Remembering Clyde

Clyde was my eldest bunny. I envisioned him to be the ring bearer at my wedding. I have foreseen him as my baby’s first pet and playmate. Unfortunately, he passed away a year ago. Apparently, it has been a long stretch of sorrow and acceptance. Sadness, all this time, cannot help me pin down the right words to actually tell his story. I tried to, a couple of times, but it all went down to me shedding tears like it was his last day with us again.

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Clyde was part of our “We’re Expecting” announcement to our friends. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to meet his tiny human.

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It was January 2012 when the then-boyfriend now-husband and I decided to get a pet. We did not want a dog nor a cat, but something just as cute yet not so usual, so we went on looking for a rabbit instead. We were supposed to get a black bunny with a tiny white dot somewhere in its body. We found one with a spot on its nose! But there was another bunny which kept following to wherever we point our fingers to, we just had to get him as well! This bunny had round blue eyes, which was something different from all other white bunnies out there (with scary red eyes). We named them Bunnie and Clyde.

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Cue, Beyonce and JayZ’s song: ~All I need in this life of sin, is me and my Girlfriend~

Bunnie passed away just a week after we got her. We assumed she was already sick by the time we got her as she was very fragile and was already refraining to eat. Clyde from then on became our only bunny child. He was spoiled. He loved getting a lot of attention. He loved bananas, strawberries, and veggies all to himself. He loved playing and lurking around the house. He loved being cradled like a baby. He loved grooming and getting baths every now and then (we had to give him baths, like twice a year, to smoothen and remove discolored areas of his coat). He loved trips to the park. He loved dressing up in costumes. He loved celebrating birthdays. He loved his photos being taken. He loved welcoming guests and being petted.

Rabbits are often misunderstood, but it was easy to figure out Clyde’s moods. Our family knew Clyde loved us. He’d jump off his home when we arrive at the doorstep. He raises his head for pats, he struggles climbing up the stairs only to struggle again getting up to bed to wake us up on weekend mornings. He follows us in circles, then begs for treats. He loves lying around, listening to our stories, or even school stuff when my sister reviews in the wee hours of the morning. Clyde would lick our hands, our faces, and even docks his face to my chest. Clyde was a furball of affection.

We got him a wife a few years later since he has grown, uhm, horny. He got 3 wives, Quasha, Claudia, and Crumble. They were pretty rabbits. Quasha was same breed as Clyde, while Claudia and Crumble were part Lionhead part Angora. He got kids, some as white as him, some became a mix of white and brown, and white and grey. His every bunny baby was adorable.

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Clyde on his last birthday with us. He was not happy, his humans had more carrot cake than he did.

Clyde was growing old, we knew that – his face has grown lines, he no longer runs like crazy when brought outside. We were supposed to have him castrated as rabbits tend to suffer sickness from their poop and pee in old age. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get to that, Clyde broke down one night. He hasn’t been eating nor drinking. My parents have given him medicines, but he was still sick. I carried him in the car while we were on the way to the veterinarian. He was in pain, I knew, he buried his face to my side while I cradled him. My sister and I were crying and trembling on the way to the hospital. But Clyde was a fighter. He still wanted to stand and jump and binky. He struggled getting on his chubby toes, his body slammed unto the hospital table in his every attempt. It took a few times before the nurse attached the dextrose, his veins already collapsed. His eyes were already wide, his breathing was heavier, and his heartbeat was faster than normal. Clyde never felt so threatened like this before. But we had to leave him at the hospital overnight. We knew that was a bad idea, however we were compelled to, for we can not make him feel better at home too. I was so brokenhearted to see him with a dextrose in his paw, sealed in a cage and warmed with a spotlight. I wish I spent the night with him there, but in my head this was for his good. I was very very afraid, but I knew Clyde was a fighter. He’s a stubborn bunny – I just think of him at the hospital table trying to stand again – such a brave little baby.

