Local News

Young Observers: Early December Edition

As of last week, over 5 million people worldwide have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic started about 2 years ago. Many, including children, have suffered from the loss of loved ones and in a new study issued in October 2021, in the Journal of Pediatrics, an estimated 175,000 children in the United States have lost their primary caregiver (parents, grandparents, etc.) from April 2020 through October 2021 which translates to 1 orphaned child for every 4 COVID deaths.

I lost my grandma two months ago. She is not my primary caregiver but the devastation of losing her was still unbearable. She lived across the globe and I first met her when I was five. It felt so warm inside to be hugged by a grandma. We did many things together during my vacation like playing Bingo, cooking, and visiting a theme park. I was supposed to spend my spring break visiting her two years ago but flights were suspended due to the pandemic.

The fact that I lost that one precious chance to bond with my grandma and she won’t be there anymore when I come visiting or when we celebrate the upcoming holidays through video call, breaks my heart immensely.

As the holiday season makes its way into our calendars, I know I am not alone spending the holidays with grief in my heart. There are many of us who will have to deal with the pain and might unknowingly wonder about the best way to deal with it. Below are some useful tips I picked up from our school’s weekly newsletter published recently:

1) Be aware that feelings associated with a departed loved one may be triggered. It is okay to experience these feelings and be gentle and patient with yourself.

2) Do what you feel is right for you – keep traditions or create new ones.

3) Exercise is an activity known to boost a person’s mood, and leaving negative energy behind seems like one of the best options. This is a good way to usher in some holiday vibes while dealing with grief.

4) When feeling lonely (due to missing loved ones during the holidays), journaling or listening to music might help with de-stressing and expressing oneself.

5) When motivation wanes, remembering personal goals and keeping a daily routine helps with staying on task.

6) Memorialize a departed loved one or do something to honor his/her memory.

Sunny Hills High School newsletter: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Sunny-Hills-High-School-WeeklyNewsletter.html?soid=1133357605370&aid=8F6Iyns95AI

My grandma, Ching Bilangel, with her granddaughters (L-R: Mogs, me when I was five, Geli, Omree, Cara, Poch)

My mother told me that when she and her siblings had all left for the university, my grandma accepted a call for volunteer teachers to teach values and character education to high school students in her hometown. This gave me the idea to do something to honor her memory this Christmas. I founded a club (Young Observers International) that encourages families and relatives of club members to give financial support to a family farm school where my grandma lives, to help students stay in school while club members (me and my high school friends) build friendships with the students and learn each other’s culture.

During our next monthly assembly on December 10, I will use part of my savings to give each of the farm school student participant, a care package for Christmas in honor of my grandma who was once a volunteer high school teacher.

The tip I learned from our school newsletter must be quite effective that just thinking about this little project is already turning my grief into joy.

Meet Georgette, an extroverted black German shepherd mix who will become best buddies with everyone she encounters. This beautiful dog was rescued after being discovered abandoned in a local veterinarian’s office. She rapidly made faithful worshippers of the OC Animal Care staff who adore her. The sweet girlie loves any attention given to her, and is constantly requesting vigorous belly rubs. She also begs for someone to play with her beloved toys. Georgette is most likely potty-trained, and she walks with the leash and a bounce in her stride. She will surely win you over with her lovely personality. Georgette is waiting for you! Check her out at www.ocpetinfo.com.

Endangered Species

Q: What do you know about the African Forest Elephant?

A: African Forest Elephants are poached for their beautiful ivory tusks. They live in the dense forests of central Africa and eat grasses, tree foliage, barks, twigs, and other vegetation daily. They also drink up to 50 gallons of water daily, which is as much as a standard bathtub holds. Elephants are also the largest land animal on earth. Remember these elephants if you happen to wear an ivory necklace/earring/etc.!

Following a dispute with her former management, Big Machine Records, Grammy award-winning artist Taylor Swift set out on a journey to gain ownership of her songs by re-recording her biggest hits under the “Red” album which blasted into the #1 on the Billboard chart right after its release recently.

Taylor’s re-release of the 2012 album, “Red,” better known as “Taylor’s Version,” is dubbed as retribution against those who currently hold control of her early recordings. Starbucks celebrated Taylor’s record-breaking album (including Spotify’s most streams by a female artist) by releasing the “Taylor Version” grande caramel nonfat latte which fans can purchase while listening to a playlist of the singer’s hit tracks.

The holiday spirit-inspired drinks and Taylor’s much-anticipated album might just be another early Christmas gift for the countless Swifties across the country and beyond.

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3 replies »

  1. Yes. Lucile, I agree with you. i give thanks to God for giving us Francine. She is such a talented girl!

  2. Hi Francine! I cried when i saw the beautiful picture with your grandma. And as i read your article tears were welling down my eyes. I really feel for you as i also grieve for the loss of Mama. Thank you so much for the tips you shared. I am also pursuing an advocacy on dementia awareness in honor of Mama. Kudos to your beautiful article! Looking forward to reading the next one.