Happy Easter

I kept it super low key with my son today and took him to Easter Mass at our local church. The building was filled with people with some left standing the whole time.

During the homily, a short Filipino woman in her 70s, walked towards our bench and sat next to me. She was a cute little old woman. Her energy was so strong; I could not help but turn to look at her from time to time just to smile at her. She would smile at me back then we would return our focus on the Priest. As we read the scriptures aloud from the big projector screen, her voice lit up the room. She prayed loud and she sang her heart out. She had the lyrics memorized while I was over in my holy space mumbling the verse Lol. Playing it off by tapping my son on the head and pulling on his arm just to get his attention. Attendees even turned around to look at her as if they were bothered. I personally had no issue with it. Her voice was beautiful. Then suddenly the vibe changed.

In the Catholic Church, some of us receive Communion. In 2007, I attended RCIA classes at Christ the King church on Thursday nights. Then in 2008, I completed the III and IV Sacrament. I received the Eucharist for the first time, which is a thin, round, tasteless wafer given by the Priest (Body of Christ)

It was time to receive the Eucharist during Mass. We stood up and waited in line. I normally tell my son to walk in front of me since he has not been through Communion yet. Nevertheless, I tell him to walk up to the Priest with his arms crossed against his chest so he can bless him. Then I follow behind and receive the bread. After receiving the bread, we both walked back to the bench and got on our knees and prayed. While I was praying on my knees, I looked to my right at the woman and she was in tears. I was in shock. I could not understand why this happy little old woman was singing joyously one moment and then crying the next. I overheard her praying hard and fast in Tagalog and she was in tears! In addition, that is when I realized that she was hurting inside. I slowly understood why she prayed and sang so loudly – she wanted God to hear her.

A huge part of me wanted to stop praying and give a hug but instead, I shifted my focus and prayed for her healing. She was obviously hurting inside and all I wanted to do is pray to God that she will be okay. I am not a super religious woman, but I believe in the power of prayer and I continue to pray for those who yearn for healing – I am one of those people.

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Clarion Alley – Mission District, SF

Amongst all the places I love to visit in San Francisco, it’s Clarion Alley. This alley lies between 17th and 18th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District and is known for its murals by the Clarion Alley Mural Project. I try to come here every few months because the artwork changes every so often. But I noticed that some murals have remained on some buildings for more than a year.

I stopped by the alley yesterday since I had some time to kill. After my short walk on Valencia Street, I decided to grab a prawn burrito and my favorite, horchata, at Pancho Villa Taqueria on 16th St.

Here are some photos that I captured during my walk. Some were taken from my Canon and the couple were taken with my iPhone.

The mural above happens to be one of my favorites! 😍

Hella Hella. ✊🏽

I have more photos but these are currently on my Top list of murals on Clarion Alley. Except for the exquisite painting of the woman below. I captured this while I was walking on Valencia Street. How beautiful is this? 😍

Fridazed

On the muni traveling on 17th

1 hour late to the hospital even though

I set my alarm at three

a.m, no work but I’m not on vacation

Sitting in the bus looking outside

Surrounded by gentrification

An old Filipino lady next to me asking if I knew her uncle

I said no relation

Almost missed my stop, can’t even remember how to use public transportation 🤦🏽‍♀️

No paper and pen cause of technology advances

Nowadays kids can’t tell the difference with what’s on a screen to how real life bypasses

Using this phone, constantly looking down, pushing up my glasses

Should’ve got lasik, but if the doctors mess up

No second chances

Like I told my baby daddy years ago

No second chances

Like I told my ex, who don’t even know what his future plans is

Like I’ll tell my next relationship, mess up

No second chances

Cause half of these men out here don’t even know what real romance is

My backpack is full, while they’re over here half assin,

Now I’m just ramblin

Just trying to get to the hospital before

my daughter’s bone marrow transplant and

She gets second chances

Scrolling through Facebook reading comments from strangers,

Posting up prayers more than the ones

Who claim to be my one dayers

Next thing you know I’ll see a subliminal

two minutes later

After speaking the truth, as usual

another undercover hater

2 buses and a crowded train ride

Going up the elevator, 2 hallways down

straight to the right,

Laying in her bed, with a heart bigger

than her height

Hey baby girl, I finally made it, now let’s wrap this shit up and win this fight.

