This season has not been as merry as all the others that went before. It is unlike all the other Christmases gone by. My mom spent Christmas in the hospital. The kids weren’t able to celebrate with us because all our kids are below 7 and are not allowed in the hospital. My brother spent Christmas in some other country, hopefully not freezing all the way down to his toes. Before all this came about, we had all planned on coming home to my parents’ house in Bicol like we have done in all these past years. I did not set up the Christmas tree.

But on the 24th, after grocery shopping, in preparation for the simple Christmas dinner we were going to spend at the hospital, I came home and suddenly, wanted to put up the tree for Lia. This is her Christmas too. She and I together put the tree up.

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010

I bought stuffed toys to hang in the tree. I was looking forward to spending the New Year with the whole family, with my mom out of the hospital, with my dad, my sisters and their husbands, my niece, nephew and my own little family – all of us together. I thought the kids would love the stuffed toys in the tree. But I guess, that’s not gonna happen either.

Nevertheless, it was heartwarming to see Lia admiring the Christmas lights, “wow”-ing her way all throughout over and over again.

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010

It’s going to be a new year in a few hours. For this new year, I only have hope. That things wil turn out alright. That things will be better than the year before. There is nothing else left, nothing else but hope.

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