Tag Archive: ino


Loving Long Weekends

Since we had the new president, long weekends have become scarce. For working peeps, that’s disheartening. I have nothing for and against the previous and new presidents, but if there is one thing I loved about GMA’s administration, it must be her economic policy on long weekends. But for reasons only he knows, PNoy chose to deviate from that policy. Luckily, we had two consecutive long weekends which made me think that working four days a week isn’t so bad after all. Hubby said if he becomes president of the Philippines, that’s the first order he will draw up. I couldn’t stop laughing with that silly dream. Not a bad idea, huh?

Because this weekend is a long one, hubby and I met up with good friends Ino and Sheba. We had fun at dinner just talking about anything we missed about each other for the past couple of months. It always feels good to be in their company. We met up at Greenbelt and spent almost an hour just looking for a place to eat. Can you believe that? Restaurants and bars were packed because of this long weekend fever. Good thing we found good seats at Fish & Co. We ate to our hearts content, although missed out on desserts.

The waiter nicely offered hubby a privilege card which entitles us to 20% discounts in any of Bistro restaurants, including our favorite Friday’s. The card seemed pricey at first but getting it gave us a consumable coupon which we can use on our next visit. Hearing that, I chose not to oppose hubby’s decision to get the card. Its like we will just have no choice but to eat out again next week. 🙂

I suddenly remembered all the coupons that my boss gave me months back, giving discounts and freebies. I am such a rat pack that I tend to forget where I placed all these little papers. Some of them probably expired without having been used. What a waste, huh? If these Coupons she gave me can be found online, I would have found them easily. 😉 I would have bookmarked them right away.

So now, even if tomorrow feels like Sunday already, hubby and I will probably watch a movie, eat out and play around with Ira. And on the real Sunday, we will slack off the whole day and have DVD marathons. Oh I really wish we could have more of these long weekends more often. Less stress and less headaches for everyone. Philippines would probably be a better place. Hahaha. 🙂

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The first thing I do upon waking up, aside from thanking God for another waking day, is check my cellular phone for time and for new messages, if any. This morning was not any different, except for the first message I saw. It was a text message from a good friend and colleague, Atty. Inocencio Vivero, Jr. It was a message informing family and friends that his eldest daughter, Lianne, passed away this morning.

I sat up immediately to check if I was reading it correctly. I told Ryan about the news and he was likewise surprised. He checked his phone and had the same message from Ino. I sighed heavily and almost cried on my knees.

Lianne looked as healthy as any bouncy girl. She was just eight years old, if I’m not mistaken. She was plump and always smiling. I was not really her godmother but she always treated me like one.

As of this time, I really do not know the immediate cause of her death. All I knew is that her Leukemia had relapsed recently. We were supposed to see each other in a birthday party of a friend’s son but it coincided with Lianne’s check-up. Days after, Ino informed us that the Leukemia had relapsed. I did not specifically know that she was confined in the hospital for the last weeks or so had I not seen in his Facebook account. I have been telling Ryan yesterday that if she is still in the hospital in the weekend, then we’ll go see her.

Ino was my classmate in college but we went to different law schools. I can say that we were really never friends before but when we worked together for the Elections last 2007, we bonded so well that we became good friends. I even got him as Ira’s godfather.

We started working together September of 2006. It was around that time when Lianne was diagnosed with Leukemia. I always admired how his wife, Sheba, took care of their children, being a stay-at-home mom. The day we found out the possibility of her illness, I went to San Juan de Dios Hospital and accompanied Ino and Sheba. I was not yet a mother then but I already felt their pain. They appreciated the fact that I was there because they did not know what to do. Came then the successive cycles of chemotherapy and the continuous medications. Everything was doing well for Lianne. Personally, I included her in every novena I had. I always commiserated with them because for a very young couple, it was a very burdensome test from God.

But they did no flinch. They knew Lianne could survive the Big C.

Lianne, on her part, showed more courage that a 6-year-old child may hardly have. It was difficult for all the needles that came through her skin but she never complained. I have seen other children confined in a hospital and they are either hysterically crying all the time or just plain grumpy. But not Lianne. She was as pacified as she can be. Whenever she got scared because tests will be made on her, she would quietly shed tears. When blood came out of her nose, my friend Chubby and I instantly cried. Sheba jokingly said that there is a no crying policy in the hospital. Their battle for Lianne lasted for more than three years and they mightily survived.

July last year, Lianne was pronounced to have zero cancer cells. It was a very joyous thing for Ino’s entire family. I was one of the many friends who shared with their joy.  I even remember Ino blogging seriously about it. They even visited our home late December last year and I cooked dinner for them. They liked the Nachos I prepared and gobbled on fries while playing Wii with her sister Daphne and brother Joaqs.

But just this March, the doctor of Lianne said the Leukemia relapsed. I knew so well that Lianne could surpass this one as much as she did the last time. I always admired the little girl’s strength. But I was wrong. Maybe she was tired. And maybe, she did not want to further subject her family to more agony.

I cannot, for the life of me, begin to imagine the pain of Ino and Sheba. I am a mother now and I understand, more or less, all the pains that come with being a parent. I cannot even blink my eyes to even try imagining how they feel right now. I will not wish such pain on anyone. But I know they will come through this. This I have learned in my regular visits to Noemi Dado’s blog.

Lianne’s death came just in time for the Holy Week when we need to mull over things and re-assess our lives. All deaths leave us a lesson that time is fleeting and that we have to seize each moment. I am glad, somehow, that Lianne’s entire family was able to pamper her for the last two years or so. Maybe thats the goodness of knowing someone is ill, it gives you a chance to savor each day with them.

I am hoping though that we will all learn to pamper our loved ones, in a way that we will feel its enough (although it will never be enough) so that when the end inevitably comes, we will be assured that we have made them feel our love.

When I asked Ino if they need any help with anything, his reply to me was:

“Magkita kita lang tayong masaya sa harap ni lianne, ok na yun mare.”

I almost cried with his reply. Cliche’ aside,I am sure Lianne is happy now.  She was a very good girl and accepted her plight with the maturity that none of us may have.

I remember Lianne’s reply when Ino and Sheba told her that she may lose her hair because of the chemotherapy. She said and I quote (not verbatim):

“Magsusuot na lang ako ng hat. Bilhan nyo na lang ako ng hat.”

I was deeply touched by her acceptance. Lianne’s hair grew back just fine, it even became beautifully curly, like that of a doll.

I will no longer see her shy smile.  Ino will no longer share stories about her daughter’s battle with Leukemia. He will no longer ask for prayers for Lianne’s recovery. I will always look for her unassuming eyes. After she gives me a kiss on the cheek, she will always just answer shyly to my questions. I have always admired Lianne’s good heart. Her kindness never failed to light up a dim room. It always reverberated to touch my heart. For the few years that I have come to know her, I have learned from her a lot about loving, giving and fighting.

Being a mother myself, I know how difficult it is to go through the days knowing that your very precious child has passed away. As they all say, no parent should bury his own child. Just thinking about it brings throngs of pain to my heart. And I will not even attempt to tell Ino nor Sheba that things will be okay. I will just let them be and let them grieve for I am certain that their pain is beyond words.

Grieving is the process they have to go through and much as I try to, I will not wholly understand the process. All I can do is to pray with them. And I will do that for them until their hearts are completely healed.

I cannot deny though that it is saddening that the world lost another good soul. But I know inasmuch as Ino and Sheba know, that Lianne is now healed and happier.

We will all see her up there…someday. 🙂