I haven’t posted much about my previous travels, I will soon, I promise, but to catch you up on some things, my daughter is suffering from Germinoma, which is a form of Brain Cancer. The severity of the cancer has taken her mobility and most of cognitive function away. She is also suffering from dementia caused by the cancer. Because of this, my daughter is now in a wheelchair and needs assistance when getting from point A to B. Sometimes she’s coherent, but there are days where she mixes me up with her dad or grandma. Sometimes she thinks it’s still June when it’s December. It seems like she’s a totally different person now and I am still coming to terms that she’s not the same. She’s not the Deyzha I knew a year ago who would go running 2 miles with me at the Waterfront.

In August 2018, she underwent brain surgery then she was diagnosed with cancer the month after. We only had two options for treatment. I chose the 2nd option since more kids with Germinoma responded to this treatment as opposed to the first option. On the downside, this specific treatment required 3 cycles of chemotherapy, 9 days straight of 3 high dose chemo drugs, stem cell harvest and a bone marrow transplant.

This treatment also required me to become a nurse overnight. At home I had to flush her central line once a day, draw her blood, and give her injections in the evening. And I HATE NEEDLES. I literally had to suck it up in just a weeks worth of training. I was scared.

I literally had to push my work and social life to the side so I could put all of my focus on her. Honestly, I never had any time to grieve, up until now that it’s almost over and our family can focus on her recovery. But I gotta admit, I have an occasional breakdown where I become a big overdramatic crybaby. You can’t blame me though. I went through a LOT. Anyway, the MRI before her most recent MRI showed that the cancer was going away. So I’m hoping that result still stands.

This is definitely not a trip to New York but it has been a journey. Which is why I decided to share this huge piece of my life with you.

Washington DC – The President’s Palace

Since I’m sitting here waiting for my flight to SFO at Dallas Love Field Airport, I might as well kill some time and tell you about my short trip to the District of Columbia. 

On Wednesday evening, my daughter and I took a red-eye to Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Not sure if I mentioned it in a previous blog entry, but did I ever tell you about my fear of flying? I know it sounds super ridiculous due to the fact that I just flew to New York City a couple months ago, let alone to Virginia two days ago. It is getting easier, but I just hate dealing with turbulence. The flight here to Dallas was brutal even though I sat in the 4th row closest to First Class. One of these days, I’m going to find a professional hypnotist to help me get over this fear.

Moving forward, we picked up the car rental at Alamo Car Rental, then I drove directly to The White House. I couldn’t sleep during the entire flight so can you imagine how physically and emotionally drained I was.

We arrived at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building Parking Garage. Let me tell you, that building is creepy looking. Before entering the garage, the security guards searched my car. After being cleared, I drove down about 3 levels until I finally found a parking spot in a dark location. 😐 It didn’t feel safe, but it’s a Federal Building and the security probably saw me scratch my head on the security cameras.

Our check-in time at the White House was at 7:00 am. We arrived at 8:30 am only to find ourselves in a long line wrapped around the street corner. At that moment, I was desperate so I stepped out of line and walked towards the front. I asked the Secret Service Agent if it was still okay for us to go on the tour even though we were late. He greeted us with a smile, opened the gate, and lead us straight to the first security check-in. Phew! 

After three security checks and being sniffed by a dog, I found myself surrounded by decades of history – I couldn’t believe that I was inside the White House.

Sometimes I question myself, like, did I really deserve this?

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the East Wing was this portrait of President John F. Kennedy and his children. 💙

TIP #1: The tour is FREE, however, BOOK IN ADVANCE! To book a tour at the White House, it requires advance planning. You will have to contact your local member of Congress no less than 21 days prior to your visit (click here to find your local representative) I booked my tour 6 months in advance and didn’t get accepted until a week prior to my visit!

TIP #2: DO NOT bring a purse, a tote, or a backpack. They will not let you in. All I carried were my car keys and wallet.

TIP #3: Follow the rules. There is no ifs, buts, substitutions, or maybes. I mean, come on! You’re at the White House. This specific house has top notch security!

Photo: The Blue Room is the center of the State Floor of the White House. This room has been the traditional place for president’s to receive guests. 

Photo: Located on the ground floor, the Vermeil Room serves as a display room or for formal occasions. The painting shown in this picture is of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Aaron Shikler 1970.