile when it chirped to life. When I examine it…. Oh God, oh God, oh God…. A text message, “I’m here early, will wait for you”. Almost drop the thing. I hit delete and shut the thing off, the message was from Theresa. My adrenal gland hurt from squirting too much adrenaline into my blood vessels all at once. Time was shoulder of rush so the bus was half empty. I sat alert bracing for Theresa apparition. Nothing! Flick my iPod on, selected KU at 88% volume, loud to distract me, but not loud enough to blast my eardrum.

After we cleared Lincoln Tunnel, texted Jennifer, I’m about 15-20 minutes. She called and complained that she couldn’t get through to me. Sorry, I said, my phone was off…just turned it on… be there soon… stay put, will call you when we pass Goethals Bridge.

At the funeral home, I secretly pull Dan to the side and ask whatever happened to Theresa’s cell phone. He said, they were looking for it but no one can find it. I freaked out but didn’t dare tell him why. I muster courage, drag myself and approach Theresa’s open casket and beg her never ever scare me like that again. Scent of flowers and dark shadows I can handle, dreams even better… but NO text messages. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, afraid they’d think I’ve fallen off the deep end.

Saturday after the funeral, Mark (Theresa’s younger brother) hosted a somber lunch reception at the Hilton Garden. As we waited for all to arrive, we reminisced about our dearest departed friend talking about mga paramdam or kong nag paramdam na sya. Sus eton na, iya-iya nan storya nan mga experiences. It seems Theresa’s behaving like Casper. Really! Then 5 of us, (Laura, Nina, May, Karen and I) have one thing in common to say… we received same ghostly text message! I told them what Dan told me ---- no one can find Theresa’s cell. Is it really possible? Should we contact John Edward, "Crossing Over with John Edward"? Nina, the practical joker, perked up and suggested we call Theresa's number and see. What??? Yeah… so what? It will go to her voicemail and we’ll hear her voice one last time.

She pressed the speaker lever “on” and hit a button. After 2 rings the line opened as if one is to answer it… Nina lost courage, press the drop button before the person has a chance to say “hello”. Within seconds, Nina’s cell fired back and the biggest shock of all, Theresa’s # was displayed on the screen. Nina shut it off immediately. We scan the room for Father Mario or Father Gil to ask the priests what the - - - bleepppp - - - is going on????

Not long after, here’s Jennifer barreling down on us. “I don’t get it… why is everyone keep hanging up on me!!!?”

In less than a minute our end of the room burst into laughter. Wednesday night, Jennifer mistakenly took Theresa’s phone and shoved it into her big, deep hobo style bag. The two phones are identical with identical ring tones. Poor Jennifer was just too overwhelmed having just lost a beloved sister-in-law and without her glasses she couldn't tell between the two phones. So there’s our mystery... solved! No need to disturb Father Mario and Father Gil. There’s no calling from the other side of the divide.

Epilogue:
Jen is one of those who carry half the house in her pocketbook. Hit or miss. Kon an ma kout niya sa iya bag an iya cell amoy magamit niya kon an kan Theresa amoy isab magamit niya thus all the unanswered and drop calls. When Jen texted me that she was at the bus stop “early”, she'd dug Theresa’s cell out and used it. Kanaman baya kami lima yaka dawat nan same message kay, for her (Theresa's) convenience paga pa program niya kan Kay (her 15-year old) kami as a "group" so same messages (her check-up, health update & food she craves) will be sent to us at the same time. Laong ni Dan, “Jen, do you realize how many people yong tinakot mo? Buti nalang walang weak ng poso sa mga tinawagan mo….akin na yan. Give me my wife’s phone back” this last line sound so sad and sweet yet we continued laughing.

Have a feeling Theresa had a lot to do with this occurrence. She wanted us to laugh and celebrate her life… not be sad about her passing.

Note: Bali respito sa mga hingtongdan pag utro kon ila mga ngan, except Theresa’s.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:49 pm 
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Mana Abb, What a coincidence that Jen's cellphone is exactly the same from Theresa's. If I am on that situation I would do the same, too. Sinoy di kayasan?

Magana an poem na imo hinimo para sa imo friend.


Last edited by pato on Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:45 pm 
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abb,

this happened to dodongay pareja when tito fred manzano died last year. two days before the burial, dodongay received a text message from the number that tito fred used when he was still alive. the message said: kinun-o mo ako bisitahi?

i suspected that somebody must've used tito fred's phone but then when dodongay went to the wake and the funeral, he learned that tito fred's wife kept his phone and that nobody had used it.i dunno if there's a phone whose features include programming the time text messages should be sent.

it remains a mystery until this posting.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:12 pm 
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Abb,

Aduy uday, inkaulian an ako sentimento paghibasa ko nan imo sugilanon with matching pur-ak dakan! yadtoy offline message ko sa imo ug emails hinanali gayud tilanga naay, basaha ug ayaw pag tamaya dakan kaw ma alerto. I share ko da sa iban kun uno ini, kay basin simbako sila na sab an binuangan, pero mangayo naay ako nan opinyon mo kun angayan ba i share, amo? Kahapon pa ini hibaasi. :(

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:50 am 
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Hi Guys,

After the cell mystery was solved, no more twilight zone episodes.

Yatuman gayod an wish ni Theresa. These past 8 nights, an ila bay has morphed into comedy central. Tonight is the 9th mingaw na dayon.

