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Archive for August, 2018

Sonata Of Love

“Jonathan, you do realize that all eyes are on us, right? This makes me uncomfortable, and I hope I will not step on your toes.” Melody whispered as they danced in a room full of family and guests in Natalie’s wedding. Jonathan smiled and spoke in his melodic voice. “Relax. First of all, they are not looking at us. Their eyes are focused on me. Second of all, they are thinking, he is a lucky man who gets to dance with this beautiful woman. So, let’s give them the best prize for what their curiosity’s worth, shall we?”  With that, he gently eased her closer  to him, and they slow danced to Matt Monro’s ballad.

Jonathan Lombardi is a successful and famous concert pianist. Melody Johnson is a nurse and the Executive Director of a plush Senior Living Facility, where Jonathan and Natalie’s mother resides. They only met casually a couple of times before, when Jonathan visited his mother, after returning home from his busy concert tours in Europe and Asia.

When his mother became ill and has to be hospitalized, Jonathan and his sister were at her bedside at the hospital, and when she came back to the facility. Jonathan cancelled his upcoming concert schedule to be with his mother; thus he sees Melody everyday. As the days went by, their constant meeting brought them closer together and came to know each other more; recognizing that they share the same passion in music genre, their likes of the same food, and have read the same books.

Melody has always been on close guard with her emotions since her break up with Lucas 3 years ago. But much as she wanted to ward off the idea, she is beginning to realize that she is feeling more emotionally involved with Jonathan. However, because of his international fame and stature, she feels that she does not belong in his social circle, and it is a remote possibility that he will have any romantic inclination towards her. And then, there is the beautiful Ludmilla, the famous mezzo-soprano who has been rumored to be his girlfriend. Getting involved with Jonathan Lombardi will be another heartbreak looming in her horizon, and she could not allow that to happen. The sooner she distances herself, the better for her to protect her vulnerable heart.

Not seeing Jonathan for almost two months, as he was on concert tour in London and Italy helped her to forget him, as she put her life back to where it was. But when she arrived at her office one Monday morning, her assistant handed her a glossy envelope. It was an invitation to Natalie’s wedding, which will be in four weeks. She did not want to attend; for sure, Jonathan will be there. Meeting him again, after months of playing hide and seek, will be an emotional catastrophe. She was compelled however, to say yes, when Natalie called her, insisted that she attend the ceremony, and will not take no for an answer.

So, here she is, among the two hundred or so guests in Natalie’s wedding. When she side glanced, she saw Jonathan talking to some guests, looking so handsome in a tuxedo that perfectly fit his frame. Her heart skipped a bit when their eyes met. He could not tear his eyes away once he saw her. She looks stunning in her off-the-shoulder royal blue gown that flawlessly follow the contour of her slim body. Jonathan started to move towards her, and in a split second, he was standing in front of her. Timely, Matt Monro’s song filled the room. They danced, and once she was in the circle of his arms, for the first time in a long time, she feels that she is ready to take a chance to open her heart again, and let love walk in.

When the song “You’re Closer To Me” ended, Jonathan slowly eased Melody away from the crowd towards the terrace. He held her close, then cupped her face and looked at her with tender loving eyes. His words were full of passion: “I give my heart to you, the only woman I love. The one who inspires me to write the melody of the best sonata that consumes my whole being, and shall play on and on as long as we live.” As they shared the most endearing kiss, Jonathan and his music fills her heart and echoes in her soul.

-Lark-

8.18.2018

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Return To Rose Point

As she sat on the wrought iron chair at Rose Point Botanical Garden, the last words of Bernard keeps repeating in her mind. “Love changes people; even those who do not believe in destiny.” Does this mean anything and has a great impact in her life and future, now that she will be making the most difficult decision?

Since she graduated from California School f Botany and Biology, Autumn Rose has been the site Administrator of Rose Point Botanical Garden in San Francisco, Ca. Bernard Marchand was an exchange student from France, studying BSBA Degree in Marketing at UCSF. They met in this beautiful place two years ago, in spring. They became friends, and soon fell in love.

There were so many happy and sad memories that both of them created in this garden. This was where Bernard first kissed her; where she cried on Bernard’s shoulder when she was in despair and disappointed when the hybrid rose that she propagated did not thrive as she expected; and when she said “yes” when Bernard proposed asked her to spend their future together. The future…when and where will it be? Truth of the matter is, both of them refrained from seriously thinking and planning about it, although they knew that Bernard would eventually go back to Bordeaux, France to manage his family owned vineyard and winery. They promised to cross that bridge when the time comes. But for now, they want to spend time together, and be happy.

The inevitable time came. Bernard needs to go back home. The finance and marketing manager of the vineyard resigned, and there was no one to take his place. Delaying his trip back home to take over the management could jeopardize the business, and will suffer financial setback. Bernard could not let that happen, let alone sell the property, as this vineyard and winery has been in his family for three decades.

