USA: Love in the Rubble of Life

USA: Love in the Rubble of Life

February 18, 2021

Yesterday, February 17, 2021, our daughter Sophia and son Wesley (& their grandpa) planned a surprise date for my husband Don and me. I left at around 10 am to go clean an office. On my way, I made a couple of stops and did a prayer recording for TikTok. It took a little more time than intended. I got to the office, cleaned it, it took the expected 3 hours, after which I waited for Don to get off the phone with a patient (took 10 minutes), and I went to the store. It hadn’t happened in a while, but I thought about Wesley’s heart and how miraculous it was that he didn’t have to go through a second surgery 3 days after his first one, (as the patch they made for him had opened, but miraculously closed). What would life be like, if he had? I don’t want to know. 

I went to Trader Joe’s; which is unusual as it’s a bit farther away from us than other grocery shops. As soon as I got in, I was met with an abundance of flowers. I remembered how Wesley brings me flowers from the backyard and thought to get him and Sophia some flowers. I got her tulips and I got him sunflowers. I got fruits, juices, sparkling water & cherry juice, some frozen meals, and “homeschool” snacks & desserts. I got home shortly before 5 pm. Don got off at 5 pm. 

I was met at the door by Wesley, dressed in a shark T-shirt and a proper tuxedo! He greeted me with “Hello, mother, and welcome to the Johnson Cafe” 

💗 Complete heart melt.

Sophia was dressed in a beautiful cream gown. Grandpa was just chillin’ like he hadn’t been involved 😂

They forbade me to look in the dining room and asked me to go put on a dress. I did so, and also undid my hair which I happened to have braided in the morning, in anticipation of the cleaning job I had. The kids and Grandpa started getting the groceries. They asked me to put some of them away, but I couldn’t look at the table in the dining room, still.  While I changed, though, they got out the fruit I had just purchased and set out the sparkling water and cherry juice (I saw this later).

A short while after I was done, Don came back from work. They told him to go get dressed too. 

Meanwhile grandpa put out the flowers I had just gotten. 

Then when we both were allowed to come out, we saw how they had set up the table with plates and everything – candles too! Sophia said, “This is your Valentine’s date because I was sick on Valentine’s and you couldn’t go on your date.” 

💗 Another complete heart melt! 

We were advised to self-serve because of COVID compliance 😂 

It was super sweet and an occasion full of love; even more than Valentine’s Day could have ever offered. 

I kept feeling amazed about how it all worked out. Don & I had zero ideas of their plan. Outside of a new orchid tradition, Don started last year, we usually get flowers around birthdays or some such occasions. We otherwise get plants that can grow. So the fact that I bought the kids these flowers, on the day they were doing all this for us, was just beyond serendipitous! It was like a thank you to them from the universe itself! 

My hair, my timing, Don’s timing, the groceries – everything was serendipitous and perfect! Even me fitting in the dress I picked after the holidays is amazing! 😂 

All this happened at a time when one of my closest friends and her co-denizens are stuck without power, in freezing cold Texas, with at least one politician telling them to go fend for themselves. At a time when death tolls are rising in Tanzania because of a renewed wave of Covid-19. At a time when many other saddening & maddening things are happening around the world. 

In the midst of it all, though, I would be remised if I didn’t mention this beautiful occasion. No matter how long we’ve been home as stay-home-moms (or dads) before the pandemic – homeschooling & virtual schooling and staying at home, going in circles or keeping busy with work and electronic devices, and books, and and and – it gets so exhausting sometimes and I want an open field to run on, where somehow none of our responsibilities follow me there. Where I can run and lay in the grass and look at the pretty blue sky and fluffy clouds shielding me from the sun here & there. 

The beauty in what happened yesterday, in my view, is in our children surprising us, in Wesley being here with his miracle heart, in them having a grandpa and the kind of grandpa who would take the time to help them organize it all, in them putting on clothing they don’t really like to wear that often, in all the details I mentioned above about the flowers and fruits and the timing and my hair – It was like that open field with the pretty sky and fluffy clouds. 
I know I am not the only person going through this feeling. I imagine the mercies shown to our fellow humans living in war zones everywhere, or a brief moment of love my brothers & sisters in Libya might feel in the midst of the modern-day human enslavement and trafficking.

I imagine all of us get a split second of Love that gives us just enough hope to keep pushing forward, until, hopefully, the next split second.

So, in short, here is a shout out to the universe, and to the Creator, for allowing small (and huge) mercies, for sparking laughter and acts of love in the middle of chaos, and for allowing us to see it all. 

ThinkSayBe

I am a mom amongst some other titles life has fortunately given me. I love photography & the reward of someone being really happy about a photo I took of her/him. I work, I study, I try to pay attention to life. I like writing. I don't understand many things...especially why humans treat each other & other living & inanimate things so vilely sometimes. I like to be an idealist, but when most fails, I do my best to not be a pessimist: Life itself is entirely too beautiful, amazing & inspiring to forget that it is!

