Yesterday was a family day for us. Martin and family with Mickey arrived from abroad to attend Macky’s wedding this weekend. I was excited to pick them up from the airport and trully thrilled when I finally saw them after our three months of separation. Jonathan ran up to me as soon as he saw me and threw himself into my arms with a tight embrace. Jane was more reserved, lady-like but smiling, standing at a distance waiting for me to come to her. “I missed you.” I told her. “I know.” she replied. “Did you miss me?” I asked her. “A little bit.” she said and she embraced and allowed me to carry her. Her hugs seemed a little bit tighter and more lingering and her kiss a bit warmer than I remember.
It is an amazing experience seeing my family grow: my three boys, now handsome fine young men, are building families and careers of their own. In the coming days, we will be together as a family with everyone present, including a new member – Macky’s bride Lani. This is not very often as we are right now a family in diaspora. It gladdens my heart to realize how blessed we have been. Like, the very minor thing of picking the arrivals at the airport. I was already agonizing before picking them up as I heard the horror stories of people fetching family and friends from the airport at this time of the year. One friend picked up a foreigner-guest from Terminal 1 and the guest described the experience as brutal. Other relatives who are here for the wedding passed through Terminal 2 and it took them more than four hours from deplaning to finally getting home. Martin and company came through Terminal 3 and we were out of the airport in less than an hour.
Everyone likes to think their family is special. And mine truly is. As I watch my own family with so much joy and gratitude, I think of Ima and Tatang and how they must have felt seeing us their children grow up and raise our families. It is a feeling that makes light and meaningful all the sacrifices there is in parenting. I particularly remember Tatang’s trademark smile as he watched his grandchildren mill and play around him. He was a farm boy who couldn’t quite believe the good fortune that has come to him just as I am a small town boy who unbelievably made it quite well in the big city.
Families tie people together in an unbroken thread of goodness, love and beauty. Two people come together and pledge their lifelong love to one another. Their love bear fruits in their children who meet their own love of their lives. And this thread and community of love goes on and on till we all come to our destiny in the Kingdom of Love. And this thread and community of love goes all the way back to the source and origin of that love – the God of Love, whose becoming a man we celebrate this season.
An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Jesse the father of King David. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.