Memories, Mi Familia, The Power of His Memory, Theodore

His Mercy Endure Forever

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Dear Theodore,

I have to write. The pain appears too unbearable right now. This past Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, was the 8 year anniversary of your death. It seems like forever ago. I was only 10. Just a young child who’s world was turned upside down in one moment. I won’t go into real detail on what happened, I have done that here, what I want is to write on my own personal experience.

I remember being completely oblivious to what could happen. I was only 10, death didn’t seem real to me. I had never really experienced it. I didn’t know what it was. When we got the call from dad that you were dead, I still didn’t know what that meant. I repeated it to myself trying to see if it would make sense; it didn’t work. I tried to sort it in my mind what had happened… with everyone around me crying, hurt over taking them. I tried to think, but it was the shock that fell on me.

Bernadette asked if anyone would like to go and see you in the hospital, I went. I never walked in your room. I stood outside comforting Jacinta. I was scared. It scared me seeing my brother who was so full of life lying motionless in a hospital bed. Others who were there stood at your bedside. Tears filling their eyes. We all had the same thoughts, emotions. We were all scared. We were hurt. Our hearts broken. We were in shock. And we didn’t really understand what had just happened to our lives; our family.

It hasn’t changed. Eights years and I still question why. Eight years and I am still in shock. Eight years and I still don’t understand what happened. And eight years, I still am broken and hurt.
And so, I know that time will get better and I will once again learn to smile and laugh. My heart will be filled with joy. But right now, I miss you. I miss Nana, too. It has only been a month. I know God has a better and bigger plan, but I can’t see it. In the midst of my sorrow and loss, I don’t understand why this is happening. I can only trust. And as His “mercy endures forever”, I know I will be okay.

I love you, and Nana, too!
-Genevieve

Memories, Mi Familia

A Letter to My Nana

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Dear Nana,

Not a moment passes that I don’t miss you. Not a second of the day that I don’t think of you. Not a minute I don’t love you. Not an hour that I don’t pray for you. And not a day I don’t wish to see you. Just to see your beautiful face. Just to see you smile. Just to hear your voice. To hear you say just once more: I love you.

You were always there. You would call often just to chat. To be ensured that we were doing just fine. I remember multiple times when bad weather would hit our area, you were the first to show concern. You would call to ask if we were alright. You loved us greatly. Each holiday and birthday we looked forward to your card addressed to us. We became your little pen pals; writing as often as possible about happenings in our lives. We never saw you open and read them, but you were sure to tell us how joyful they made you. You always spoke to us with a loving voice and a smile. You were always there for us.

You were there through all the life trials we faced. Therefore there was not a doubt in our mind that we wouldn’t do the same for you. When we got the call early that Saturday morning, there was one thing to do. We went to you. We didn’t think twice about it. We flew to be by your side in life’s most critical point. We stood by your bedside. We prayed for you. We prayed with you. Though your voice was weak, you would pray with us as well. You were very weak, you stilled smiled. You still had the same loving affection for us even then on your deathbed. You told us repeatedly: I love you.

As we retired, you promised you would wait for us to return. We kissed you goodnight. You again told us: I love you. We left for the evening, only to return early the next morning. We stood by your side for the last time. We prayed and continued to pray until you passed. We were there. You told us you loved us, and you do. You promised you would wait for us, and you will.

❤ Your Genevieve

Memories, Theodore

Autism Taught Me To Love

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Dear Theodore,

I know I haven’t written in a long while but I wanted to share something with you. The other night while serving a party the mother informed me that her little boy had autism and that is why he was acting the way he was. I smiled in spite of myself and told her “oh that’s fine! I had a brother with autism.” I didn’t say any more just went on with serving them. Although after that, I payed more attention to how he acted and also how his family and friends treated him.

It led me to think of how it was when you were here. How whenever we would go out dad or Dom would watch over you. How we would inform people of your condition so they would understand. How we refrained from social gatherings since you didn’t like them. And the numerous sacrifices we made for your happiness. Sometimes we would be annoyed or embarrassed with your behavior but mom and dad would remind us how you were “like a child” and couldn’t understand.

We too were unable to fully understand you or why we had to miss so much because of you. But if I pause and think about my life with you there is something very wonderful that you taught not only me, but everyone who knew you. And that was love. You taught me how to love everyone, no matter their condition or state in life.