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The Evolution of r(E)volutionary Woman Podcast

The Evolution of r(E)volutionary Woman Podcast

So it started as a conversation with my husband in the car.

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been a writer. I’ve written poems, lyrics and, for many years, contributed various articles to different publications. I started my blog, The Pinay Perspective, ten years ago, as a way to connect with other Filipinas and Filipina-Americans after moving from NYC to the suburbs of NY and giving birth to my daughter. I didn’t know what to expect from that venture, but I hoped to find like-minded Moms.

Writing on my blog was not just a way to connect with other women and Moms about motherhood and issues that were important to me; my husband challenged me to write 100 posts in 100 days. If I succeeded, then he would take me out to a fancy dinner…and yes, I did it. I wrote a post about anything that interested me, whether it was about family game night or about girls in Egypt doing Parkour.

The blog led me to attend BlogHer in NY, Social Good Summit, and Moms+Social Good. As a new blogger, I didn’t know anyone, but I put myself out there and met Elizabeth Atalay from World Moms Blog. I wanted to be able to write for an organization that reached out to women from everywhere, and WMB was it. I wasn’t taken in as a contributor right away since they already had so many writers from the US, but I kept blogging away and sending links to Elizabeth about international issues, hoping that one day, they would have the room for me. After sending an article about a group of English women donating menstrual products to Syrian women affected by conflict, that opened the door for me to become a contributor for WMB. 

It would be an ordinary car ride with my husband that would spur me to create something new, to deal with my anxiety and fear about this pandemic. My husband and I are huge podcast listeners, and when the pandemic hit, we couldn’t do too much of anything, so we would go for a drive and listen to podcasts. My favorites were Ghost Family, What’s Her Name podcast, Fresh Air and Lore. Each one was different, but I was struck by how every storyteller had a great way of conveying their message to the listener. It was during one of our car rides when I broached the subject of creating my own podcast. My husband was enthusiastic but then asked what would it be about and what would I call it? 

Initially, I told my husband that I wanted it to be about women. Now I know that there are a great number of podcasts about women, as well as those hosted by women, but I wanted it to be about women who are doing amazing work in their community. I’ve been a journalist for years, and while I love the way Terry Gross of Fresh Air does her interviews, I didn’t want my podcast to be an interview. I wanted to create space for conversation, to highlight women who were evolving with the times and doing revolutionary work in their community, despite controversy or lack of acknowledgment. After a few minutes, I came up with r(E)volutionary Woman. What is the significance of the “E” in parenthesis? It’s to signify that women have been evolving since the beginning of time and continue to do so, as well as revolutionizing the works they do for their community. Thus was born https://revwoman.com 

As of this moment, I have published twelve episodes of women from different parts of the world and from different time zones. At last count, I have guests that will take me into the summer. We talk about their lives, their passions, their works, and their families. While we may not all have the same communities, language, and passions, we are connected as women. This podcast has given me a way to connect with women on a personal level, which I hadn’t done before. You can say that the pandemic gave me the opportunity to see how else I can connect with other women while the world was going through unimaginable loss and sadness. For me, this new venture has made it possible for me to explore a deeper way to connect with humanity. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?

My advice for someone who would like to create their own podcast or anything creative? Remember that you can’t do it by yourself. Your dreams become a reality with the connection and support of those who believe in you. The connections you make are as much a part of your creative journey as you are. 

To hear the stories of the amazing women Tes has spoken with check out r(E)evolutionary Woman. You will be inspired!

This is an original post written for World Moms Network

Tes Silverman

Tes Silverman was born in Manila, Philippines and has been a New Yorker for over 30 years. Moving from the Philippines to New York opened the doors to the possibility of a life of writing and travel. Before starting a family, she traveled to Iceland, Portugal, Belgium, and France, all the while writing about the people she met through her adventures. After starting a family, she became a freelance writer for publications such as Newsday’s Parents & Children and various local newspapers. Fifteen years ago, she created her blog, The Pinay Perspective. PinayPerspective.com is designed to provide women of all ages and nationalities the space to discuss the similarities and differences on how we view life and the world around us. As a result of her blog, she has written for BlogHer.com and has been invited to attend and blog about the Social Good Summit and Mom+Social Good. In addition, she is a World Voice Editor for World Moms Network and was Managing Editor for a local grass roots activism group, ATLI(Action Together Long Island). Currently residing in Virginia Beach, VA with her husband, fourteen year-old Morkie and a three year old Lab Mix, she continues to write stories of women and children who make an impact in their communities and provide them a place to vocalize their passions.

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