Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You is a popular children’s book that sold millions of copies worldwide and was printed in several languages. It is a story of Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare trying to measure the love they have for each other. The book presented the hares as father and son but just for today, I would like to focus more on the message of the story as I see myself as the Little Nutbrown Hare trying to ask that one person in my life the question, “Guess How Much I Love You?”

I made the last minute effort to order flowers online and made sure it will be delivered on time.  Choosing the flowers was easy. I got stuck when I had to fill-in the message. For how do you express insurmountable gratitude and love in limited words? How do you make someone feel that despite distance, she remains to be, as what the song says, the wind beneath my wings?

Today in Manila and in other parts of the world, we celebrate Mother’s Day. We all have our own stories and our own different ways of paying tribute to our mothers. The language of love between a mother and a child is a sacred space where only the two of them can enter and fully understand.  My mother being a Math teacher, I initially would like to express my love in a language she knows best – numbers.  I would like to say, “I Love You Mama from where I am to where you are and the distance between those two points is 6,679 miles” or something like, “I have loved you since I was born and that is 12,592 days or 18,132,480 minutes”. But to express it that way means, I am putting a finite measure of my love.

And so I will just simply say,

To my Mama – Just like the Little Nutbrown Hare, I would like to ask you, ‘Guess How Much I Love You?’. Don’t guess, as the probability of getting the right answer is small. For there is no measure, I couldn’t measure. But let the remaining length of my days be the gauge as I will love you and I promise to take care of you for as long as I live. Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for everything.

Today, I say a special prayer to all the mothers I know… relatives, godmothers, teachers, cousins, classmates, friends and even those strangers I have met along the way. May God’s choicest blessings and most special graces be upon you today and always.  A special thank you to all my friends who allowed me to be the godmother to their children. While I do not see them always, know that I carry them under the mantle of my daily prayers. Thank you for allowing me, in a limited capacity, to experience the joy of being a (fairy god) mother! 🙂

May this day be a grace-filled day to everyone. God bless us all!

(photos used are owned by the book’s publisher, Candlewick)

t w i n s

Those who know me would probably have heard me say, at least once, that ‘Patience is a virtue’. But those who truly know me would say that I am not a patient person. I am the avatar of restlessness when it comes to waiting. So while I profess that Patience and I are really good friends, spending time with each other is not really something I like or look forward to.

In one of his writings, Blessed James Alberione stated, “What gain is there to be restless, agitated, vexed, to be furious and cursing when it is not in our power to change events?  Mind gets disturbed, character is deformed, tempers rise, the moral stature declines, and health is damaged. And, in spite of all these the facts do not change. We have succeeded only to add to our physical suffering a moral affliction as well.” I couldn’t agree more.

We expect. We anticipate. We even want to dictate the outcome of what we’re waiting for as if we have the full control of everything. While we can condition the mind and command the universe to do what we want, we know that it doesn’t always work that way. We need to meet and befriend Acceptance.

A wise man once told me that the hallmark of maturity is Acceptance. I now reflect about Patience and Acceptance and I believe they are twins – offspring produced from the same pregnancy. That everyday in our lives, through success and defeat, joy and sorrow, we actually conceive within us, these two virtues which in due time, will emerge from our beings and just like a mother staring at her brood, one will say, ‘you, my children, define who I am.’

Life may be all about waiting. We anticipate great things to happen but we also prepare for the inevitable. Either way, it is Acceptance which will get us through.  And the irony of all is that, Acceptance only comes in time. You will need to be, yet again, patient for Acceptance to happen.

Next time you feel restlessness within, try to remember these twins, who annoyingly, will make you feel better and will significantly make a difference.

Tuesdays @ FFI – The Climb

It was during Britain’s X Factor Finals in December 2009 when I first heard this song. I didn’t know that it has been released earlier on and was actually a very popular song in the US during the early part of 2009. Nominated for the Grammy Award, it is indeed a song that is now known to many and I would guess one of the most downloaded songs in 2009 (I was one of those who purchased this from iTunes).

The lyrics are very straightforward, there’s no need to reflect deeper or analyse further. Listening to it will encourage anyone to keep going, to never give up and to be strong. I have been listening to it over and over and over for the last several days but somehow, I felt like something is missing from the lyrics.

So, I checked with my two best friends – Google and Wikipedia. I wanted to know more information about the song. My heart, once again, lead me to the right direction.

Wikipedia says that the original lyrics of the song was written in third person and was more spiritual and contained lines about prayer.  But, was later on changed to suit the requirement of the movie Hannah Montana. That’s it. That’s what I thought was missing. I knew there’s a story behind.

I know not everyone believes in prayer but I know that everyone who will embark or who’s at the middle of a climb, has, in their hearts, a small wish, that someone will look after them and watch over them as they climb. That small wish, that little voice that yearns for protection, is, in its simplest form, a prayer.

Sometimes, it is not about how we started the climb. It is not about how we endure the hardships. It is not about how we rise after a fall. It is not how fast we get there nor what’s waiting on the other side, as the song says.

It is not just about ‘The Climb’. It is also about each and every prayer we utter every step of the way.  When the climb is over, we will all have to look back and see who we have become after the journey.

I now listen to the song with a deeper understanding of its true beginnings. True that some words may have been omitted, but I now know somewhere in between those melodies, the word ‘prayer’ exists.

If I will have the chance to meet the Little Prince and the fox (from the book, The Little Prince), I will join their conversation and say: ‘I agree that what is essential is invisible to the human eye but I will also add that what the ear fails to hear, the heart takes notice of’.

(Found these photos in my file. Taken during a visit to Legoland, October 2009.)