PS: Don't start reading if you don't have time or patience.

Yesterday, I thought about all the horrors that went past in my life.  The most recent one happened to be just 4 months ago.  I'm awake, am I not?  It certainly feels like I'm inside a dream.. a very lucid nightmare.

Four months ago, I thought I was watching myself inside a dramatic soap opera.  I swear I memorized my lines and rehearsed over and over again, but the scenes were real and the filming was once in a lifetime.  The lines are simple.  The scenes are plain and uncomplicated.  Yet I cannot move to speak.  All I did was cry.  Cry.  No cursing, no doubting, no blaming--only crying.

I remembering standing shakily infront of the crematorium, holding the custom-made candles for that special day that was no more.  The candle that was to bear witness to an oath of forever love was then a witness of the pain of losing tomorrow.  The beautiful beads no longer reminded me of small joys and details to be made history on that special day.  I bring home the used candle, hoping that the beads could somehow leap into the air and burst into bouts of joy and lighten me up.. but no.  Instead, they reminded me of the tears that I have welled up and formed together into that shiny old rose design.

I bring out old papers and confidential documents and light them with that special candle.  I repeatedly tell myself its no longer special.  I repeatedly mumble to myself how much I wanted to get rid of it.  I no longer have any use for it.  Keeping them would burden me further.  And so, I pray everyday to my heart's content and to the limit that my eyes can take with all the crying that I do.  I pray in the columbary and cry.  I pray in the church and cry.  I pray at home and cry a little more.  I wonder how much of these candle wax do I have to watch until the tears would simply stop pouring out of my eyes.

For each day, week, month of my life since that day, I repeatedly gave myself milestones to pass.. and yet I still feel like failing.  I can't find what it is that I'm looking for, but I won't give up.  Today is merely three days before the start of a new year.  I'm burning away the last candle.  I want to burn out this hollow feeling and the feeling of depression, rage, pity, hate and loneliness.

The horrors of losing my future was briefly interrupted by Ondoy.  I'm happy it came.  It washed away so many things from me.  Most of my photos, some old clothes, some old shoes, and even old appliances.  Deep inside, I was happy it changed the way the house looked like.  I'm happy I have a new closet to look at.  I have lesser things now.  Some of the appliances that survived Ondoy were slowly quitting its service one by one.  I'm happy I don't have to put them away without seeing them for a long time.  They're saying goodbye one by one.  I'm happy that in the depths of the water inside the house, the special candles lit the dark.  I watched as the old rose beads turned into dark burned circles.  They looked dead now as my emotions are.. as dark as the thoughts that I have too.

Everyday is a roller-coaster ride.  Happy then sad, joyous then sorrowful.  Passing one milestone and then challenging the next.  Its never ending.  The toll on me gets harder because there is a family out there making my life miserable by endulging themselves on their own negativity.. their own way of coping in a backwards manner.  I would endlessly cry every night.  I never spoke a word since the great loss, well not unless somebody had to ask questions.  I didn't speak on my own volition unless its ultimately required.  I don't remember when I started to speak.  I don't remember when I stopped crying out loud.  I simply remember how much unrestful my family's nights were because of me.  Sometimes when I do think of it, it makes me cry like the pain was just yesterday's deal.

I somehow have to finally end this chapter of my life and forget about the bad things that 2009 gave me.  I haven't moved on yet, that's for sure.  Everyday is a struggle.  A struggle to forgive and forget and rest myself then move on.  I have gathered all the emails, photos, videos and posts but I haven't had the guts to sit down and put it where it should be.  I haven't been looking at old photos anymore.  Its not going to help me at all.  Maybe it will be good for the future, but not now.

Really, there is no Christmas for me.  No birthday to celebrate.. only the New Year is important for me now.  I tried so hard to drag myself out of bed for 9 days and whip myself off to focus and work at the office during work hours during these 9 days of Simbang Gabi.  Its the hardest one I've had to do for myself in almost 6 years of straight Simbang Gabi challenge.  I had to hear Mass at 3am by myself.  I had to pray hard for my family and friends so that they will not suffer the same way I did.  And I had to pray hard to ask for healing.  I had to pray hard that I will be strong enough to overcome frail human emotions.  I had to do this and stop myself from crying during Mass.

