30 November 2017

Because this is my first post... after a really long time*

Yesterday, a friend asked me: "Ate, do you still update your blog?" To be honest, I haven't really thought about blogging in a really long time. Do people still blog? My mind has been too preoccupied in the past couple of years to even try to put my thoughts into words. Sure, I update Instagram and Twitter from time to time but that's it. Microblogging was the only thing I could afford to do in my spare time. But now it suddenly feels like I have all the time in the world. And I've never felt this way since forever. Because yesterday was my last day at work - a job I've had for the past 9.5 years of my life. Funny how it feels like I only started working yesterday. Time sure flew by so fast. But it hasn't sinked in yet. I waited for this moment for more than a year and now that it's here, it feels surreal. This crybaby didn't even shed a tear. The only time I felt emotional was when I returned my company ID. Maybe because technically, today was supposed to be my last day but since it's a holiday, I got an extra free day. But tomorrow will be different. I wouldn't be doing the things that I've been doing every single day for the past 9.5 years. How does one break a routine? And more importantly, how do you start a new one? I'm scared of this uncertainty but also excited about all the possibilities of where it will take me. As cliche as it sounds, I know that all of this is part of God's plan for me. So I will learn to trust Him, and let Him take control of my new journey. I may have lost something that has been part of me for almost a decade, but my job doesn't define me. I will take all the lessons and experiences I've accumulated over the years with me wherever I go, and for that I am nothing but thankful. From here on, it's an all new adventure. And I can't wait to face it head on.

* Yes, someone just finished watching Because This Is My First Life, and is still very much affected by it ^^

05 March 2015

I'm alive!

How sad is it that the last post I have on here was when Kero-chan passed away? Di naka-move on? I admit it has been painful - twice as painful as losing Chippy. There are days when I miss her so bad, I can't help but cry. I still greet her every time I pass by the little shrub Dad planted on her grave as a marker. But I can't stay sad forever. Cocopie's addition to the family has really helped us get through (not over) the pain of losing our dear Kero-chan.

So what made me come back here? Remember when I finally built up enough courage to apply for graduate school last year? Well, it's been a year and I'm currently on my second trimester (six more to go!) in the MBA program. Balancing work and school is a challenge but I'm getting by. So I figured it's time to take a bigger leap... which I actually did yesterday. It's not a sure thing yet but taking that first step took a lot of courage. I've never been this excited and terrified in my life. Yes to new adventures!

11 June 2014

Good night, Kero-chan :(

People close to our family know who Kero-chan is - our trusty little guard dog with stubby little paws. Only a handful know that her real name is Carebear though (because the markings on her face made her look like a chubby little bear cub when she was still a puppy). As with all our pets, her name evolved into a couple of nicknames: Keroberos (because of Card Captor Sakura), Kero-chan (obviously taken from the latter not because of Jackie Chan), Kero, Kerocchin (because of Slam Dunk's Ryota or Ryocchin), Keroppi, Fluffy, Fluffy Tail, Fatty (for when she eats like a vacuum), etc. And anyone who's ever been to our house know the SOP: you have to find a seat ASAP or suffer the consequences of unlimited barking/scolding from Kero-chan.

But today, our home is unusually quiet as we finally had to say goodbye to our dear Kero-chan. It has been a difficult month for our family, especially for Kero-chan. After Chippy passed away in 2010, we knew we only have limited time left with Kero-chan as dogs live up to an average of 10-12 years. As she reached geriatric age, she developed lumps in her mammary glands (an illness old female dogs are prone to) which could only be removed by surgery. However, her weak heart prevented her from being a candidate so the vet put her on maintenance meds instead and we switched her diet to a healthier one.

She remained her jolly old self until a month ago when her condition suddenly worsened. I immediately got scared as it brought back memories of losing Chippy. She was so weak, she had to be carried all the way to the vet. I left the office to accompany her because I didn't want 2010 to happen all over again. I promised her that I will stay by/on her side - that I would fight for her and do everything to bring her back home alive. And that I did. Even when the vet suggested over and over again that we have the option of putting Kero-chan to sleep to relieve her pain. I refused because I can see in her eyes that she's still fighting. She has always been a fighter - even as a pup. We gave her away like all of Chippy's pups (because we can't raise more than one dog in our humble condo unit) but she refused to be given away. When our neighbor (her new human) went to the bakery with her, she made a run for it and came back to our house. So we decided to keep her. I figured, if she's going to leave us now, I don't want it to be my choice but hers.

Still, the vet advised that we should start preparing because it seemed like Kero-chan would only last a couple days. I cried countless times, praying for a miracle. I was so scared to let Kero-chan go because losing her will be twice as painful. It's like losing Chippy all over again. But God gave me the miracle I was asking for. After a few days, Kero-chan was back on her feet, happily welcoming us home again. I knew it wouldn't last - that God was just giving us time to prepare ourselves to slowly let Kero-chan go. Three weeks passed and she remained in high spirits. She was back to fighting Coco-chan again. But a couple of days ago, her arthritis kicked in and she fell ill once again. We took turns nursing her, feeding her, giving her sponge baths, and spending late nights by her side if only we could relieve some of her pain by being there for her and petting her. We even said our final goodbyes a bit early just in case she doesn't make it through the night. But she did. Dogs (or pets in general) usually go into hiding when they fall ill or are nearing their deaths. Chippy did. All our previous cats did. But Kero-chan refused to leave her favorite spot right outside our bedroom door. She remained the clingy dog that she is until the very end.

No matter how many times I prepared myself for the worst, I still wasn't ready when it happened. I was getting ready for work when she started crying. Really loud. I was panicking because she was panicking but I rushed to her side to pet her, make her drink water, and give her a sponge bath. I was already telling her that it's okay to let go, that everything will be okay. She calmed down from time to time but I knew it was happening soon so I called mom and cried over the phone because I don't know what to do and I just can't make THAT decision for her. But after a few minutes, she stopped crying. We were all relieved to find out that she just pooped. False alarm but still, I've never been more scared in my life. I didn't want to go to work but Ate Elsa made me because Kero-chan already went back to sleep. So I did but not without saying good night to her (like I always do before she falls asleep), and not without reminding them to just keep petting her in case she starts crying again. After an hour, I received the devastating news. I tried to fight back my tears because I need to drive home but I just couldn't. When I came home, Kero-chan looked the same way she did when I left her - sleeping. But this time, she was sleeping for good.

Mom and Nee-chan came home from work too. We all gathered to say our final goodbyes for Kero-chan and buried her near our house because that's what she would've wanted. My heart is still aching but I'm glad we never gave up on her. As weird as it is for me to say this, love is indeed watching someone die. It was painful to see her in pain but we were there for her as she has always been for us. She left us two days shy from my birthday. And despite all the tears, I know she gave me the best birthday gift she can - the peace of mind that she's now in a much better place, free from any kind of pain. A place where she can sleep all she wants, and eat all the Dentastix she wants. A place where she can be together with her mum, Chippy, once again.

Thirteen years (or 77 in doggy years) might seem too short but for a sweet puppy like Kero-chan, that's more than enough time for her to bring happiness and cheer to our home. As they say, dogs are not meant to live for as long as we do. They come into our lives when we need them, and leave us when we need to start a new chapter. So good night, Kero-chan! See you in the resurrection morning. :)