Autumn decided not to send him off. Saying goodbye at the airport was the hardest to bear. They already said their goodbyes the night before, and promised to keep in touch everyday. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into a year. Their communication dwindled, and in Autumn’s mind and heart, their relationship could come to an end. She could no longer remember when was the last time Bernard called her, and could not think of the reason of his silence. Her calls have not been answered nor returned. Autumn was torn between hope and letting go. In the end, although it breaks her heart, she has come up to a difficult decision. She will write a letter to Bernard. It is better to end the relationship now rather than later.

Spring is in the air. Autumn finds solace in this beautiful garden, as always. This is where her haven of peace and quiet. She could smell the scent of each flower in bloom as the gentle breeze is blowing. Sitting alone on her favorite wrought iron chair in this same spot of the garden, she retrieved the letter from her purse. For the last time, she wanted to re-read what she wrote, before she seals the envelope and mail it to Bernard. Halfway through the letter, Autumn took a deep breath. A familiar scent reached her nose. She turned around to see where it’s coming from. She could not believe her eyes; blinked twice, to make sure that she is not dreaming. It is real, as standing close, is a smiling Bernard, holding a bouquet of her favorite red roses. He sat beside her, then hugged and kissed her. Her Bernard is back! As he handed her the bouquet, a ring tied in a bow dropped on her lap. As he slipped it on her finger, he looked at her with love mirrored in his eyes, and said: “no sides and no end…as my love for you, an everlasting one.” Autumn cupped his face, and kissed him tenderly. Everything around them became bright and colorful…just like heaven o earth.

-Lark-

8.15.2018

Summer’s Novel Romance

For more than two hours, Summer has been staring at the blank screen of her laptop. For some reason, she could not focus and choosing the right words to express her ideas seem to be difficult. Call it a writer’s block?

Two days ago, she left her New York apartment to head back home to Carmel, California. Her publisher and agent may be right. A change of scenery and ambiance may help stimulate her creative imagination and be inspired to finish her book that has a deadline for publication. Five years ago, Summer left Carmel to follow her dream to be a successful writer. In New York, her agent worked with a publishing company, and her first written non-fiction book achieved commercial success; even became a best seller. Two other best sellers followed.

This is not helping. She needs to take a walk at the beach, or get something to eat, as it’s almost dinnertime. Summer was craving for her favorite crabmeat sandwich, so she drove along the picturesque coastal highway to Nick’s Seafood Bistro. She went directly to the front register to place her order, when she heard: “Hello, Summer”. The greeting came someone seated at the bistro’s corner table, overlooking the shore. Instinctively, she turned around, and much to her surprise and disbelief, the man sitting there was the person she very well knew and longed to see again.

Toni! So, where does Antoni De Marco fit into her life? Both of them grew up in Carmel and attended college at Santa Cruz State University. Toni became a physical therapist and Summer graduated with a degree in English Literature. They were an inseparable pair, happy, and in love.

One day, an unexpected and once in a lifetime opportunity came when Summer was contacted by an agent, that Skylark Publishing Company based in New York was interested in publishing the novel that she submitted, and offered to sign her up as their in-house romance novelist. Toni wanted her to stay, but doing so will be unfair for her. He loves her so much and wanted her to succeed; that he is willing to put their marriage plans on hold, until she comes back…if indeed she will come back. Five years have gone by…

It seems that this meeting could no longer be averted. She saw him walk towards her. His tall and lean physique, his bi-dimpled smile, and his blue eyes possess the power to make her heart shift into overdrive. She needs to calm down her nerves. She could not afford to be distracted, let alone be the recipient of barrages of unanswered questions from this man. However, more than anything else, she wanted to clear and settle whatever misunderstanding and or misgivings between them.

When Toni was in front of her, he extended his right hand and caught hers with a firm yet gentle grip. He tenderly pulled her close to him, barely an inch away, and whispered: “I missed you. I loved you then, I love you now and for the rest of our lives.” No words escaped from her lips. She looked at him, her whole body radiating with love. A love so deeply rooted and nurtured, that no time or distance could mar. She took a step to close the gap between them, and leaned her body to fit his frame. This is where she belongs, nowhere else.

-Lark-

8.9.2018

When Fate and Love Collide

How long ago has it been?

Thirty minutes before 9:00 A.M. Dr. Zeth Gellert walked hastily on the cross walk to beat the rid light at the intersection near his office building in downtown San Francisco. On this Monday morning, he needs to be at the office at least 30 minutes before the scheduled conference to set up his prepared presentation and finalized plan for his company’s next project. Zeth accepted the position offered as a senior adviser for the second largest non-profit organization in the continental US, coordinating and scheduling medical missions in different parts of the underprivileged countries around the globe. The outreach programs “Operation Restore Smile”, performs surgery to children with cleft lip and palate, and “Healthy Living Focus” which educate and assist families on disease prevention and healthy diet.

Six years ago, Zeth took over his father’s medical practice in his small hometown in rural Ohio. He loves taking care of the medical needs of the community, but much as he wanted to convince himself to settle, his restless heart is not totally in tune in this line of medical practice, that’s why when he received an unexpected call from his former colleague and co-worker, he decided to pack up his suitcase and relocated to San Francisco, CA. In the near future, he hopes to again, travel overseas to participate in such an honorable and fulfilling mission…just like the old times.

