family

I've forgotten how nice it feels...

12:00:00 AM

... to hear Mass with your family and enjoy a nice dinner after. Nothing has ever been the same since my mother passed away, and the reminder was more than welcome for me.

I was on my way to Greenbelt Chapel to hear the 7:30pm Mass when I bumped into - of all people - Jr Rulloda. I'm not sure I've mentioned him in the blog already, but he's an MMA and BJJ fighter that I met over the course of my work with URCC. I'm sure I've mentioned his older brother, Franco, who (a) loaned me his gloves so I can get started with boxing, and (b) is my constant ramen run companion along with Alfred Cheeseball. Alfred and Franco have also been keeping me sane as of late. Well, as sane as I could be, at least.

So anyway, when I saw Jr - or "Bata," as I like to call him - it was decided that we were just going to hear Mass on the same spot, since the Chapel was already too full anyway. Franco and the rest of his family arrived after a while, and I joined hands with them for the Lord's Prayer. I've been going to Mass by myself for quite a while now, and it was nice to be with people for this part of the celebration (as with the Sign of Peace).

When the Mass ended, I said goodbye to Franco and Jr, and I walked aimlessly in Greenbelt. And then my phone rang - it was Franco, and he said that their folks wanted me to join them for dinner. Since I didn't really have any plans anyway, I figured there was no harm in accepting the invitation. Jr also sent a text message that read, "Hoy sumama ka daw," which I found quite funny - he texts the same way he talks! Funny kid, Jr is.
Our friend Reese commented that we look like real siblings in this photo! Haha! This selfie was taken during dinner, because someone Jr was chatting with on Viber asked that he take a photo with his family. He sent her this, and told her that I was his sister. Nice. :)
Theirs is a lovely family, and I enjoyed dinner with them immensely. I will admit I felt a small pang of jealousy - they're together, they're whole, which is a stark contrast with how things are for my real family. When it was time to leave, I even struggled with a very, very mild case of separation anxiety - I missed being with family and I didn't even realize it until that night. They offered me a ride home, but I declined. I opted to walk so I'll have time to think, and to say a prayer of thanks for the time I got to be with them.

I guess family is not just made up of people who are your blood, but rather of those who can become your blood. The Rulloda Brothers welcomed me to DEFTAC with open arms, no questions asked, and despite my insistence that I'm not part of the group, they would say I already am and there was nothing I can do about it. Jr expounded on that, saying that I'm technically not part of the team (because I don't train in BJJ), but I am part of the family. And that's something I appreciate beyond words.

Thank you, Franco and Jr., Tito Pareng Noel, Tita Mitch, and Ate Noemi. You guys are awesome. :)

isawisay

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