The next morning, we received the news. I didn’t know if he just provided some luck or something that day, but our family braved through traffic and number coding to finally lead Clyde to his own paradise. My grandfather picked out a very quiet area for him, where he could visit Clyde often when he farms and plant his vegetables. We laid Clyde in an area surrounded by greens – where his playful soul could play and jump and binky endlessly. He can feed on the grass too, when he’s famished and stay under trees when he gets tired.

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Clydee Bunny goes to bed

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The skies opened up to meet Clyde in bunny heaven. And yes, there’s a cloud in a bunny head shape

There are still days when I remember Clyde and cry. But maybe Clyde has already lived the best of his days on earth – a happy binky-ful and flop-sy bunny life. Or maybe Clyde found out there’s an even happier place where he’d have unlimited carrots, bananas, cabbage and strawberries, where every time is playtime and where he can binky, jump, and flop all he want.

I miss Clyde everyday. There will never be a bunny as affectionate as my little bunny boy.

 

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Baby Steps to Motherhood

I promised I would hit “Publish” on all my pending drafts posts, however, I would like to take a certain detour just to over/share some already dated news.

I have been oversharing on Facebook and Instagram about my pregnancy the past months, and six months ago, I gave birth to a tiny human. I am still in awe, disbelief even, how I was able to keep a human being inside me. Taking him out to the world is another matter I keep wondering about.

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This Instagram post kind of sums it all up. I was fresh from our launch that week and was already having signs of an early delivery. I made sure to visit my doctor that weekend to check on me and my baby. The doctor assured that nothing from those signs were alarming and that I might give birth later that week. However, on the wee hours of Sunday, I started having contractions. It continued throughout the day on a fifteen to thirty minute interval. Monday morning, my water broke. The entire bed was bathed in blood and water.

I was admitted at around five in the morning same day. I can hardly move as the contractions do not seem to end. Nurses even ask a lot of questions and details which, really, can be asked some other time anyway. I never imagined going through so much pain and getting asked how may times a day I change feminine pads when on period. Unbelievable! Hours went on though I barely recognized what time it really was. It felt like forever and all I wanted was to get over everything and let the baby out. I was transferred to the Delivery Room and was given the Epidural Anesthesia. It took away the pain though I hardly felt anything waist down when it was already time for pushing. I was doing the J Breathing Technique hoping I was doing it the right way. After four pushes, baby came out five minutes before nine o’clock in the morning. My husband was there too, holding my hand, all smiles gazing the baby resting on my chest.

By noon I was already in my suite with my tiny human in a bassinet beside me. It was really the first time I caught a good glimpse of him. His face was beaming, as if he was surrounded by a hundred angels. The pain of giving birth and recovery vanished. I was just brimming with pure joy and love.

Six months thereon, I still feel the same. After all the toils of breastfeeding (which deserves a separate story), of sleepless nights, crazy diaper changes, and a whole LOT more; I still look at him lovingly each day and wonder how a person this small can take up so much space in my heart.

Mother’s Day Random Ramblings

Last week, a colleague congratulated me for my first Mother’s Day celebration. I totally forgot about it until tonight that I’ve gone too emotional watching “Mom” videos on my newsfeed. Funny how becoming pre-occupied as a first time mother leave you with remembrances, realizations and emotions at random times (like now while having breaks doing the laundry).

Honestly, I haven’t imagined myself a mother until the moment I got confirmation that I had a tiny human inside. I was not ready, but I guess you’ll never be really ready until you get there. I deemed myself a mother as early as then. After all, I was already nursing and nourishing him. I had to change diet, skip vigorious activities, and even obey weird traditions roughly suggested by the oldies.

Pushing him out to the world is another story. I was never as frightened. I was not only scared for myself, I was scared for him more. But again, when you have no choice but to be courageous, well, you got to be. Imagine my relief when I saw him for the first time lying on my chest.