And as I served my table I couldn’t help but think of the life lessons their little brother was teaching them. Or the graces they were receiving by their little sacrifices they make for his happiness. It pained my heart because I know I will never be given those opportunities again and I wish I had cherished them more. I wish that I could have those moments again. Those moments of learning to love and care for others. They were small and simple sacrifices, but the reward they gave and impact they had, to this day, I remember.

Love,

Genevieve 

P.s. “But the greatest of these is LOVE.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Memories, The Power of His Memory, Who am I?

How do you stay so happy?

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The other day someone asked me: Genevieve, how do you stay so happy?

I was uncertain as how to respond. I kind of chuckled and thought do I really seem happy? This was the day after the funeral of a very close friend’s baby sister. I was rather stunned that this person asked me this question when deep inside I was falling apart. I thought for a second, then replied: Because I focus on the positive. 

The person quickly asked: And what are those?

I replied that I am healthy. I am not dying. I have friends. Family. And my God who love and care for me deeply. I didn’t think much of our little encounter until afterwards. As I was leaving work, I began thinking about that question. I thought to myself: what made him think that? What about my behavior/attitude made him think that? I was perplexed since I didn’t view myself as being very happy. I feel stress, overwhelm, hurt, and lonely. The last feeling I had was happiness. Yet something about my attitude made this person think that I was happy. Something I either said or did made others think that I was happy. Maybe it was my smile. My hearty good-morning to them. Or, maybe it simply was because I am happy. Since if I really sit down and think about everything that has happened in my life, there has been sorrow and pain, but truly I’ve had moments of true happiness.

From the moment my parents baptized me, I’ve had the opportunity to experience true happiness. Happiness that comes from within. Happiness that is lasting. Since God is true happiness and He gave Himself to me so that I can possess the ultimate happiness. The happiness of being with Him forever. As we are taught in our early years of Catechism, if you were the only person, Christ still would have died just for you. It’s a simple way of explaining God’s love for us, yet it is so accurate. I have to remind myself of that simple phrase sometimes, and I will admit sometimes it does not seem to be enough. But if I actually took the time to think of all that has happened in my life–the good and the bad–I would have to admit that I am happy.

And because of all that, I stay happy. I know times get hard and rough, but they get better. This has been proven to me from time and time again. And, as I think about this, I realize just why one would think I am happy… because I have no reason not to be.

Memories, Mi Familia

A Birthday Letter to My Best Friend

jeetaCollageDear Jacinta,

Sixteen years ago today my best friend was born. I was then only eighteen months old, but I think I was quite excited for my newest baby doll! From what they’ve told me, once they gave you to me to hold I was unwilling to give you back! But how could they steal “my” baby?!? 😉

Well, it is very unreal to me that sixteen years have already come and gone! Just before my very eyes you have grown and are maturing into a beautiful young woman! Through the years you have always had my back. You have been the friend to me when I least deserved it. You always have an encouraging word and a jokeless joke to give me. Whenever I feel most lonely, I know I can count on you! If ever there is anything troubling me, you are always the first to be concerned.

It’s just unbelievable that we could go from one second as little girls with bows in our hair playing baby dolls, to now driving and much more interested in make-up and chatting! We always were such good buddies, right?!? I know, we have had our ups and downs, disagreements and quarrels, and even our anger towards each other. But never once in any of those times did I question your love for me and my love for you. We have grown-up together, shared everything from toys, clothes, secrets, and heartache. It’s such a great comfort to me knowing that I shall have someone to go through life with. Makes this crazy dark world brighter and much more full of life and love!

I pray that as the years go by, we grow even closer! That no matter the distance we always stay in touch! And since I can’t put it very meaningfully, I found this poem:

A Sister Just Like You

I just want to let you know

You mean the world to me;

Only a heart as dear as yours

Would give so unselfishly.

The many things you’ve done

All the times that you were there;

Help me know deep down inside

How much you really care.

Even though I might not say

I appreciate all you do;

Richly blessed is how I feel

Having a sister just like you!

Don’t forget that, darling! That because I have a sister, I shall always have a friend! Thank you for always being the perfect and best friend anyone could ever wish for! ❤

God bless you today on your sweet sixteenth birthday!!! 🙂

Love your fortunate elder sister,

Genevieve ❤ ❤ ❤

“Side by side, or miles apart… We are sisters, connected by the heart!” ❤