Merry Christmas, family and friends!
This whole season has been all but – for lack of a better (or more appropriate) word -“dead” — to me… And those who know me real well will know that that is a HUGE deal, as Christmas has always been MY season. Even my initials are the same as Santa Claus’ for goodness’ sake! I mean it could happily be Christmas the whole year as far as I’m concerned. Until this one. I didn’t do or prepare anything. Because I didn’t (still don’t) feel the spirit of the season. It only matters still because, though we don’t know when He was exactly born, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. That is Christmas’ true meaning as we all know, after all.
Yesterday, I stayed in bed all day. Lunch was made Christmas-worthy by wonderful gifts of food (with my favorite Lengua!) from my sister Ate Titang. In the evening, Noche Buena “saviors” were Kiko’s orders from our always wonderful, thoughtful and kind Florabel (turkey, pasta, salmon, etc.), a friend’s gift of lechon pork belly, KC’s surprise orders of more food (roast beef, etc.) and — a big blessing — the cooking of my eldest nephew, Paul, a chef whose cooking and company we had terribly missed for years (more turkey he started preparing early!). Cookies, sweets from friends, etc., etc., etc… Thank God! I had only lechon balat. Wasn’t able to taste the rest of the spread but enjoyed the goings-on anyway!
I, for the first time, did not go anywhere near the stove or oven (Family and friends, another HUGE DEAL, right?). Too much heaviness in my heart to prepare gifts or even write on a single card, or to even cook food. Even for my own children (gee, that hurts me). And then, at midnight — the sound of my children squealing with delight at the opening of their gifts, running around, jumping up and down with contagious joy in their hearts! A “quiet” and “happy-noisy” Christmas because there were just seven of us (Paul spent the rest of Christmas Eve with us after cooking, of course!)
There was a reunion at my Tita/Mama Helen’s house with all my titas, titos and cousins and nieces and nephews last night. I miss them all so much, especially since we spent every Christmas Eve together at my Mommy and Daddy’s house since we were little. We wished to be there with them (I especially!). But like I said, too much heartache… For the first time in my life, I cried for my much beloved original family being almost gone (save for my brother and his family, but they couldn’t be with us this year either)… the absence of Daddy has always been strongly felt since 2000… and the absence of Mommy for the first time at Christmas even more so…
Frankly – and I say this with no exaggeration – 2014 has been the most HORRIBLE, the WORST YEAR of my whole life… What was it Queen Elizabeth called hers/theirs? ANNUS HORRIBILIS. This year has been mine. I experienced lows like never before in both my personal and professional lives… And considering that I have already experienced my first marriage breaking up… two miscarriages… my father’s passing away… I guess that is saying A WHOLE LOT. I just cannot wait for this year to be over. And I mean OVER – like even what was to be my Mommy’s 80th birthday on December 31 OVER.
BUT — do not be mistaken — I am still so grateful and praise God Almighty because in spite of so much pain and lots of tears and sleepless nights like never before, betrayals of once-trusted ones, left and right — and loved ones lost — lost forever like my Mom and those just now out of my life — I and my family are still INCREDIBLY BLESSED. And that is why I know there is a God. Only ONE. He loves me, my family, and you all. And a bonus has been that now, I appreciate my family – both immediate and extended – and my friends, as well as my loyal fans and supporters, a whole lot more. It’s also funny how, in the darkest moments of your life, you find out who your truest friends are. I am so glad I know better and know who they are now. Life is way too short and time so little for us to waste on people who don’t deserve it!
2015 will be here in the blink of an eye. I pray that it will be a year of only rest, of renewal, of picking oneself up, standing strong again no matter what, and being confident enough no matter the unknown; running, getting to where one wants to be — physically and in mind and spirit. And that it will be a year full of smiles and laughter once again, and love from those who really matter; of renewed and more nurtured, treasured friendships and the strengthening of not-so-old-but-not-so-new-ones, and the forging of the all-new; My faith tells me 2015 will be. My faith and trust in God are all I have to hold on to. And no matter where I end up — I know who among those around me has got my back. And Who truly controls everything.
Thank you for loving, supporting, caring for me and those I love; for your gestures of love and friendship and continued faith in my tired, fragile self… You will never know how much you mean to me.
I wish you all a beautiful season and a new year filled with only dreams-finally-come-true, and light and love and laughter, good health and rest and love.
God bless you and my love always.
Sharon / Shawie / Missy / Mare / Sis/ Ate / Anak / Inay / Mama / Choleng.