And motherhood doesn’t end there. Somewhere I’ve read said that real motherhood comes after you leave the hospital and take the baby home. Sure was right! My baby has been around for almost three months and I can no longer count my tears and sighs out of frustration, fear, paranoia, etc. Knowing there’s a lifetime ahead of him, God only knows how much more I need to bear. But I am not complaining, he’s our best gift (cliche, I know), our most terrible weakness (how can you say “no” when he puts up a cute crying face?), and my husband’s replica, only waaay more handsome (if I loved my husband’s annoyingly happy face, how can I not love my son’s?).

You know in art when they put together totally unrelated things to communicate one solid message? That’s how motherhood is like. It’s always a crazy unpredictable mix of emotions – some intense, some so-so. But unlike art which emanates multiple possible meanings, motherhood comes with but one message. It’s always the same every time – Love.

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Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms out there, most importantly, to my Mama. Now I know the truth in your rants! Hahaha Sending greetings to my husband’s mother as well, for raising such lovely man.

Props to my boys, too, for this wonderful and exciting journey. I love you both.

To my Little Penguin

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I know it embarrasses you to have been called as such now that you’re a grown man. On my part though, it makes me a bit melodramatic.

Everything is vivid. From the little boy bound to piss me off everyday, to a teenager whom I was in charge of looking over aka take cover when school trouble arises, to a yuppie whom I did style consultation for in exchange of free food or a pair of pants, then suddenly to an army official.

You were a bright kid, but you were equally hard-headed and mischievous. Some of your teachers even disliked you for your curious and sometimes sarcastic inquisitions. I was called to office a few times because you were caught throwing pieces of paper at ceiling fans, vandalizing school property, forging our parents’ signature, etc. We kept these our little secrets then. Our parents only knew of a few years ago, they only laughed their heads off, but could have fumed in anger that time.

Everyone knew you as the happy-go-lucky kind. I guess it’s just us, your family, who believed that there’s a grown man underneath your childish antics. Because we listened more than your words, we took notice of your silent sacrifices, we took note of your dreams. But who knew, right? You were sneaky. You never told anybody. There were a few signs, but no hints. I didn’t even know that the reason you borrowed my neck ties was for your application for the army. Still I mull, if I had known, would I let you? Maybe yes, maybe no.

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And here you are now, looking mighty and strong, with a respectful stance and assertive but calm demeanor. You’ve come so far from the laid back and annoying guy we all knew. Look how a year has changed you!

Proud as we are, it worries and saddens us even how all of these entail threat upon your life. You may have briefed, acquainted, and had us ready for this, but we never were. Never will we be. If only there’s a way I could make offering to the gods just to have you assigned some part of Luzon or Visayas instead of Mindanao, I swear, I’d roast a thousand suckling pigs!

We have barely three days to spend with you before you proceed to your assigned division. Can tomorrow until Sunday be composed of 48 hours each? I’d cut the drama, just get home safe.

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I look real mean in this photo, but I love you in real life, abnormal penguin brother Bobek!

To my first playmate

Dear She,

We weren’t given the chance to have grown up together. Your family moved away right even before we even reached our teens. Yes, we spent some summer sleepovers together in our grandmother’s house during a few vacations. But we never shared secrets and stories and gushes over our school crushes. We did not bond over music. You didn’t like Dido and Eminem in grade school, so we never really shared earpods. We did have DVD marathons though, or was it VCD? We watched bad movies, covered our eyes while Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan shared an overtime kiss in Got to Believe. You laughed at me when I cried over that Rugrats in Paris scene where Chuckie longed for a mommy. You even sang “I want a mama who lasts forever” while I cry every time. That was hell embarrassing. Those were my few growing up memories with you.

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I no longer remember this day, we had fonder memories than playing with these hats.

We were each’s first playmate and each’s first bully. We neverhad Barbies. We played with rag dolls instead, in our make shift kubo our fathers built for us. I remember us running over to our tita’s hammock. I remember you making fun of me and I making fun of you. I remember how we pulled each other’s hair when we disagreed about things. I remember you running away with my nth pair of slippers because you just wanted to piss me off. You have made me cry until I turn gray.

