I want to remember this second day of December for as long as I live.

An hour past the new day, I listened to Hamilton’s Mixtape in its full glory. 2016 was Hamilton year for me and the family. It has introduced Broadway to Martha, inspired Mato to sing more and write more plays and me to (continue to) tell my story. Reading Lin-Manuel‘s tweets being excited as much as we were was icing the cake. This is going to be a classic in our household, very much like Sound of Music when I was a kid.

I got to enjoy some quiet, intense work outside the house at Starbucks, where I go regularly to just sit and get a different view aside from the daily four corners of the house. I sipped my regular coffee – a hot caramel macchiato – and accomplished a lot work-wise, in between chatting with friends, downloading some K-drama crack and listing in my planner.

I went home to a clean house, fresh bed sheets, finished laundry and a packed refrigerator with cooked food for the weekend. I printed advent activities for my youngest, put them in their boxes randomly, and made a promise to myself that I will be doing those activities WITH her. Martha comes home with her own dish, cooked from Cooking Club at school, and it was delicious. We decide right then and there we will stage a repeat of when her Dad comes home.

I received a message about Maya’s condition and then I instantly feel that we are going to have the best gift for Christmas. I get overwhelmed. I turned so grateful. I was excited, anxious, ready. I prayed. And then I cried happy tears, thankful tears, unworthy tears in the shower. I should write about our little miracle more, soon. 

I got to watch Goblin streaming – live, raw (no English subs). And I got more overwhelmed. I was proud, happy, anxious, assured.

It seems that everything was all right in my world. And it made me feel that this was not normal. That not everything was supposed to be all right, at any given time, especially this year.

Many times during the day I stop myself from bursting my happy bubble. Just when I sigh and actually say, “This day is so good to me” – I stop and doubt myself, second guessing what the catch is, when would a shoe drop. This has been my unhealthy practice throughout the year, unfortunately – not really basking in the joy of a moment, furtively looking around for signs that it will get worse, that somehow this joy isn’t something I really deserve to feel, that what I am being given is a reprieve for more pain.

So I take a deep breath, and remind myself, “Savor the moment, Aggie.” So I let the joy consume me. I let happiness of the best day of the holidays so far take over my heart, making it unbearable that I just have to hug someone (Martha). I do not let fear enter. I don’t overthink things, that I might be wrong in reading the signs. I allow myself to be happy, because I deserve this. This is not a reprieve, this is a gift.

I want to remember this second day of December for as long as I live.

I want to remember the joy, the overwhelming, get-down-on-your-knees feeling of gratefulness, the gut feeling that something good is about to happen. I want to remember how hopeful I am that this just might the best Christmas after life changed when Dad went to heaven. I want to remember how I handled this happiness – with gratitude, hope and trust.

Thank You, Ama, for this gift.
May I remember this for as long as I live.

Aggie Aviso