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How friends make life easier & help you catch your breath |

Health And Family

How friends make life easier & help you catch your breath

MOMMY TALK - MOMMY TALK By Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan -
Ivalue my friendships very much. Without friends, life is incomplete and lonely. I feel very blessed to have a few really great friends with whom I can share my aches, joys, sorrows and triumphs. These are people that I feel safe to let my hair down with or who can courageously tell me off when I’m wrong.

Last December, I shared with you a story about finding a long lost high school chum whom I had a falling out with. You can’t imagine the joy I felt when we were finally able to touch base again through e-mail! Since then, it has been my fervent wish to see Irma, to embrace her and tell her how much she means to me because I missed her so much.

Another one of my best friends is Ina Tabornal. We’ve been friends since elementary and though we were separated during the whole of high school (because I left for the States), we continued to strengthen our bond by writing letters and occasionally calling each other up. She was the first to greet me when I came back to the Philippines and we’ve been inseparable since. She was one of the maids of honor for my wedding and ninang to my firstborn, Ella. When she decided to get married in the States, I surprised her by showing up at her wedding. She kept crying when she saw me. She was also furious because I ruined her makeup! I was just so overcome with joy to have a chance to witness that very momentous time in her life.
Off To Los Angeles
Aside from our dream of wanting the kids to see Disneyland, my primary goal for spending our summer vacation in the United States was to see my friends. I wanted my children to be able to meet them and get to know them deeper because they are a big part of my life.

Before we set out to meet with Irma, I drove my family through the route that I used to take to go to school every day and brought them to where I used to live. I gave them a mini tour of Pacific Palisades High School. So many memories just kept popping up in my head which I excitedly shared with them. As I was walking around the campus with my kids, I heard Irma call out and we ran to embrace each other so tight. It was like a scene from a movie. It felt great to see her, we couldn’t stop talking and laughing until our jaws ached. Anthony and my children were just so happy for us that they let us have a good time. We promised to continue our friendship and not let the distance ever separate us again. What a blessing!
Next Stop, San Diego
The next half of our trip was spent in San Diego where we stayed with Ina, her husband Ed, and their two children Isabella and Brandon. During the first few days of our stay there, I was a little uptight about my kids making a mess or touching things. I was unsure about how Ina would respond to her house being messed up. As the days passed, when she openly expressed her "oh noooo’s" and "ayaayayas" after spilt milk or nail polish on the car seat, she endeared herself to me. She was real to me. I thanked her because she always made me feel welcome in her home. Our children grew very close that it became difficult for them to say goodbye. My daughter Ella wished that little, two-year-old Brandon would forever remember her. Hannah always talks about her playtimes with Isabella.

It was a very memorable 10 days. We had a chance to visit and enjoy the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, the Flower Fields, and Carlsbad Beach. I learned many things from Ina. I was amazed at how organized she was, making sure all our basic needs were taken care of. She also took care of documenting our stay and was so efficient at everything. There was no dull moment with her. I was truly humbled by how she managed every day of her life without a helper. If not for her, we would’ve probably not have gone to so many places and enjoyed beautiful San Diego.

Being an introvert who takes forever to get going in the morning, it was quite a challenge for me to move as swiftly as Ina. I know though, that we balanced each other. We probably wouldn’t have survived each other if we went so fast in our pace and didn’t have time to just hang out. We had a riot during the times we stayed home to do chores and look after our children – yes, all six of them that the house looked like a daycare center. We took turns cleaning, fixing fights, packing, cooking meals, playing with the kids, etc., all while exchanging stories about our lives and reminiscing the good ol’ days.

There were also chaotic times especially after a full day. But we managed pretty well because we didn’t allow those moments to affect our friendship. We dealt with them one issue at a time. That’s what friends are for.
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