I was envious of other kids who have shared great and even stupid memories of growing up with their cousins. We never helped each other escape for a date, never spoke about our first kisses, never sneaked out for a night out with friends, and never lied to save each other’s ass. I miss you then. I already missed you during the time we spent apart. And now, all I know is that I have no choice but to miss you for a much longer time.

These memories now, I cannot fathom whether forlorn or favorable. I cannot understand if tears coming forth these remembrances are of sorrow or joy. Your exempt from life is but a liberation from your 2-3 years battle from Cancer. I only seek comfort at the idea that you are in a better and safer place right now.

Until then, She. For now, watch us from up there. Be your husband’s inspiration, your kids’ guardian angel, the grown ups’ (parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunties) strength and wisdom, and of course, my partner in crime from up there.

Everyone misses you.

P.S. Only during the weekend have I known you kept a diary the time you knew you had and fighting cancer. How I wish we exchanged notes then, or composed entries together. But it’s too late now. I just hope your kids will read it so that they’d know how much you loved and wanted to have lived more lives with them.

Bye Bye, Bunnie

Bunnie reached third step of the stairs during play time :3

My Dear Little Thing,

You have spent but a short time with us but you have already brought joy to me even when ice cream and other sweets fail to do so.

You were the smallest yet the first one to hop to the third step of the stairs. My heart took flight, for this wasn’t your usual playtime. You always loved being carried, seeking refuge in my thin lean arms, your paws upon my chest, your tiny little teeth tugging on my blouse, your whiskers bristling against my neck, the white patch up your nose reaches to mine. The small ball of warmth that you are unknowingly felt my heartbeat.

You’re on the other side of the rainbow now, my little black ball of fur. I shall cry no more for there’ll be big bunny angels taking care of you. They shall carry you and give you bunny kisses all the time. They shall share you dinner and snacks of carrots and strawberries and parsley and bananas. Every day shall be a feast. Each moment shall be your playtime.

I love you Bunnie. We (Clyde too) miss you.

To The First Ever Time and Space Lecturer of My Heart

Unknowingly building forts and bridges in my heart

Dear Pa,

How far could a point ever be from another point? You inquired like a Math professor. You examined space.

How significant is something that lies between two things? You posed as if you were conducting a lecture to an Architecture class.

These were lessons you asked me to wonder at before you left last year.

Only now have I realized, you were my 101 classes, if not my pre-requisites in distance, space, even in maps and cartography. Our lessons date back my younger years. You taught me the joys and pains of waiting – from when you left those early evenings and arrive minutes after midnight, until that moment you bid bye and came back years after. Then there was distance, defined by miles across sea and land. Then came along space, the different timezone, when your night was my day.

All of these were prelude to the men in my life. Stories further drafted in notes which bespeak of terminals, airplanes, bus rides, and even long afternoon walks. They were phrases either drenched in rain or burned under the sun.They underlined anticipation, longing, waiting and homecoming. Hope and uncertainty were in italics and boldface.

They were all love letters written in maps. But yours is the longest, rolled a hundred times, unfolding like a Japanese scroll. Yours is the most profound. Yours has been the fundamentals of history and continuity. Your sentiments on time and space have been my laws, canons and theories.

You are most of the colored pins in my heart’s map, I can hardly calculate their distances anymore. But who needs numbers when you are in every corner as my bridges, defensive forts, protective walls, and my lighthouse.

Yes Pa, I wouldn’t have survived the journey without you and your lectures. And I love you for more than that.

Your traveler,

Little TidTid

*This is also in celebration of the book (Richard Bach’s There’s No Such Place as Far Away) you left my siblings and I years ago. I thought I was too young for such literature, but nah, it was just plain appropriate.

Years Juxtaposed

We, of the same blood, flesh and bones

I know I have promised a pretty decent post for you, dear brother. This isn’t it. I’d be writing too soon. I’ll end up romanticizing every little detail. That too, is the reason I won’t be providing too much text on this post. Separate photos will speak for themselves. Their juxtaposition will emanate more stories. This is so Art Studies I know, forgive me.

I will write about you when I’m out of my weightlessness. That. And I love you two.