Friday, May 28, 2010

Letting Go and Moving On

My world has stopped moving normally for a while since Monday, May 24th.

Suddenly, I got sick- minus the usual symptoms that accompany any malady. I had to always move and do something, despite the scorching heat and the cough and cold that I caught. There has to be no idle moment to stop and think, even for a while. When every chore is done, I had to click on the television, or the computer. There had to be a sound or an image at anytime so that I will forget that my dear Bugaki is gone.

A few weeks ago, when it became clear that she will soon leave us, I told my husband that she will forever be alive as long as my blog is in cyberspace. After all, this site was named after her. But then again, it was only her name and her memory that may live forever. She is gone and so are the joys that she gave all of us since she was a small puppy.

Bugaki did not die naturally. We had to decide to put her to sleep upon recommendation of our veterinarian-neighbor. That was the most difficult part of her passing. What I suspected all along was true- Bugaki had cancer. When she was still stronger, I noticed a big, wide lump on her breasts whenever I give her a bath. From then on, I make it a point to make her clean and comfortable always. We built a fence in the back garden so she can have the place all to herself. The other dogs were not allowed in her new territory. Then, the lump became an open wound. We treated her with antibiotics but had to stop when no sign of cure was manifested. A few days before she passed away, she lost appetite and her wounds became difficult to manage. That Monday, the vet said her wounds' condition has gotten worse such that it can cause harm to the other dogs and even to humans. He was of the opinion that Bugaki's remaining days will be difficult for her and for us. We had to make a decision in a matter of minutes. And because we love her so much we do not want her to suffer anymore, we agreed it was her time to go. Finished.

Or so i thought. When I broke the news to Timmy, she was preparing to go back to Manila. I was on the verge of tears but I had to show strength in order for her to calm down. But she was inconsolable. Tim loves Bugaki. I texted Poy who is in UAE and he was crying uncontrollably when he called back. Poy loves Bugaki. I texted Nad to tell him that Bugaki's gone and all he said in reply was "Bakit?" Nad loves Bugaki.

Everyone in my family loves Bugaki as if she were another human being. She was a constant in our lives. She was born in 1998 when we were still renting a house while our own was being built. Bugaki had the habit of following me around wherever I go. Once, she was nearly ran over by a jeepney along the highway since I didn't notice that she was following me on my way to work one early morning. Every afternoon in the latter part of 1998, she would lead us to the lot where we were building our house. She always wanted to be the leader of the pack that included our other dogs and our children. She would be the first to enter the premises and later, the first to come out to lead us back to our rented home. How she acted like a precocious child then.

Bugaki's life ( long, in terms of dog years) is a lesson in loving and caring. I was never fond of dogs before. I had fixed my attention to my growing children and I didn't think it was such a good idea to have dogs in the house. I was raising a family by my lonesome self and I thought it was not only a distraction but also impractical then to spend for dog food and other dog necessities. My children taught me to be more dog friendly and from that time on, I was hooked on these canine creatures. It didn't matter if they have a pedigree ( Bugaki is an aspin), as long as they are four-legged and knows how to bark, especially at strangers.

Bugaki's death, on the other hand, is a lesson on letting go and moving on. Her passing made it clear to me that there are two kinds of death. First, the kind that gives one a sigh of relief and a taste of freedom, and therefore does not hurt as much. The second, the kind that renders one immobile, unthinking, shocked, traumatized and shaken up, thus, translates into more pain as the early shock wears down. Bugaki's death is of the second kind.

Someday, I will have another dog in the house. Just not now. The space in my heart reserved for Gaki shall be there for hers alone, for sometime. When I am ready to make space in my heart for another doggie, I will make sure that I will love it the way I loved Gaki.
I can imagine Rotty, our dalmatian, Bonnie, our siberian husky, Puti, Bugaki's mother and Bugaki, our dear aspin, all together playing in dog heaven today.

Meantime, I will relish and delight in the joys brought to us by our remaining five amazing and wonderful dogs- Cotton ( aka Kotong), Purlak, April, Chuchay and Bitoy
. Life goes on.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Story

Journaling is not new to me. Since my teen-age years, I have always made very good friends with a pen and a notebook. I always felt the urge to write what happens to me- whether they are sad or joyful didn't matter. A quick look at my high school journal reveals a lot of happy, delightful and jovial events, either with my hometown buddies or with my school friends. In college, there was not much time to write since I was a working student and college life, while very productive, was quite dull and boring. (The only colorful events are those leading to the First Quarter Storm.)

The years from 1976 were quite eventful, as they covered my life as a young married woman and later on, as a young mother. Early on, I deemed it necessary to write a journal since I had no one (literally) to run to when news, good or bad, had to be shared. One heartbreak after another, my life story unfolded in my journal. There were entries that made me smile ( like my descriptions of my little children while asleep) when I read them again. But there were many which made me teary eyed, no matter how long ago they transpired. Perhaps these were the same entries that made my daughter Timmy cry when she discovered that journal when she was still a young girl. While it broke my heart that she was affected at such a young age, I recognized the fact that sooner or later, I will have to tell her my story.

My story is about people, places, events, choices, regrets, pains and pleasures. I am very thankful of the many blessings I have been greatly showered by the Great Provider- blessings that helped me survive an otherwise difficult existence. It was easy to revisit those memories but when it comes to my regrets and pains, it was a different story altogether. One advantage of revisiting such memories, however, is that it puts me in a vantage point where I can be an observer of my own life, thus, I get new perspectives and I gather new messages. More than exploring my creative side, I am more interested in healing and exploring myself.

When a woman has experienced being shaken to the very core of her foundation by a set of circumstances she had no control of, she undergoes a degree of woundedness that needs to be healed. Writing one's story is a way back to sanity and sensibility; it is a mode of sorting through the conflicts and the pains alongside the delights and the bliss. I want to take this route a little further. I need to take this route a little further. For even if my life experiences have made me stronger, I doubt if they have made me better.