It was a different Christmas, all right. Mama’s gone, it’s just ‘us’ who celebrated it. After a few years of spending Christmas with my in-laws, my own family spent it again with my father, my siblings, and my siblings’ families at my parents’ house in Las Pinas.
For the first time, my no longer estranged husband did all the Noche Buena preparations since I had to go to work even on Christmas eve–another first for me, by the way, since I had always found a way to evade compulsory work during holidays. I suppose it was good for him to be the one to do the food preparations and cooking all by himself… at least, my family would see that he has finally turned a new leaf. And, I think that he indeed has. He’s finding ways now to spend time with me and our daughters, and it’s so much easier to ask him to do something for us. He seems eager to please us and he seems able to control his temper much better, too. I wish he will always be that way!
I suppose there are still so many things for my family and me to be thankful for, even after Mama’s gone. For one, my husband and I are back in each other’s arms. Our own little family gets to spend quality time together now, even if it only happens on weekends or holidays, since my husband works in Clark, Pampanga now. Next, my children, especially A, are more amicable now that they always have something to look forward to by the end of the week, i.e., we could now go to the mall or park as a whole family. Lastly, I have gotten closer to my siblings. Whatever ill feelings I had toward my sister, especially, seemed to have simply evaporated. It was like we could no longer afford to lose another person in the family. My eldest brother had also made it a point to drop by the house and visit our father regularly or at least once a week.
Indeed, despite our loss, the Lord has still been very gracious to us. Besides, I’m sure my mother will be with Him in heaven and that should call for a celebration.