Summer Lovin’ Zero Miles Away and 8760 Miles Near

eric oebanda

By Charm Moreto Damon


Summer is finally here, and the warmer weather has been quite inviting to the various outdoor (and some indoor) activities my family is enjoying. Zero miles away, my family’s summer lovin’ activities have so far consisted of the following:

  1. Trips to new and old parks with friends;
  2. Nightly home made milkshakes;
  3. Impromptu walks and trike rides with neighborhood kids;
  4. Grilled juicy steaks, even for the petite gourmands;
  5. Driveway fun rides;
  6. Chalk artwork;
  7. Bubble blowing and popping;
  8. Play dates with missed friends;
  9. Chick-Fil-A nuggets and play yard with best friends;
  10. First time pizza dough air tossing;
  11. Farmer’s market trip for Vietnamese Pho, more Belgian waffles and beef brisket;
  12. Sunday dinners with wonderful friends; and
  13. Puddle jumping.

With about two more months of warm summer days, we are looking forward to experiencing fun, meaningful and adventurous activities as a family, and to creating wonderful memories and summer traditions.


How is your family celebrating the carefree, warm and laughter-filled summer so far? 30, 100, 600 miles away, how is the rest of your family and friends celebrating this beautiful season?  Are exciting road trips and long-overdue reunions in your summer to-do lists?  Have you made efforts to reach out to long lost friends and family to be part of your summer lovin’ celebration? Could they, maybe, instead be experiencing a bit of summer tryin’ this season, and just need a phone call, a quick visit, or support?


A few many miles near, approximately 8760 miles far and away, I know my family members from the other side of the world’s summer tryin’ activities have so far consisted of the following, happening in order and some simultaneously:

  1. A rare cancer diagnosis;
  2. A cancer surgery after diagnosis;
  3. A hospital stay longer than planned;
  4. A sudden severe abdominal pain requiring two CT scans;
  5. An appendicitis diagnosis, thereafter;
  6. An emergency appendectomy;
  7. Taxiing between a full day’s work and the hospital taking care of one, then two ill family members;
  8. Very little rest, nourishment, and peace of mind;
  9. One medically uninsured ill family member;
  10. Uncertainty about post-surgery surprises and necessities;
  11. A toxic haze covering the city of another member less than a two-hour plane ride away;

But thankfully, a couple summer lovin’ events 8760 miles away have consisted of:

12. The haze-ridden member flying and taking time off work to care for both ill members to relieve the other member; and

13. A long-time friend from miles away offers unconditional comfort and support through both surgeries and post-operation care;


One valuable event and gift between the many miles, however, is the effort to celebrate this year’s summer smiles and to comfort those temporarily given a few summer trials.  Together, my family here and those a few too many miles away hold faith in the Universe to heal, to nurture and to bring us all together in spirit and in love. Knowing, too, that the relieved family member from 8760 miles away is soon to be reunited and stay with us for a whole month to celebrate aforementioned and more summer lovin’ activities with my family is a summer blessing.  In full circle, I am certain that her summer memories with us will also soon be shared by those of our loved ones from far away, through photos and vivid stories when she goes back home.

Photo from: Eric Oebanda’s Flickr stream at


Charm Moreto Damon is a mother, a TESOL professional and a freelance editor.  She graduated from the University of the Philippines, and pursued graduate studies at the Ohio State University, where she also taught academic writing and research to international students.  She is currently a stay-at-home-mom, and keeps herself busy with family, friends, and editorial work.   She regularly. She may be contacted at