Traditionally, our family spends the month of May in America. There are many events to celebrate in May. Summer school break, my papa’s birthday, his death anniversary, my birthday, Kuya Junior’s twin grandsons’ birthdays who share the same birthday as mine, and the biggest celebration of all is the Tan Family’s annual grand reunion (Memorial Day Weekends). Last year Kuya Romy’s family was supposed to be the host but our reunion was forcibly canceled by the corochinchin virus.
We were not expecting to travel back to the US this May. Except that my husband grew extremely worried because of the virus spikes. He thinks it’s best that we leave even for a month for our well-being and peace of mind.
We were originally planning to go back to America in December for the Christmas and New Year holidays and not this summer. We also have a lot of things pending, and it’s really hard to leave Manila even for a month because we have work, and other important things to attend to. My daughter particularly is busier than her parents and she is in high gear trying to rush pending transactions and leaving instructions to her department heads. Given the choice, she actually doesn’t want to leave, we are only forcing her so she can get vaccinated, or else Edmund and I are going to worry too much.
Yesterday was particularly panicky. Hundreds of different kinds of documents to sign. Instructions here and there. Emails. Bilins. And you know, the reality is that life has a lot of uncertainties and the covid situation has made human lives even more uncertain. So, we are finding ourselves giving instructions as if there’s no more tomorrow. My instructions begin with “In case I don’t get to follow this up…..” “In case I am not able to do this….” Edmund has his own style “In case something happens to me…”. I even emailed my sister a list of my pending transactions. I haven’t done this before but I sent a folder to two of our trusted employees for safekeeping, you know, if all of a sudden I wake up having coffee with St. Peter, in the garden of heaven. I sound so morbid but these past three weeks, the more we’ve realized that preparedness is a good thing. A sad thing to do but wise. Oh well, how does one prepare for permanent resignation from earth? I guess one can never be totally prepared.
We are making this extra trip to America for several reasons. The same reasons as I’ve enumerated above, minus the grand family reunion. We’ll have a few smaller reunions for 12 people maximum, including my niece Tintin’s backyard bbq party for 12 px of which we are invited. She has recently moved back to her parents’ house after at least 5 years of being in South California. Even with the vaccines, we don’t think it’s advisable to hold large family gatherings of 50 persons. I am also anxious to visit my brother who recently missed a step near their dining room and hurt himself. He is recovering but because of his age, progress could not be as fast as a 40-year-old man. I will also visit my two other brothers. We also hope to get vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna and just hang around in limited isolation till the second dose. Then spend another week to wade off any discomfort. Oooh, I almost forgot, I am excited to meet the newest member of the Tan Family, Bryson Aralar Lim, my sister’s first grandkid (apo).
We hope, that while we are away, the virus situation in the Philippines improves for the better. More vaccines, less transmission, so that when we go back in a month, we can all breathe easy and have peace of mind.
So dear America, here we come. Please welcome us with open arms and a big smile.