Were you the type who crafts a resolution at the start of the year? I used to do that when I was younger. Only to be disappointed after a couple of months of not adhering to the list I’ve made. I’ve decided to spend and enjoy one day at a time.
To quote Ann Landers, “do some of the things you wanted to do but couldn’t find the time.” In my case, to do the things I usually do as long as I’m feeling okay physically. Life isn’t perfect like some days are not rosy.
I grew up in the Catholic tradition of visiting the cemetery to honor the dead every Nov. 1. We would brave the crowd to bring flowers and candles for our departed loved ones. The occasion itself serves as a family reunion to us. Aunts, uncles, and cousins would come to the house to share a simple meal prepared by my mom and aunts.
They would cook sumptuous ‘sinigang’ or ‘nilagang baboy’ for lunch. And before we head to the cemetery in the afternoon, the oldies would prepare ‘kakanin’ usually, ‘biko’ for our snack.
No more burial grounds
It was sad that we no longer practice the tradition because there are no tombs to visit anymore. The area where once the cemetery stood for decades is now the haven of a big commercial establishment. Oddly enough, the commercial place in Alabang is said to be haunted by ghosts.
My uncle failed to recover the remains of my grandparents. But, he was able to acquire an empty place for them at the next town cemetery.
(Update) Sadly, my dear uncle passed on last June. Another family member has joined his Creator.
Light a candle
So for many years now, our family commemorates All Saints’ Day at home. I would light a candle beside the picture of my grandparents, aunt, uncles, and cousin and say a little prayer for them.
I also lit some candles outside our door. Our oldies said the lights from the candle would guide the spirits leading them to the other side.
Aside from hearing the stories about their late great-grandparents, my kids also loved to hear ghost stories when they were little.
I think they got the fancy for horror and supernatural stories from me since I grew up watching horror flicks despite my being so afraid or frightened of creepy characters.
There are a lot of fond childhood memories to share about All Souls and All Saints’ Day but, a single post is not enough to accommodate all of them. How about you, how will you spend or celebrate All Saints’ Day this year?
It’s hard to recall personal “sacrifices” that I have made for my family because I don’t consider them sacrifices but part of my responsibility as a mother and wife.
I can share with you were the occasions when I was assigned provincial assignments and did not see my kids for several days. Even when there was someone to watch over my kids, it’s different when you see them daily and monitor if they have eaten, took their vitamins, or completed their homework. I’m sure there are other moms out there who can relate to my experience.
There was another instance when I was on assignment and got stalled in the area for days. A typhoon hit the province, and no available flights were going back to Manila. I wish I can voice out my complaint to my bosses for giving me the assignment then. But they can’t do anything about it as they too were following orders from the top.
I quit my job not because I don’t love the things that I do for more than a decade, but I thought there are more important things than earning money. I wish I’d stay, but there was a part of me that says I’d had enough. I’m still a working mom at present, but my home serves as my office for online opportunities. I’m happy that I’m no longer an absentee mom but a mom at their beck and call.
How about you what sacrifices you’ve made for your family lately?