My Dad had once told me to grow balls. It was on a glorious Sunday morning and our neighbours’ roosters were bursting with life. The rest of the house was still deeply asleep as it was just the break of dawn. I could taste freshly baked bread and steaming butter as their lingering traces filled the air inside my chest. My Mum had just lovingly prepared breakfast. I was 8yrs old, short and skinny, with an empty stomach yet fuelled with courage - it was my first day attending Taekwondo. I was just a boy with innocence swimming around me but I was determined to learn the skills to protect the people that I truly treasure on this planet and to perhaps one day gallantly stand up for the ones I am going to love and share my life with.

Not long ago, in fact a few months back, I lost Dad, then four months after that, I lost Mum. I have never grieved their passing away because just like any hardship or test, I have faced each and every one of them headstrong. I get moments when I am peacefully aware and alone in meditation when my memory takes me to time when they were just truly inspiring. I’ve always wondered though, how Dad saw me as a man when he was still alive. On the same note, I have wondered what Mum’s last words would be for me just before she lost the ability to speak. I used to tell my parents stories at dinnertime whenever I came home from an adventure or life’s unending missions. They were like stories of how I felt deep inside as I admired in great awe this immense universe during one cold summer night wrapped in the blanket of stars whilst in my warm sleeping bag which I gently laid out on the peak of a dormant volcano. I have described how tiring yet fascinating the journey was each day I pursued higher and higher ground. I was so captivated to the point wherein the fullness of the experience made me abandon the aches and the pains of carrying a heavy backpack. I think both Mum and Dad had an idea that their youngest son will someday leave their side and seek life’s purpose on his own and that somewhere down the path of growing up, he will miss some of their birthdays and in turn will celebrate his own birthday away from home. I still remember how my Mum bravely fought her emotions as she silently shed tears on the day I went to Japan to live and work there. Again, there was I when I came home for a short break, describing how I fell in love to the beauty of sakura the first time I saw it and how gently the fragile leaves swayed with each passing cool breeze as well as how they’d gracefully fell like butterflies' wings gliding in the air – it was natures poetry ever so dignified and majestic; how my slender fingers froze after making multitudes of happy scary snowmen and snow angels when I’ve experienced snow for the first time in my life. Most importantly, I can never forget Mum’s comforting love whenever I laid my head on her lap and without a fail, Mum would run her fingers through my hair as she often would, like the time I told her every bits and pieces of the feeling of getting my young and inexperienced heart broken by a girl whom I can’t keep as my joy. I never truly spoke to Dad about it maybe because of this once young man’s idealistic beliefs and flaming ego but somehow I knew he felt it too because at that time, I felt anger towards my self and seemingly got lost in a maze of hopeless confusion the first time I was confronted by the fact that not all things that exist can be made to lovingly endure co-existence.

I really miss my Dad’s fortitude...
I sadly miss my Mum’s healing touch...
..And Maybe it is okay to allow myself to Grieve as I have allowed myself to boldly, bravely and blindly Love…

 Daddy and Mama, April 2006.

Daddy and Mama, April 2006.

 Mama and my nephew's son. I call this the 'Elmo moment' for some obvious reason, April 2006.

Mama and my nephew's son. I call this the 'Elmo moment' for some obvious reason, April 2006.



 Patrick's first meeting with his Lolo (Grandpa) and his Lola (Grandma)... He was a gigantic 5month old baby. In this photo, Mum and Dad were deciding who should take Patrick from his Mum's arms first - of course it was Lola. Photo was taken in the summer of April 2006 at Intercontinental Hotel Makati City, Philippines.

Patrick's first meeting with his Lolo (Grandpa) and his Lola (Grandma)... He was a gigantic 5month old baby. In this photo, Mum and Dad were deciding who should take Patrick from his Mum's arms first - of course it was Lola. Photo was taken in the summer of April 2006 at Intercontinental Hotel Makati City, Philippines.

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