Whenever I came home and found that home had stayed the same no matter how I'd changed, I felt reassured. This Christmas, it's home that's changed, and it feels like for good.
The other day, I had just an hour to spend with some of my oldest friends. My family had to go to church in a bit, Kim and Kriselle would be leaving for Davao again the next day, and I wasn't sure if I'd see Mariel again in Kalsangi after Christmas (I'm flying back to Manila tomorrow).
Of the four of us, only Mariel has lived in Kalsangi longer than my family. In January, she and her family will be moving away.
This vacation has literally been a nostalgia trip. While going around the neighborhood, I haven't been able to stop thinking, "So-and-so used to live there. I used to climb that rock. I used to go inside that shop and look at the bracelets. My friends and I once called that cluster of trees Narnia. I used to go to that pond and catch those tiny frogs."
I wish there was more time.
In our family, Christmas has rarely been just for us. My mom is so involved in the community that she's buying, baking, cooking, wrapping, and delivering presents till well past Christmas day. It's a lot for one person to do alone, which is why the rest of us get roped into helping her. I guess it's selfish of me to wish that just one Christmas Eve, she could have nothing to do, but I wish it all the same.
Then I remember that I live in Manila; if I didn't, she'd have an extra pair of hands leading up to the holidays, and maybe by Christmas, she'd be chilling on the couch and listening to her favorite CDs, instead of begging my brother to get away from the computer and deliver this tin of fruit cocktail cake to the Parcons.
Things have settled down now, so I think it's safe to "plan" today on doing nothing but letting my memory catch up and settle itself also. I just wish there was more time.