The novena is set to starts at 8 kon gutomi gani paspasi gayud unsay antique auction para pagka tapos kaon dayon. Oh it’s abominable... as we eat like piranhas :-D kay gutomi nasa lagi gikan pa gud tanan sa trabaho. Dayon mentras ga kaon, hala, this time si Nina dumdum na nan ila mga minaldita nan una. Like a statue, I sat motionless listening and absorbing, mesmerized and amazed because these people and I, in the past, move about and lived in different worlds. I still wonder as to how I got myself into this mixed? Not complaining, just happy that they’ve embraced me and my promdi mentality into their fold.

What I’m about to share is so surreal that one might think this could only happen in the movies.

My understanding is that, N & T’s (Nina and Theresa) ancestral compounds in Dasma are happily situated opposite of one another.

I’ve heard many a funny stories from my sisters-in-law of how Lu and his brothers would watch over their in-house mechanic’s shoulder with a flashlight as Mang Tilyong snake himself under the steering wheel to rewind the kilometers registered on the speedometer so their father won’t know that they’ve driven their cars to Baguio or places outskirts of the city during school nights. But N&T’s experiences are of another kind.

N & T’s were pure and innocent with a simple goal of experiencing fast speed and control over the steering wheel. They were 16 or 17, N says. Without her parent's knowledge, N learned to drive at age 13 or just about 14 by bribing her driver to teach her then N taught T.

One day a brilliant idea came to them by means of Grease. Yes, the movie. From school they’d ditch their drivers and scare them into not telling their parents. N & T together with one or two other friends would take one or the other’s car and just go. If caught, they had a plan. The police were the least of their concern as there’s nothing a twenty, fifty or a hundred bill couldn’t fix and their biggest ammunition yet was the fact that a mere mention of a friend’s surname could wiped their slates clean.

Let’s advance to early 1980s, armed with gold master/visa cards and international driver’s license, they (N&T) rented a car to drive from Chandler, Arizona to somewhere in Nevada to surprise a classmate whose husband, an infectious diseases specialist, has just established private practice.

Few miles into I-40, N noticed a flashing light. It followed them and it’s getting closer and closer. Then, with widen eyes, it dawned on N that she's driving way, way above the legal speed limit. They’re busted. Quickly, N manufactured a “white” lie because she can’t afford to get her international license revoked.

Remember, N & T has a history that goes back almost from infancy --- they can communicate via looks, devoid of words. They pull over and N went on to explain to the officer how her friend was suffering from severe stomach pains and that they were tourist and that they were on their way to Nevada and that they were speeding to get to the nearest exit to look for the nearest hospital and this and that and this and that. N was so convincing that she'd thought she's had the officer in the bag and the officer would let them go but what do you think the officer did? More than believe. The good officer ordered her back on the road and volunteered to escort them to the nearest hospital. Too late, there’s no backing out because, by then, they realize the consequences would be severe.

“Believe it or not”, N says, “thankfully, T was four days constipated because she ended up with an unscheduled procedure. Enema!... OO na la ba ti ba han sya nang hinde oras”. N said. “But you know T... she was a great sport”. N concluded. Basta yanga lubag kamin kinatawa.

As I said, tonight's the kataposan nan pangadji so mingaw na.

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those that matter... don't mind and those that mind... don't matter." Dr. Suess


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:47 am 
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pato wrote:
Mana Abb, What a coincidence that Jen's cellphone is exactly the same from Theresa's. If I am on that situation I would do the same, too. Sinoy di kayasan?

Magana an poem na imo hinimo para sa imo friend.


Hi Pats,

I appreciate that thanks very much. I wish I could BUT, I can’t take credit for writing it (thus it's italicized). This is something I had read days following my Nanay’s own passing when I while away time waiting for my son at our “privately owned" neighborhood bookstore that closed its door for good weeks back, casualty of current state of US economy.

When Karen and I wrote a 3-pager eulogy that Nina tearfully and comically delivered at the funeral service, I found it fitting to incorporate those lines along within it, I just added one word Pats, one word: “loving”. :)

- - - - - - - -

Pats, nan Bernes intawagan ko si Dan on the way to pick up the girls kay mangita sila na Alexa nan: "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The lightning thief" na salida. Uno sa iton na after 3 rings min kick in san answering machine. Ton bongaw wara pa ilisi... boses pa gihapon ni Theresa laong ko, "you keep that up and soon no one's going to call your house". :-D It's not that I don't want to hear her voice, it's just that when I do, it freaks me out. ](*,)

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those that matter... don't mind and those that mind... don't matter." Dr. Suess


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:58 am 
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Abbs,

I had been dying to read your post the day my eyes set on it. The title captivated me and eagerness engulfed me. Needless to say I was riveted by how you put the scene into words. Suspenseful and well crafted. Yet it was only yesterday time afforded me the opportunity to do so.

Reading the early part of it made me sad, almost to the point of sobbing. Was able to hold on though. I very well related to your story as my friend suffered the same fate when she succumb to Leukemia. My thoughts went to what Theresa had left behind; Dan and the 2 children. As a mother I felt very deeply how this girls would grow devoid the love and care of a mum.

Padayon an pagbasa ko and said to myself “my God, things of these sort really do happen. Is it because they say that during the first 7 (?) days of death ghost still hovers in the air here on earth?”

Pag abot sa ubos ubos nan post, my tranquil moment reading it put me into a time of laughter. My office mate asked me “what’s funny Lalaine” laong ko sab “nothing, I’m just laughing at myself”.

Yakadomdom dayon ako Abbs nan friend ko na ya Leukemia. Permi ko siya lutoan nan sinigang kay favourite niya. Pagkapatay niya wara gayod ako tan aw sa iya bayho sa kahon. Ako intuyo so that only those good memories/pictures of her would remain embedded in my thoughts.


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