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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Junarakasa's Story Take Two

I have purposely not written anything for my blog during my dad’s illness, hospitalization and passing. It was a decision that stemmed from just being plain preoccupied with taking care of my dad. But more than that, I was simply waiting for my dad to get better before posting again. In many ways, this blog has always been largely about my dad and me. In fact for those that don't know or who are new readers to this blog, "Junarakasa" was my dad's nickname for me. That's why I decided to use that name for this blog.

Dad has been my biggest fan in everything I do. And this blog was no exception. He would visit my site more than once every day and would send me emails whenever a few days would pass and I would not have any new entries. On the days when I did have something to write about, he would never fail to post a comment, no matter how short, to let me know he had read what I had written. Not only that, my dad would “advertise” this blog to everyone he knew so they too could read my thoughts and experiences. We would have marathon phone conversations and even emails back and forth discussing a particular blog entry. It was in many ways one of the reasons why I felt so close to my dad even if I lived so far from home. Because of this, I wanted to wait till dad got well again before I resumed blogging, so he and I could go back to the way things were before he got sick.

When dad passed away 4 weeks ago, (dramatic as it may seem) I thought to myself that there was no way I would blog again. It was painful for me to even visit my own blog and revisit posts about dad and comments from him, much more continue posting my thoughts and feelings about him and other things. But the more I think about it and the more I remember the kind of person my dad was, the more I realize that I have to continue doing this. I know dad would not have wanted me to stop doing something I enjoyed and that was therapeutic for me. I know I owe it to him and to myself to continue writing and to move on with my life doing what I enjoy doing. But most of all, I know that even if dad is no longer with me physically, he is still reading this blog from up there and that in his own way he’ll find a way to “post a comment” and let me know what he thinks of the things I write. It still will be a way for me to be close to him.

So this blog continues … Junarakasa’s story goes on … and it is written in the memory of the man who inspired me to start this all almost 4 years ago.

P.S. I want to take this time to THANK everyone who helped my dad and my family during my dad’s illness. THANK YOU to all of you (you know who you are). Thanks to those who donated blood and platelets, those who helped us man the bloodbank and exhaust all means to find donors, those who helped us get supplies and buy hard to find medicines. Thanks to those who visited dad in the ICU, the private room and at home. Your presence no matter how brief made him so happy. Thank you to those who sent flowers, cards, balloons, food, and inspirational books and music. Thank you for your letters, emails, text messages and phone calls.They did help give us comfort. Thanks to those who prayed with us and celebrated mass with us. Thanks to those who stayed up late with us on nights when we needed someone to talk to, those who took us out when we needed a break, those who lent us a shoulder when we needed to unburden, and those who cried with us when we needed to let go. My dad and all of us are blessed to know who our real friends are and who we can really count on when the going gets tough. On behalf of the original 7 J's, thank you all very much.


Pamela said...

Hey Jo, thanks for sharing your thoughts and the story of what a wonderful relationship you have with your dad. I can't imagine how difficult a time you've had and it's great that you are able to find a positive outlook afterwards. Keep your chin up!

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne....Nice to hear that you are ok. It is so interesting to read your blog and have forwarded it to Notsky. I am hoping that he learns from your experiences and how you've blossomed to a matured person you are now. Our family is so happy and proud of you. Your mom and i have been taking care of some concerns lately.... and everything is going smoothly. Grandma is also getting better and will soon be back playing her MAHJONG. BTW, i am reminding you to start planning the family outing with my timeshares....not easy to plan these things out...but can be rewarding and fun when it pushes through. Those moments will always be cherished and would come in handy when one is feeling down and the going gets rough in life. Life is short... lets take time out and ENJOY!!! I am looking forward to see you and Jojo this X'mas in Manila....Hopefully, Jenny and her husband can also fly in. Chris always makes it a point to join us for the X'mas holidays. Take care and have a GREAT DAY!!! UNC

joyeee said...

hi dets, that was a really touching blog. I love what you wrote and I'm sure dad loved it too! :) I don't normally check or read your blogs. Infact, it would always be dad reminding me to read your blog and to post a comment after. He would be so happy when I do so. But surprisingly and by some strange, mysterious luck- I just decided to log in, read your blog, and post a comment. (must be dad giving me a sign)

So here I am, posting my comment. It was truly touching and inspiring what you wrote. I'm glad that you have started writing again. I'll try to take time in read your blog as often as I could. ( as if im so busy) Anyway, Can't wait for you guys to come home or we go there.... It'll be one big reunion again! Takecare for now!

