Friday, May 13, 2011

Guam Goddess Blog is Uno!

Happy 1st Anniversary to my blog, Guam Goddess in Training.

Whew, a year. It’s Friday the 13th. A day, I’ve never been afraid of, because I was born on a 13th. And it fittingly marks one year of blogging. Nineteen entries, documented forever…..thank you to my 15 "followers."

I started my first entry on May 13th of last year, and now Robert Pattinson is 25. I feel less creepy about my “guaiya” for him, but my lust has moved from fiery to lukewarm…I’ll always be a fan though (thank you to my husband for allowing this adolescent thing to carry on). My husband is not buying the excuse of Robert being my MUSE for my novels anymore...although it's true.

My status as a domestic Guam Goddess is still “training” but improving everyday. Each day has been a struggle for BALANCE. If I focus on one part of my life too much, another part suffers…then the teetering begins and I struggle to keep on the balance beam of my life. (By the way, the picture of the tiger is credited when I Googled "Tiger balance beam").

I lost many important people this past year: my grandmother, my Uncle Mike, my mother-in-law, and now my old Tae Kwon Do coach is in the ICU in Guam (scary in and of itself--the hospital that is, but Mr. Ysrael was hardcore).

I have gained many rewards as well. My children continue to be healthy, happy and spunky—curious as heck too. I’m proud that my son can whip my butt in Monopoly and has stopped asking to play his DSI and Wii, preferring monopolizing and honing his chess skills. My husband continues to be his steady, awesome wonderful self—knowing when to work hard and play as necessary. My daughter had a dream realized of having a birthday at Chuck E. Chaka’s…the last for my children. She also has magnified her intelligence, sass and crass. I love it.

Guam Books and Beads continues to gain exposure. We have been invited further and further north and we take opportunities to share our Chamorro literature when we can.

All I know is that I’m not finished growing or improving. I may even say the same thing next year. I also know that life is fragile. We each need to make a constant effort to cherish, make the most of or breathe through each second of our lives. I have a lot on my “plate,” but won’t trade it for anything. I won’t gripe (well, maybe sometimes) about my station in life.

Everyone wants to make their mark in the world, and I’m no different. I have enough gray hairs without sweating the small stuff. By the way, anyone who counts the number of cliché’ phrases and quotes in this entry wins a prize.

Where the heck am I going with this? I have dishes and laundry and cooking and cleaning and parenting and writing to do….

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”—Charles Swindoll

I’m going to cherish each day because I recently found out a child at my son's school, well his future will forever be changed. His parent found out he had terminal cancer. I found that out yesterday morning from another parent. All I could think about was this young boy. His parent didn’t even realize he was stage 4--just one day driving, a massive headache and a car crash. Then, doctors say terminal. My mind raced to the kindergartner’s future. How would he flourish without his dad? What would he become? How would he handle it in the next year? At the funeral? This really wasn’t my concern, but you’re not human if you don’t feel for this family. I did. I wondered what lesson I was to take from this. Being a worry wart and fearful of cosmic forces, I wondered about this family all day. Then my husband wants to buy running shoes and we’re off to a sporting goods store. That same day, I’m walking around the store with my children and my son’s classmate’s parents walk right by me. I point them out to my child. He tries to say hello, but they continue on. I wonder how they’re handling this shift in their reality. I realize I have seen this man before. I point them out to my husband who has already heard of their situation on the drive up. My husband says it’s a coincidence, but my silly imaginative mind wonders if I’m being sent a message.

I realize we all wilt. We all have a predetermined time here. I don’t want to leave before I’ve accomplished what I’ve wanted, seen what I need to. I have so much to do during my stay in this world and if you really think about it, we’re all “terminal.”

Let me snap my fingers so we can get out of the funk I just created. Someone pass me some chocolate!
Esta Later!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Adios to my Grandmother, A Guam Goddess Come Full Circle

RIP-Julia Gamboa Chargualaf (Lang) 1/14/15 ~ 5/4/11

My paternal grandmother, Julia passed away. She was 96. It’s been two hours since I heard the news. I haven’t processed all my feelings yet. I am distressed that Guam is so far away. 6, 175 miles from Southern California to be approximate. Or as my son has realized, "It takes 3 jets to get there!" The mourning process is so part of our culture, nine days of rosaries, viewing, mass and burial, followed by more rosaries—all in head to toe black garb in 87 degree heat. If we’re lucky, balmy ocean breezes will soothe us, but never take away our sense of loss. The heat is a reminder that we are alive.

I’ve always said I would be at my grandmother’s funeral, no matter what. But, now my “no matter what” involves a son in school, my toddler, a Navy husband and a budget that is recovering slowly from another Guam funeral just four months prior.

My grandma outlived three of her children. She lived 41 years longer than my own father. I see my grandmother’s wisdom and gusto in myself and in my children. I know I can be sensitive and soft-hearted because of our shared DNA. My grandmother’s only request for her 95th birthday was to ride around the village of Asan in a golf cart as pictured above, center. Yes, this sort of stuff makes headlines on Guam and I love it.

I’ve seen my grandmother strong, and I know she was lonely too. Much of my life on Guam centered around her--on paying her respect, on honoring her station in life. So, whether these next two weeks has me shuttling back to Guam or not. I mourn for my grandmother and I am humbled and thankful to be a part of her lineage.

Adios, Nana. Bear hug my dad, Uncle Eloy and Auntie Chilang for me.


A Story of a Stolen Mermaid--(and the Infringement of an Artist)

Fact: I wrote Sirena: A Mermaid Legend from Guam in 2010. Fact: My brother, Sonny Chargualaf is the talented artist behind the imagery. ...