It felt like Christmas. In fact, from May 12-24, we celebrated twelve days of Christmas in our family.
We left our lives as we knew it and spent time with one another like we haven't done in a very long time. I had to take leave off from work and Lingkod, which the regular readers of this blog (naks!) would understand as a big deal as I had been breathing Lingkod for the past five years and only absented myself from its flurry of activities and concerns for urgent and important reasons.
My family coming home is one of the most important reasons to drop everything, that's for sure.
Now they have all left and the house is very quiet. Next week, two family members will move to Germany to live there for a year. We've had a lot of comings and goings, hellos and farewells.
We'd like to think that we're immune to the sadness of goodbyes. Once in a while, one of us gets teary-eyed at the thought of separation, and the others look the other way. We'd rather say "see you soon".
When my kuya left for the US almost thirteen years ago, we all bawled because we thought we'd never see him again. Overseas calls cost an arm and a leg then and we've never heard of email, chat or blogs before. Now the world is smaller, thanks to Cyberspace and PLDT phone cards. For sure we'll all maximize our yahoogroups, webcams, IMs, and digicams. It's so much easier to keep in touch now.
Still, for the past 12 days it was great to hug my sisters and exchange senseless banter with them. It was fun shopping with my cousin Raquel and Auntie Nene, playing with my nephew Jonathan, and listening to Uncle Bert's commentary about the state of the nation. Nothing beats the physical presence of the people you love. Next week I'd probably wonder how life would be without Kuya Ric and Celeste at the dinner table.
I don't know where God intends to take me. My family has plans for a US and Germany trip this December, which I already closed my eyes to the moment I resigned from my job and said yes to do volunteer service, full-time. I know He could take me to places if He wanted to.
It's also amazing how God has blessed me. I spent long months preparing my heart for a simpler lifestyle. Then I was gifted with Ralph Lauren purses, a year's supply of toiletries, and a trip to Singapore/Malaysia this coming July. My father intends to sell our car which I had been driving for the past four years. I'm a little sad, but the upside is, I could, once in a while, drive our other old car, which is all-power and automatic.
One of the lessons that I have learned is that we really do not need to worry about what we are to eat or wear. Such things are for God to provide, as long as we fix our eyes on His work and our hearts on His voice. For the past 12 days, I didn't spend much but was able to eat at good restaurants and visit beautiful places, while traveling comfortably as I was not on driver duty all the time. The most important thing that God blessed me with, I know, is a generous, loving, and sometimes a bit hyperactive family. I have challenged their understanding by my recent decisions but they have all been supportive in their own way. The journey has indeed begun and the waiting is over.
My job may change. My career may shift. My family, however, will never change, and I love them for that.
I love The One who gave them to me more because of that.