30th Day August

This day, every year, I comb through photo albums in search of photos of us, you and me as a young child. Sadly, there aren’t too many, the few blurred pictures that

St. Joseph's Church
create what delicate memories I have. I recounted to N. what this morning was like twelve years ago. Today is the day that your Lolo died, and we especially remember him today. Like the movie Coco. She asks, Can we place his picture on the altar?

It was the one time we decided to sleep at our home in need of a short respite as we were on death watch for the past almost three weeks. Early morning, Mom called, Come now. A. and I raced down the turnpike in silence. I’d been doing this drive back and forth between my parents’ and ours for a while now.

Nunda Ave.
The time to say goodbye had arrived. 

Deeply grateful that you chose to die on your own terms. Having stopped all treatment, dying at home and prepared to brave infinite life beyond the stars. 

A toast to you, Dad.



Every year, we recount to N. the story of her birth (five weeks early) -- unexpected, frightening, and joyful all at once. Our August back-to-back birthdays are a month-long celebration in our home. A new beginning as we thankfully circle the Sun once again, a time for renewal. This year, a 2020 re-set. It has to be, what with seven deaths in our circles, four of them due to covid. While trying hard not to count, I'm working to also engage in a daily kindness challenge, finding ways to spread the wellness. 

Birthday bouquets of flowers gifted to me -- seaside escape, sunflower burst, and summer sweet -- still make my heart sing this week as I am in awe of the connections I have with these special individuals (including my partner!) in my life. They are generous, kind and warmhearted. Not to mention all the loveys who shared their greetings with drop-bys and in real time too. Thank you, Mr. Yuan, for Zoom. 

One of the best memories made during birthday month? Swinging in the sprinkler!

Tomorrow, I'll be attending my second celebration of life service via Zoom. This time, the last of my Dad's siblings, Constante B. Cabalda, finally reunited with his sisters (Esperanza, Josefina, Oliva), brothers (Benjamin, Vivencio, Amante), and parents (Emerenciano and Concepcion) beyond the stars.

we are born into the Light
in the promise of bringing rapture to others
and perhaps we die following the Light
leaving hope behind
like a mason jar full of written wishes so tender
we carry them protected in our hearts
and penned in the stars