Spending Christmas Eve with Gim

Detox Tip #7: Shrug off all your worries and learn to be thankful. ;-)

Gim got off hospital duty early on Christmas eve, yay for me! :-) His schedule is very hectic these days. He works every day, in three-day segments. On the first day, he has a 36-hour shift starting around 7am, which of course lasts onto the next day, and he’s off at around 3 or 4pm, if he’s lucky. He gets to sleep that evening, and the very next day he starts at 7am again for a 12-hour shift, which ends at 5 or 6pm, again, if he’s lucky. And the next day, the cycle starts all over again. I get to see him so sporadically. :-(

On the 24th, he had just gotten off his 36-hour shift, so we were able to attend evening mass at the Sacred Heart chapel in Ateneo. It’s our Christmas eve ritual, we always go to mass. :-) Lest you think I’m a religious girl, it’s been eons ago since I attended mass regularly. In grade school and , I used to attend mass every morning, with my friends. In grade school, because our Religion teacher would always give us a quiz every morning, asking us what the officiating priest’s homily was about, or what the response psalm of the day was. Hehehe. I hated those quizzes. I was almost always late to school. In , arriving early to attend mass became a habit. Not because I liked to go to mass; it had more to do with my closest friends’ liking to go to morning mass. Hehe. And I did so like my friends. :-) I remember enjoying sunrises at the backfield with Chris and Don, especially on one of my birthdays… I miss those days. Anyways, in my first year of college, I tried vainly to maintain that habit. But with Chris gone to WMSU and Donnel not always attending mass either, I lost the wanting. Ever since, I haven’t gone to mass regularly, if at all. When I met Gim, he was very religious. Attending mass every Sunday, and serving at the altar most mornings. I’m afraid, due to my influence, and of course MedSchool!, his appetite for religious ceremony has waned. He, however, has managed to force me to attend mass at least three or four times a year, most notably on Christmas’ eve, New Year’s eve, Easter Sunday and his birthday (not mine, because on that day, we get to do what I want, which rarely calls for a Church visit, hehe).

Hmm, I’ve gone off topic. Hehe. Anyways. Before going to mass, we exchanged gifts. I got him a silver bracelet (well actually, it was stainless steel hehe) and a cute polo shirt which he had received earlier. He got me a lot of different things, which I’ve previously mentioned: a pair of earphones, a shoulder bag and three pretty bracelets. :-)

After the mass, we went home. I was expecting noche buena, and I kind of (I am shameful to admit) threw a fit because my family had *finished* it. To be fair, there was very little of it in the first place. To console me, Gim cooked for me ham and egg. *sigh* I miss those days when my dad was still alive. We’d always have on the table during the , all day long until the very next day. We’d all eat together on the table at dinnertime, or lunchtime, every day (not just the ). The house would be lighted up with parols, Christmas ornaments and Christmas lights. There would be lots of picture-taking, story-telling, gift-giving… It seems, with the passing of my father, those little joys have passed on as well. These days, the members of my family eat whenever time they want. Gifts are given rarely. The only Christmas ornament is the Christmas tree, and that was put up at the late date of December 24 this year. And there is no more picture-taking or story-telling… All of it is sad, really. So I envy greatly families that are still intact, and hope fervently, that I get my own family and my own home as soon as I can. A few more years, Gim and I always say. By 2009, we’ll both have graduated. He has another year to go for his internship and licensure exams. By 2010, he’ll be a doctor. Maybe by 2011, after a year of saving up, we can get married. Or maybe earlier. I look forward to that day. :-)

I sound like everything is bad right now. That’s not the case. On the contrary, everything is becoming better. Though Gim and I are not often together these days, with me living in and him in – we’re both happy that we are moving forward with our lives. He’s becoming a doctor, and I am studying for my Masters degree in the school that I had always wanted to go to for a long, long time. We’re calling this our state of delayed gratification – both of us allowing this meantime suffering (that of being apart) to achieve a greater good (financial stability for the realization of our lifelong dream – get rich and get married, hehehe). Financially, we’re less broke. We’ve paid off our dear old Pao. Wow I just realized I had blogged that, I haven’t realized I’ve been blogging for so long! :-) We’ve been able to buy the gadgets we’ve been lusting for, for so long – me a laptop and a digicam (and an air conditioner for my room hehe), him a camphone. We even have postpaid lines now. Also, I am on better terms with my family. Things were much, much different a year or two ago. Much worse off. (I only blog about happy things hehe.)

So I’m very thankful, for my life. And though I am not religious, I do believe in God. And am thankful, for His many blessings. :-) (And Gim makes me pray before I eat.)

Here are some pics we took on Christmas eve:

Me opening a present from Gim. “Gimgim, these aren’t the chipipay earphones I asked for, are they???” I was just joking when I asked for earphones, and I was dismayed to find that’s what he gave (not chipipay though) ! But he was just teasing me! His real present was the bag, and the bracelets, and a belt. *chagrined* :-)

Posing in front of our Christmas tree. With the bag. Heehee. Melisse, Gim and I put up the tree and the lights. It looked so forlorn, without ornaments, because our dogs ate them. No, really. Thankfully my mom and/or Trisha added the poinsettias.

Gim’s turn. Doesn’t he look sexy in that shirt? No, that’s not the one I bought, unfortunately. Mine looks much better! *sticks tongue out*

Gim thoughtfully posing with the bracelet I gave him. I feel so chipipay I only had one present to give. To my defense though, I gave him a lot of pasalubong presents like chocolates, a polo shirt, a back scratcher, a travelling pillow and a sleeping eye mask. Er… yeah.

“Stop taking pictures of me!” Oh, I am not the paparazzi, you dolt! Hee, kidding lang, Gimpooch!

Oh! Now I remember why I was so upset when I got home. Chris had texted me during the mass that Donnel was in the hospital, and that it was an emergency, we should visit him. Gim and I rushed to the hospital right after mass, fearing for Donnel’s safety. When we got there, he was comfortably lying on the bed, everything seemingly alright, and the rest of my friends sitting around him, chatting as though nothing was the matter. I asked twice what was wrong with him, and they could not say. It turns out he was simply feeling under the weather and they were having tests done to see what was the matter. And that was an emergency, Chris??? Hmmpppfff! (Serves me right for not having called to check first.) Anyway, we stayed there around 30 minutes to chitchat and take a few pics, and it was around 11.30pm or later by this time and Gim and I hadn’t had anything to eat since lunch… Well, you can see how hungry we were when we got home. But anyways, it was fun to see Donnel at least once this holiday season, even if it was in a hospital. :-)

For more of my holiday pics, click here. Happy New Year!!!