Grief & Loss, Healing, Quotes & Excerpts, Thea's Thoughts

Thinking the Unthinkable

It’s July 30th, a year after Steve’s body was found. I went to visit the place where he was found and went to the cemetery to bring flowers and said a prayer for him.

Flowers for Steve
Flowers for Steve

I was dreading this day. I wasn’t really sure how my day will pan out. But I guess, I have to go on as I do everyday – go to work and then take care of Kyle when I get home.

It had been more than a year since the unthinkable happened. And yet, the memory is still fresh like it was only yesterday. The pain is raw like a wound that wouldn’t heal. I still can’t believe he’s gone. A few days ago after all these months, our little munchkin asked me that he wanted to see his Daddy…that he missed him. I was speechless and all I could do was to hug our little one.

Reading books and positive affirmations sometimes help me alleviate this heaviness in my heart.  I’m trying to live through this but sometimes it can be too much.  Out of necessity, I’d compartmentalized my grief, and I read somewhere that it can only work so far. What I know for sure is that I’ll never forget the people who had caused so much pain to Steve.  Losing Steve hurt me, my son and my family in ways that can’t be quantified. They will be held accountable for their actions. And when that happens, then maybe I will finally be at peace.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” ~ Washington Irving

In closing, I would like to request to say a little prayer for Steve’s eternal peace. Thank you.

Grief & Loss, Healing, Thea's Thoughts

Steve, a Dad.

I came across this poem a few years ago just after Steve and I had our little munchkin. When I reflected on this poetry before, I thought about my own Dad who had passed away when I was young.

But now, this reminds me of Steve —how he was with our little munchkin. He was the world to him.  He loved him so much. He was with us for a short time but the life that he had as an honest and good man will live on even after death. He was a great Dad.

Daddy & Me
Daddy & Me

Follow A Famous Father

Poem by Edgar Albert Guest

I follow a famous father,
His honor is mine to wear;
He gave me a name that was free from shame,
A name he was proud to bear.
He lived in the morning sunlight,
And marched in the ranks of right.
He was always true to the best he knew
And the shield that he wore was bright.

I follow a famous father,
And never a day goes by
But I feel that he looks down to me
To carry his standard high.
He stood to the sternest trials
As only a brave man can;
Though the way be long, I must never wrong
The name of so good a man.

I follow a famous father,
Not known to the printed page,
Nor written down in the world’s renown
As a prince of his little age.
But never a stain attached to him
And never he stooped to shame;
He was bold and brave and to me he gave
The pride of an honest name.

I follow a famous father,
And him I must keep in mind;
Though his form is gone, I must carry on
The name that he left behind.
It was mine on the day he gave it,
It shone as a monarch’s crown,
And as fair to see as it came to me
It must be when I pass it down.

Thea's Thoughts

Happy Birthday, Steve.

My little munchkin and I are spending time with my in laws in Boston. It’s great to be back but it’s the first time that we’re back visiting Steve’s family without him. I’m having mixed feelings. It’s feels strange without him here. I’m happy that the little one is having a great time with his Nana. I’m still having these moments when I think about him and it’s still painful.

What could have been? Although I’m a great believer in being grateful for the things that you have right now, my heart still goes to that place where I wish he’s still with me and our little munchkin.

It was his birthday yesterday. And we celebrated his birthday by celebrating life.

Grief & Loss, Healing, Quotes & Excerpts, Thea's Thoughts

Gone Away

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Steve. Even when I buried myself with work and taking care of our little munchkin, he’s everywhere with me and yet physically not with me. At times, it’s too much to bear thinking about it.

Our godmother from our wedding gave me a calendar with passages from the bible. I put it on my desk at work so that every single day, there’s a message that I read. It helps me somehow. Today, it’s a month before the anniversary of when he was missing and I thought about this song. It describes how I feel right now.

via The Offspring – Gone Away – YouTube

Grief & Loss, Quotes & Excerpts, Thea's Thoughts

The Headstone

I finally dealt with getting a headstone for Steve. It should be fairly simple – just order online, choose a few graphics & pictures and it’ll be delivered when it’s done.  The reason it took a while for me to deal with this is because I felt that there’s no going back, he’s really physically gone. It was emotionally draining after doing that.

It has been a while since I wrote something but what else can I say besides the fact that I missed him terribly. These days, I’m busy with taking care of my little munchkin & work. This coming May 11th, it’ll will mark the 1st year since Steve had been reported missing. A lot of things had happened since then. And later on when the time is right, I will share more.

I’m planning on having a Memorial Mass for Steve on that day.

“Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depths of some devine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.”
― Alfred Tennyson

Grief & Loss, Healing, Quotes & Excerpts, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Thanksgiving

It’s been a while since I wrote something here. The tragedy that happened to our family had been taking it’s toll. At the end of the day, I was just exhausted so I’m trying to sleep more. At the same time, I didn’t want this website to be a pity party.

Thanksgiving Flowers For Steve
Thanksgiving Flowers For Steve

Continue reading “Thanksgiving”

Grief & Loss, Healing, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Can A Dinosaur Die?

Uncle Jim & Aunt Irene visited us last month and the little munchkin was just really happy spending time with them. A few weeks before they arrived, he had started mentioning and asking about his Daddy in more frequency. I’m always unprepared whenever he mentions Steve.