While waiting for the arrival of the 10 members of a team of doctors and nurses who were scheduled to be deployed overseas, Zeth’s mind circled back some 6 years ago, when he was a volunteer doctor along with other medical professionals, in a rural area in northern Philippines. However, his last rotation overseas was cut short when he received an emergency phone call from his sister that their father died due to heart attack. He rushed back to the US, stayed, and practiced community medicine.

As the volunteers arrived in the conference room, Zeth saw a familiar figure among the group. Amber! She was among them! Suddenly, his whole body became numb and his heartbeat was racing. How could he forget Dr. Amber Gleason? They were partners in every medical mission overseas, which later on, found emotional and physical compatibility; even had plans for their future together. But everything changed after that last night they were together, when Zeth went back to the US, with no formal and final goodbyes. Although beset with questions of how, why, and what if’s not one of them had the courage and drive to try any means to get in touch with each other.

Amber could not believe her eyes when she came face to face with Zeth. How could she ever forget that familiar face of the only man she gave her heart to, the only man who until now occupies her mind, heart and whole being; the man who is the father of her 5 year old son, Andrew.

Through all the past years, Zeth and Amber have each developed wings that made their dreams fly and both their careers as medical doctor somehow thrived under different circumstances of their choosing. Whatever happened in the past, there will always be a reason for two people to find each other again, when fate and love collide. From here on, as long as Zeth and Amber are together, beautiful music will continue to play as they dance in synch, to the rhythm of life’s challenges in a home where their hearts belong.

-Lark-

8.6.2018

Passing The Nightingale’s Lamp

Treading through an unmarked trail in this multi-directional path of life as we aim to choose which direction to follow to reach our destination, takes a lot of courage, conviction, and determination.

While I was growing up, I was lucky enough to have been given with options as to where to go and what to do in my pursuit of happiness and fulfillment, both personally and professionally. Thanks to my family for paving the way, encouraging, and supporting me in whatever path I decide to take.

At age 13, when I reached that step of the ladder of educational pursuit, I was torn between pursuing a career in nursing and being a writer. Honestly, I first fell in love with writing, long before I fell in love with nursing. Growing up, I would create stories in my mind of just about anything. Every book that I read, or every story that I hear, in my young mind, I used to create an epilogue or a sequel to stretch the ending according to what I want it to end. I would also write short stories combining reality and fiction. I also started to write poetry, without a slightest clue as to how it was written. I just write what I feel and feel what I write. These manuscripts were just archived in a pathetic-looking journal, as I was too shy to show it, thinking that it was not good enough.

It was until a year before my graduation in high school, when a pivotal moment took a final course, a vision that veered towards pursuing a career in nursing. My aunt, the sister of my father, was the person who long been instilling in my young mind and heart how rewarding a nursing profession will be. She herself studied to be a nurse, then followed her calling to be a catholic nun of the order of St. Paul of Chartres. No, to become a nun never did cross my mind. Instead, I pursued the nursing profession, and, I did not regret it. I love everything about nursing, and practiced the profession from the time I graduated, until now.

Well, that was such a long time ago. During the time that I was so focused and prioritize my chosen profession, I have had doses of fighting uphill battles along the way. It was not an easy journey; taking calculated risks with not much wiggle room was part of the whole package,  most especially when aiming to be the best of who I will be. Because I love what I do, the challenges were considered as the steps up the ladder. Each single step that I took, at the right time, coupled with conviction, determination, and genuine love and caring, I reached the peak of my career that I envisioned as to where I will finally be…a Director of Nursing Services, and as a Director Of Patient Care Services. For 18 years, in this rewarding yet serious, salient, and challenging role, I had been a team player and a leader; never did it cross my mind to be less of what was expected of me. Every night, when I go to bed, I look forward to wake up in the morning, energy renewed, to pick up where I left off the day before.

So, what’s next for me? Looking back, I asked myself. What else and to who will I have to prove my worth? Will it now be enough and the right time for me to finally hang my stethoscope? Truth of the matter, it was not a dreadfully hard decision to make as I previously thought. One morning, as soon as I woke up, I made the best unplanned life-changing decision, even if I am not yet sure if I will miss the regimented life of a nurse that i have been living for the past 40 years.

Needless to say, I look forward to go back and rekindle my first love…to write, that was put on hold while I focused on and prioritized my professional advancement, and when I embraced the role of a mother to my daughter. But one thing for sure, even if I will finally hang my stethoscope I will always be the same person who chose to be a nurse, and practiced the best profession that is second to none according to my hierarchy of what I will be.

Passing the torch will never make me any lesser than the nurse that I was. I will still carry on with pride everything that I did at my best through the years of my professional career. I will always be the epitome of who Florence Nightingale was. But in the next chapter of my life, I will perhaps be following, although way far behind, the footsteps of Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, or Jane Austin. If and when will this happen, I could finally and positively say that the Nightingale’s lamp  that I chose to carry has been and will always be my guiding light even if I may be following a different path.

-Lark-

7.22.2018

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