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A Look Back at July: My Birthday Month

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With all that had happened and much as I wanted to remember only the good times but July is a bittersweet month for me. My emotions were on a roller coaster especially those few days before and after my birthday…being happy that I was blessed with another year, that I am surrounded by the people who love me and then suddenly a feeling of sadness deep in my heart because of a gesture or a memory or a picture…of anything that reminds me of my mother.


July 7
After 21 days in the hospital, my mother undergone a brain shunt surgery to relieve pressure from hydrocephalus. Before the operation, every small responses: opening her eyes; lifting an eyebrow; twitching her mouth; moving her arms; folding her left leg…those are small triumphs, our signs from her that she's fighting to live and for us to keep the faith.

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July 11
My beloved mother, Nanay Nor, breathe her last at 10:30am, I was just a few feet away from her. This is one of my favorite pictures of her…embracing life…enjoying the moment…with her signature smile…and this is how I would like to remember her always.

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July 12
Our last night with Nanay Nor. We are overwhelmed by all the people who came to pay their last respect and for the understanding that they accorded us when we decided to hold a 2-night wake.

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July 13
Nanay Nor was laid to rest…beside our father, Itay Pacio… attended by all the people whose lives she touched. Her passing was one of the saddest times in our lives, but we would like to celebrate her life and how she lived it. 
“Nagawa nya ang dapat nyang gawin bilang isang asawa at ina. Nagawa nya ang mga gusto nyang gawin bilang isang tao, babae, mamamayan, kagawad ng barangay at lingkod ng simbahan.” 
Our family were very grateful for all the people who were with us, for the prayers and sympathies…it really touched our hearts and lifted our spirits.

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July 18
Received a gift from the four ladies of S’Next Quality Assurance and Control Department…a beautiful tri-color dangling earrings…fit for my pixie hair. In the evening, we had Dinner at Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy and Sisig…one of the pioneers kainan in Angeles City…trying to be happy but thinking of Inay.

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Mila's Tokwa't Baboy & Sisig Mila's Tokwa't Baboy & Sisig1


July 19
I woke up realizing my mother will not be there to greet me on my birthday…and cried bucket of tears. In the afternoon we had lunch at Lee Foo Panciteria in Malolos, Bulacan…then went to Barasoain Church to pay homage to the relic of Saint Pope John Paul II.

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July 20
I celebrated my 48th birthday…the whole day is all about me…with Daday Jonjie and Daniz beside me.

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July 21
When I arrived at the office, on my table was a gift from S’Next Human Resources and General Affairs Departments…a lovely scarf. And in the afternoon, S’Next Family joined me for a birthday merienda…thank you for the birthday cake.

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July 23
Birthday dinner at home with SFs Ma’am Jeannie, Ma’am Lilet and Sir Ramel. Thank you very much Daday for the sumptuous Flintstone Meal (Garden Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette, Shepherd’s Pie, a choice of Back Ribs or Salisbury Steak) with Chili Con Carne Soup and Turon Sundae for dessert. I loved the single sunflower arrangement that they gave me…

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July 25
I received a birthday gift from my mother-in-law, Mommy Lydia…2 books by Gretchen Rubin: The Happiness Project and The Happiness Project One Sentence Journal. I felt so special and I know I am loved…

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July 28
We took advantage of my “no work” day and declared it with hashtags: #jonjieandanniesday, #justhetwoofus, #justlikeoldtimes. We had lunch at Downtown CafĂ©…and visited the Shrine of the Miraculous Apung Mamacalulu.
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July 30
I received good news about Daniz’ improving conduct and behavior at school…what a fitting way to end the month…cause for a celebration…had dinner at Mesa Filipino Moderne, The Meeting Place, SM City Clark.

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Life goes on...and I pray that August will be a little better. That the love of Jonjie and Daniz, my siblings and all the people who cared will overshadow the pain of losing Inay.

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