The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

Dear Nanay,

It’s Christmas day now, and some of us are still sleepy, some of us are hungover, some of us have gone back to the realities of adulthood. I am lying down and can’t turn my mind off, even if I only got 4 hours of sleep.

Last night, we could hardly fit in the living room and again, we got super noisy during the raffle. There are more and more gifts to be gotten and given as new families join in, and the kids who now have jobs are continuing the tradition of giving out their own gifts.

As usual we ate too much all day. I didn’t feel hunger the whole time I’ve been here. If love could be measured by the feeling of fullness, no one can accuse us of not loving one another.

Right now, kare kare and grilled lamb are being prepared for a lunch that’s 2 hours after the belated breakfast because people finished drinking at 4 am.

You should’ve been here Nanay, only banana wasn’t here, all your grandkids were here to celebrate, the first time we’ve been this complete in a while.

I wish you would have been here. It’s not the same, and I miss leaning on you or asking how pretty you feel today.

I know you’re good up there, and we’re good here too, but it’s just different.

So Merry Christmas Nay, and I hope you’ve got good stories up there, I’ll ask for all of them when we see each other again.

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