Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness -- Remembering My Mom

This is my second post for the Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest. 

My Mom died many years ago but I still think of her often. As I was deciding on what to post for the blogfest, I remembered my Mom and her random act of kindness

We lived in the Philippines, in Pasig City to be exact. We owned a small shop where Mom would spend her days helping customers find the right Hallmark card (e-cards did not exist then), panty hose, or other small gift items like pens and fashionable handkerchiefs. 

One very hot summer, my Mom was standing near the entrance of the shop just watching people walk by. She was a man buying a plastic bag of ice water from the small general store next to our shop. Bottled water was not available then and people bought water in small plastic bags. 

As the man was trying to hold the bag of water to his mouth so he could drink, he dropped it by accident and the bag burst. The man asked the person minding the store for some water but he was told that if he wanted water, he would need to buy another bag. 

My Mom, who heard the exchange, called the man over to our shop. She then took the drinking glass she kept on a small desk behind the display cases and filled it with cold water that she kept in a bottle under the desk. She then gave the man a glass of water to drink. And then she offered the man more water which he gladly accepted. 

Many months after that incident, my Mom died. Some weeks after she died, my sister was tending the shop and a man came by. He was asking my sister where the nice old lady was because he has not seen her in a while. My sister informed him that our mother had died weeks before. The man then told my sister about how my Mom gave him a drink of water on that hot summer's day. 

It was an indescribable feeling to be reminded of our Mom at that time. Yet, I felt proud that at least someone other than people in our family will remember my Mom and her kindness long after she has gone. 

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Posted by: Bames Pabla
Bames Live, Updated at: 11:23 AM

Book Review: The Inferno Experience: Florence

The Inferno Experience: FlorenceThe Inferno Experience: Florence by Sara Bruni
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sara Bruni clearly loves Italy and knows a lot about the country of her birth. Her latest book The Inferno Experience: Florence is a great way to learn more about one of Italy's most beautiful cities -- Florence.

Being Dante Alighieri's place of birth, there are many places in Florence that center very much around him and the art his famous works have inspired. Sara Bruni takes the reader all over Florence while almost very lovingly describing every feature, work of art, famous structure, and statue of note along the way. Clearly, the Inferno's influence is all over.

In her introduction, Sara tells her readers that she was pleasantly surprised when Dan Brown announced that he would be writing a book based on Dante's Inferno and had been researching in Florence. It just so happens that the city is one that Sara knows by heart though she was born in Sienna which is in Tuscanny. She had  always loved Dante's work and often travelled to Florence to "touch the stones, which used to surround him, to hear his footsteps echoing through the streets of the city, to soak up every last detail of his ‘bel San Giovanni’."

What I really love about this book is the way the author is able to attach the history of an object or statue or building without making it appear like a boring history lesson. For example, the way she describes the way the Duomo or the Santa Maria del Fiore was being planned and how architects were asked to submit their designs for the dome is just wonderful. It is short yet very interesting. Especially the way she writes about Brunelleschi's Egg.

The pictures are also wonderful. I love the way she has chosen a few but very beautiful pictures for her book. For someone who has never been to Italy, let alone Florence (like me), reading the book is almost like being there and taking a guided tour of the city.

I have to admit that I am anticipating reading her other books The Inferno Experience: Tuscany and the soon to be released Inferno's Hidden Secrets & Eternal Mysteries.

View all my reviews

*Note: Although I was given a copy of the book  "The Inferno Experience: Florence" for the purpose of reviewing it, my opinions of the book and my review of the book have in no way been influenced by the author or anybody else. 

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Posted by: Bames Pabla
Bames Live, Updated at: 12:00 AM