Now that Dia de los Reyes has come, Vicky and I can officially announce that we've survived our first holiday season without both our parents.  Late December brought both of us some much-needed rest, and time to gather with family and friends for happier occasions: my birthday in San Felipe, Christmas Eve with the Reyes family, Christmas Day with the Flores family, New Year's Eve (although we were in different cities, we Skyped, and still rang in 2011 together), and, today, the Feast of the Three Kings.

Most of the holidays were really great-- it was usually only at the end of the day that I'd find myself thinking that the only thing that could have made it all better was... if Dad had been here, too.  But... then I'd remember: everyday is now probably a holiday for Mom and Dad.  And for that, I do rejoice.

Other than those brief moments of weakness, Christmas season brought wonderful memories (especially because of all the new babies who joined the family this year!), delicious food (Pedro's mom's tamales and his dad's pies come immediately to mind), and a real sense of being cared for by our community in San Diego.  We didn't even realize until this week that none of our father's family in the Philippines have called or checked in with us since we returned to the US. 

So. Where does that leave us?  Well.  I can't say I'm totally ready for this New Year.  Nor that my tears have completely dried.  And I still find myself frustrated and angry at times.  But we've made it this far.  So we'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and count ourselves very, very lucky to have good people around us, to help make sure we stay on the right path.

Here's to a year of new beginnings...!

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