I should be proud of myself, of how I pulled off Christmas.
Between mommy and their grandmothers and aunts and uncles, the kids pretty much got everything they wanted. Santa also managed to make a very decent showing this year, with lots of candy to spare and share.
We had noche buena with my (orphan) friends and their dogs, and guess what, we probably had more fun than most. We heard Xmas Mass in the am, visited the crypt briefly, spent the afternoon and evening at Dasma. Micheal made a showing, with a beer in his hand. Too funny. The girls always have fun together anyway, so it was a nice night with good food (steak, lechon, turkey!).
I thought I had it all together, but it was the candied carrots that did me in. As I got myself a serving, Raquel quietly said "menos na ang mga kalaban dyan"... and I instantly knew exactly what she meant. How startling to be reminded by Raquel.
I smiled while my heart sank, remembering how he used to "fight" over the candied carrots with John, then asking me to make some for him at home, for him alone. I didn't realize until that moment how tired I was of 'keeping it together' and, as soon as dinner was over and I could disappear without mom noticing, I went upstairs to lay down and rest my aching chest.
The sadness lingered all through the night and I couldn't wait to get home to douse that pain with a shot of mandarin absolut. I am sufficiently doused now, and not proud to admit that I'm glad Xmas is over.