Walt Disney's Dinosaur
Walt Disney’s Dinosaur

It’s not that I don’t want the little one to mention and ask for his Dad. It’s actually great that he still remembers him. It’s just that what I’m concerned about is my reaction to his questions. Most of the time I don’t have any answer at all and all I can do is just hug him. Also, it’s the longing in his voice that I hear that really rubs it in. It’s like he’s expressing what I’m feeling inside that I’m trying to quell because sometimes, I have to.

A few weeks ago, I borrowed the Disney animated film, “Dinosaur” from the office library for our weekend movie marathon because the little munchkin is crazy these days about dinosaurs. I won’t be surprised if he turned out to be a paleontologist  someday. He can actually tell me their names or the different types of dinosaurs which is kinda cute. There was one scene which is almost at the end of the movie where the tyrannosaurus rex Continue reading “Can A Dinosaur Die?”

Issues, Labor Issues, Quotes & Excerpts, Thea's Thoughts

Working Smarter Rather Than Just Working Hard

Because of the recent tragedy in our family, I’d been reflecting on what are the most important things in life. A few of the things I’d been thinking about are time and work. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do for work. I’m thinking about how I’m going to juggle quality time with my little munchkin and being my best at work at the same time. Because of this, I’d been reflecting on about the American perception of working hard. I’d been hearing about this “working smart” idea for the longest time and I want to apply it to my life somehow.

Making Time
Making Time

Working smart is not about working less or not working hard at all. I think working smart is about finding the job that you’re passionate about, balancing life and work by spending quality time with your family, taking care of your health and rejuvenate, and still have time to take care of your chores.

According to the American Psychological Association, we have an overstressed nation. “As the aftershocks of the Great Recession continue to be felt across the country, money (76 percent), work (70 percent) and the economy (65 percent) remain the most oft- cited sources of stress for Americans. Job stability is on the rise as a source of stress; nearly half (49 percent) of adults reported that job stability was a source of stress in 2010 (compared to 44 percent in 2009). At the same time, fewer Americans are satisfied with the ways their employer helps them balance work and non-work demands (36 percent compared to 42 percent in 2009).” This stress could translate to physical and mental health problems.

I don’t always agree on Bill Maher’s politics but on this one he has a point: “Our politicians love to brag, “The American worker is the most productive worker in the world.”  Yeah, ’cause they work scared. That’s why a majority don’t even take all of the few vacation days they get.  Because you don’t want to seem less valuable to your boss…”

There’s a movement named, “Take back your Time” which is working on ideas for an action and a comprehensive program to win more free time for Americans. They have a website:

http://www.timeday.org/

Also, they’re promoting a bill called” The Minimum Leave Protection, Family Bonding and Personal Well-Being Act:

http://www.timeday.org/right2vacation/Minimum%20Leave%20Protection%20Bill.pdf

I’d been thinking about how this proposed bill would mean to me. I work on a contractual basis and I think about what will happen when my contract ends this year.  I really like where I’m working now which have a flexible working time. Because our government  don’t have any mandated vacation time, I worry about the next job that comes along.  Would it have the same working conditions that I have now?

I’ m also thinking about the employer’s perception on single parents. Even if there’s a considerable progress that has been made here in this country, there’s still a perception that if you’re a woman and you’re the sole provider for the child, you’re somehow limited on what you can do at work. I think that if you’re not available to work overtime because you need to pick up your child at school at a certain time or you have to take a half day off so you can be with your child  for their dance recital, it doesn’t mean that you’re not capable of the job. I think that mandating vacation time would protect my quality time for my son,  for myself and still be productive at the same time.

It’s ironic how Americans joke about how other industrialized nations have mandated vacation time with an average of 20 days paid time off on top of public holidays and sick leaves and yet, we secretly wish we have the same thing.

Grief & Loss, Healing, Quotes & Excerpts, Reminiscing, Thea's Thoughts

Halloween 2012

Happy Halloween
Happy Halloween

Holidays are difficult without Steve. It’s a reminder that we’re celebrating these important days without him. Last year, we spend Halloween at the East Coast. It’s one of our favorite holidays, especially for my brother in law. It also gives us an excuse to be silly & wear costumes. Steve is not a costume-y kind of guy. The most costume that he would wear would be a devil’s horn that I bought for him years ago for the West Hollywood Halloween Parade but he loved bringing along the little munchkin for trick or treating. This time I decorated a little bit outside our home. I think I was  making a concerted effort to compensate for Steve’s absence.

Happy Halloween
Happy Halloween
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011

This year, we had full day celebrating Halloween. The nursery had a little Halloween party with the kiddos  wearing costume during the day.  I left early from work so  I can bring the little one trick or treating at the mall since they stop giving treats at 7pm. Then I brought him to the Los Angeles Live Steamers to ride the Halloween Train. Before the night ends, we drove all the way to a family friend’s Halloween Party to meet up with my cousins and celebrate the rest of the Halloween night there. The little munchkin was wearing his dinosaur costume, playing around with my cousins roaring and eating los of candies and chocolates. He definitely had a sugar overload that day.

Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011

The next day when he woke up, instead of asking eggs for breakfast, he was asking for a lollipop. That made me smile.

Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011