Not the Usual Christmas

Mariel and Sam at Santa Clarita mall 2004

It just hit me tonight that it’s almost Christmas day. I’ve been very anxious about its coming as it’s the first one that Sam and I will be spending without our love Mariel.

Grief counselors advise you to plan for these dates. But how can one really prepare for living life without that someone who had made it all worthwhile. I’m thankful though that I have Sam. For she’s the one that can sometimes ease the numbing pain.

In a way, I was fortunate that recent urgent concerns at the office had momentarily distracted me from brooding over my situation. But since “school’s out” now and I don’t think I’d be able to escape the usual gift- giving duties that come with the season, I had no choice but to make another brave trip to the mall to try to shop for Christmas presents.

Mariel was the genius at this craft She had taken extra care to match the gifts with the recipients and consistently ended up with some tastefully nice ones. With me however it was inevitably the ones nearest the check-out counter that found its way into the basket. And they were often horribly boring ones. Did I tell you about the time when I had given Mariel a “Mace” tear gas spray as a birthday present. I actually found it romantic and even got one for myself. Of course Mariel who was always so good-natured, only laughed it off and said sweetly, “si Daddy naman..”

So let me give advance warning to all those who might receive something from me this Christmas. Mariel had nothing to do with them gifts. And if you ever find some to be kitschy or downright uninspiring, you have no one else to blame but me. All the same I had done my best to recall Mariel’s usual choices. So it will be that nice fluffy comforter for my sister and some country-themed knick knacks for some others. Oh Mariel I really wish you were with me at the shopping center because only you knew my mom’s real dress size. Its one of those things that continue to be a mystery to me.

The night nevertheless closed surrounded by frenzied midnight shoppers and unavoidable Christmas muzak. It was a scene straight out of an SM commercial. And I had never felt so alone in my life. It was as surreal as it could get. Because it had just hit me that I may not have my Mariel with us on this Christmas day.

I miss you Mommy so much. I promise to be home for you this Christmas. Please promise to be somehow there for us too. We love you so much. Merry Christmas.

3 thoughts on “Not the Usual Christmas

  1. Linda

    Mariel will most definitely be there with you and Sam for Christmas, as she is everyday. She will surround you with memories of her kindness, her giving spirit, and her immense love for the two of you. In those moments when you think you’re about to crack, just close your eyes and look into hers, and feel the peace she sends you by living in your heart. Then give Sam as many hugs as you can. She’ll need a double dose, yours and her mommy’s.

    From my family to yours, Merry Christmas, Bong and Sam.

    Linda

  2. marielsgarden

    Thanks again Linda for opening your heart to us.

    A Merry, Merry Christmas to you. I know Owen’s keeping special watch too and beaming proudly because of your deep love and remembrance. I’ll always say a special prayer for you both.

  3. Yes, buying Christmas presents is hard to do on your own. People won’t mind what you buy for them, but you have to do your best, and I’m sure you did. Well done !

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