Till your next blog! :)

Joanne said...

Thanks, Pam. Glad to hear from you. Hope you and Michael are doing well. You guys planning to come to LA soon? =)

Unc, I promise I am going to work on planning our family vacation. I agree with you 100% that life is too short and we should spend as much time with family and friends and just ENJOYING life. Can you email me your time share site again? And yes, we'll be back home for the holidays!

Tibby, thanks for stopping by my site. See? Dad did it again. He's reminding you to check out my blog the way he used to do. =) I can't wait to see you here or in Manila too - miss you a lot! Take care and wait for my call later.

mom said...

Your article about your dad brought tears to my eyes. I know he knows just how much you loved and cared for him. Your dad was a very lucky man to have 3 daughters who loved him so wholeheartedly and cared for him in the most extraordinary ways. I am so very happy and my heart so full when I think of all that you did for your dad. He and I had a small joke how he would one day drink "hot soup". This was a term we used refering to the service that children would render their parents thus "warming them in their later years. Well I know, and your dad admitted that he had more than his share of very very hot soup from all his children. I guess it is not surprising as he was that rare father who gave everything as best as he can to all his children. We are all so fortunate to have had him in our lives. Just to make mention your 2 brothers have "sacrificed" their own dreams to pursue what was dear to your dad, and that I see as a supreme act of love from his sons as well. I am so proud to have all 5 of you as my children.

Ina said...

Hi Joanne, thanks for sharing your blog with me. I don't know anyone else who has a blog whose biggest fan is their parent. With me, it's my mom. I hope you keep blogging, because I'm sure your Dad will be reading (and watching) you from heaven. See you over the holidays, and hopefully Marou won't be a snuffy anymore. :-)

CarminaS said...

It's my first time to visit your blog, and ironically it happens on Father's Day weekend. I got teary-eyed and truly appreciated the stories about you and your dad, immensely. I miss my own dad now that I've been living away on my own and your blogs remind me to treasure my moments with him much much more.

Take Care Jo... Regards to Jojo =)


Jojo_LYF said...

I know Dad will be proud of you as you begin restarting your journal, he may not comment in your blog but I'm sure he will be talking about your blog to "people" around him.

If there is something he won't stop reading , it would be your blog, so continuing your blog will be continuing a legacy that you and Dad started.

Until your next blog.

leslie Ty said...

jo...i'm sooooo happy you are blogging again... =) i know Uncle James will be so proud and happy that you decided to continue blogging =)

super excited ako when you told us na you will continue to blog =) everyday i will look forward to open my laptop and check your site =)

I will continue to be your #1 fan =) keep blogging ha? =)

Joanne said...

Mom - Thanks for your support. We are glad to be able to serve you guys the "hot soup" you deserve.

Ina - Thanks for stopping by. And yes, I am hoping to catch up with you and Marou too. Although she does not know me yet, she is now included in the list of people I am planning to hang out with. (haha). "Hi" to Mike too!

Mins - So glad you were able to check out my blog. Yes, cherish the time you have with your dad. It's always hard when you no longer live at home - but am sure you'll find a way to spend "quality" time with him too. Thanks for your email. Am so glad to have a friend like you. See you soon.

Hon - wow! I'm so honored na nag-comment ka na. Sige, see you in the next room ... =)

Les - I'm glad to be back blogging too. Thanks for all your support throughout. Really could not have gotten through the last 6 months without you. I am so grateful to have you as one of my bestest friends for the last (OMG) 29 years! Did I just reveal too much here??? =)