I've said my goodbyes and I'm not turning my head to check on them.  They were part of the tortures of my life.  I have to let them go or I'll never be free at all.  I sent them all of the last stuff that my beloved has left with me, along with a goodbye letter.  I originally wrote to them in Tagalog, but I have translated the letter too for the sake of my non-Filipino readers.

Sa pamilya Tolledo,
Ang sulat na ito ay hindi para magpasalamat o humingi ng paumanhin.  Hindi rin ito sulat para manumbat o kung anuman.  Ang sulat na ito ay tinagalog ko na lamang para hindi mabahiran ng anumang maling pang uunawa.
Narito ang mga natitirang mga kagamitan ni JP sa akin.  Minarapat ko na itong isauli sa inyo dahil ito ay mga gamit lamang na naipahiram niya nang minsan.
Nais kong iparating sa inyo, buhat sa araw na isinusulat ko ito, ay iniaalis ko na kayo sa talaan ng mga taong nakilala ko at kinikilala ko.  Tanging si JP na lamang ang matitirang buhay sa aking alaala at sa alaala ng pamilya at kamag anak kong nagmalasakit sa kanya.
Sapat na ang mga pangyayaring minsan nang dinanas ko at ng pamilya ko mula sa inyo kasama ng ibang kamag anakan ninyo--maganda man ito o masama.  Hindi na namin nais pa itong madagdagan.
Wala na akong kinalaman sa inyo, at wala na rin kayong kinalaman sa akin.  Nawa ay sa ganitong paraan, makamtan ko naman ang katahimikang pinawi ng pagkawala ni JP at nang mga abalang nasanhi ninyo sa aking komunidad, simbahan, trabaho at pamilya.  Marami man akong narinig na paninirang puri, ipinagsawalang bahala at ipinagpasa Diyos ko na ito.
Paalam.  Nawa ay mapasainyo ang tunay na kaligayahan sa lahat ng panahon.
Maricris Nonato
Sa pamilya Tolledo, Ang sulat na ito ay hindi para magpasalamat o humingi ng paumanhin.  Hindi rin ito sulat para manumbat o kung anuman.  Ang sulat na ito ay tinagalog ko na lamang para hindi mabahiran ng anumang maling pang uunawa. Narito ang mga natitirang mga kagamitan ni JP sa akin.  Minarapat ko na itong isauli sa inyo dahil ito ay mga gamit lamang na naipahiram niya nang minsan. Nais kong iparating sa inyo, buhat sa araw na isinusulat ko ito, ay iniaalis ko na kayo sa talaan ng mga taong nakilala ko at kinikilala ko.  Tanging si JP na lamang ang matitirang buhay sa aking alaala at sa alaala ng pamilya at kamag anak kong nagmalasakit sa kanya. Sapat na ang mga pangyayaring minsan nang dinanas ko at ng pamilya ko mula sa inyo kasama ng ibang kamag anakan ninyo--maganda man ito o masama.  Hindi na namin nais pa itong madagdagan. Wala na akong kinalaman sa inyo, at wala na rin kayong kinalaman sa akin.  Nawa ay sa ganitong paraan, makamtan ko naman ang katahimikang pinawi ng pagkawala ni JP at nang mga abalang nasanhi ninyo sa aking komunidad, simbahan, trabaho at pamilya.  Marami man akong narinig na paninirang puri, ipinagsawalang bahala at ipinagpasa Diyos ko na ito. Paalam.  Nawa ay mapasainyo ang tunay na kaligayahan sa lahat ng panahon. Maricris Nonato

To me, they are now a pigment of my imagination.  Only my beloved would live inside my heart and inside my mind.  I don't see him anymore.  Maybe because he has moved on.  I have been too afraid to cut lose from him, but now I know I have too.  I would only pull him down and put myself down further.

I may have been too damaged in so many aspects I can't begin to enumerate (knowing there are sick minds out there waiting to entrap me), but the real deal is, I'm not who you think I am.  I am stronger, better and more intelligent too.  Although I'm soft hearted, I am not weak willed.  Don't step on my foot again.  Don't start to pull my hair or poke me in the eye.  You might not get the same treatment again.  That's the real deal.  For now, you're off the hook.

Goodbye 2009.  2010 will be bright for me.  And that's a fact.