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Anna Santos


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     There are times in my life when the whole world just stops and everything else melts away, unleashing my dreadful solitude, undisturbed with an empty feeling of being left alone, away from home.  I have been yanked, stitched and pulled by things of my inner cravings, guilty of not really being satisfied with what we already have, and for being so concerned on what makes us live rather than what makes our lives worth living.




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     This “career upgrade” had made me separated from my loved ones. Every hypoglycemic drug dose I’ve calculated for a patient, every prick of a finger in every blood sugars I’ve taken, I have lost that priceless moment to care for my kids. Every fleeting moment of their growth, my family had felt my absence undeniably. I still don’t know how to explain this to them, that I am far away in training so that I may go back as a subspecialist, a better physician perhaps, to our diabetic patients.

    In my conscience-stricken mind, I know I have not yet exerted my super-“bestest” effort as a better parent. And here I am having all the time of the world to be with..well…myself.

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My kids may not grasp my intermittent absence, as I would suddenly appear in our home in a flash, just before vanishing again for a long time. It squeezed my heart knowing that they have cried looking for me all over the house realizing in the morning that mom was not in bed with them again. Now it crushed me to know that my kids learned to sleep on their own, without mama’s hugs and lullaby to put them to sleep. And this will go on and on, my appearing and disappearing, till my training ends. In their raw minds, my non-appearance proliferates their lives, seemingly snatching their mom away from them; A huge heartbreaking sacrifice me and my family have to endure.


        Imagine your life going to mass alone for over a year now. That’s me, eye-gazing in the crowd of church-goers having acquired the hobby of watching over families with kids the age as my kids. I’ve changed, even my favorite part of the mass has switched, from homily, to that sign of  “peace” time, where kids squeeze in to grab a kiss. It is heart warming and comforting indeed as I bow my head and pray to our Almighty to please please bring my loved ones to safety while I am away.


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     I know I am guilty of craving for more recognition in life, but what is there to applaud? The Lord’s answer came from a reflection in a misalette inside a church, “Life is Like a Cup of Coffee”. And that is, to just make the best of everything for we only have a moment out of every time. Live simply, love generously, speak kindly, care deeply, live uprightly.


    My family is now facing a hard battle, of trying to withstand the test of time and distance, and sustain to be together though we are apart. They have let go so I could explore and to leave no rock nor pebble unstirred in hopes that our coming years will have more satisfaction true to my heart’s desires.

    And so I pray to bring me safely to the place where I belong, called home, after I am done with this training. I can’t wait to hear my children’s stories once more, no matter how incomprehensible it will be. And watch DVDs while sipping coffee with my loving husband, and listen blankly to my mother’s sermon. Those where our usual simple stuffs I miss. Life will not pass me by just that. When that time comes, nothing will ever be wasted. .

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Anna Santos
Picture 002 
Today (as of this writing), is the first Sunday of Lent. And as I sit waiting for the mass, a child handed me a misalette, with a reflection on it  that life is like a cup of coffee. Reading thru, it didn’t took me a moment to realize that the happiest people don’t have the best expensive cups, but made the best coffee and savored it while its hot. Life is what we make it, as the saying goes.
Read on..

Life is Like A Cup of Coffee
by: Fr. Ogie Magbanua, SSP
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said : “If you noticed, all the nice-looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What was all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began  eyeing each others cups.

Now consider this: life is the coffee; the jobs, money, and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.

Life is like a cup of coffee. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups! The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

Live simply. Love generously. Forgive until it hurts. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Live uprightly.


This made me reflect a bit on myself and my life hence my post : Mom Alone, Home Away.



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Anna Santos
stress

In this training, it seems like no matter what I have accomplished or how few the commitments I made, there will always be something to stress about. Whether it’s exams, papers, diab clinics, conferences, reports, relationships and bills (light and water, phone line, DSL, TV cable or condominium association fees), something will always be looming around my head. And as these things continue to hover, stress  arises to meet them, there to meet the challenge, but often putting myself in overdrive and pushing my body into a state of anxiety.


Just like today. I started my Ash Wednesday going to mass and became overwhelmed by the priest’s sermon of the Holy Gospel. When I am about to get to practice being a good Christian, by encouraging people to go to mass, it turns out to be a bad idea. Sometimes it'll be better to just be still so you will not be thought of wrongly. Or else, I worry. Just like I worry on my patient who just had a re-stroke while waiting for her clearance to discharge. And as I sit on this nurse station, unable to go home to even take a quick bath (and surely the ride home is more stressful), with an insulin drip and the hourly CBG monitoring at hand, in a semi-comatose patient, I’ll always be at my toes or I might push my patient towards her mortality.

See, if you’re under stress, not only does your mind worry constantly, but your body reacts as well. I battle over headaches, muscle tension, insomnia and occasional acne, which make myself pretty stressed out most highly. Spa salons will make lots of money over girls like me. I admit, these days, its a bit expensive to have a sound mind and a sound body.

I have wanted to seize the day over wanting to accomplish all things at the same time in a short while before the world would come crashing down. The magnitude made me stop and think, will these things that occupy my worried mind matter a year from now? No, it’s actually not even important. I guess, I just have to figure out what’s worth my mental energy and focus on that.

So I always tell myself to keep my cool, and take one step at a time. What I found to be huge unmanageable problems are really just a series of smaller, manageable task. But this I learned anyway, certain things are out of my reach, I can’t control it, and some things can’t change. There’s no point in worrying or stressing about it. It might not be worth stressing over.

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