iljb#79: A unso-Merry Christmas

I came home yesterday with the anticipation of being home, trying to not let all the family troubles get to me, but as soon as I got to the living room and I looked at our tree, my mom sadly commented in tagalog, “Aw look at our tree, no gifts this year.” I know its been a rough year, especially these couple of months, but I was looking at the tree and didn’t care what was or what wasn’t underneath. Lets just say it was a lot different from last year and the many years before that. I reflected on my Christmases before and how long it took for our family to unwrap all the gifts, as the years got harder, the gifts under the tree got less and less, and the unwrapping of gifts were prolonged to make up for the lack of gifts. I can’t say that my family was materialistic, we just loved buying stuff and getting stuff for each other…this Christmas truly reveals that family and good food is more important that anything I will ever get wrapped underneath a tree.

I woke up this morning to the conversation of my mom and sister talking about how my brother didn’t get the google job. My mom then went on worrying if it was going to be the same thing when my brother takes his promotion. I didn’t want to wake up to family troubles…I really just wanted to just have peace at home and just pretend everything is ok. Last night my brother was talking to my mom and sister about his promotion, I was barely listening, but my brother commented on his condition expressing to us how he looks like a freak and he feels uncomfortable. He even said that his friend didn’t even recognize him. My sister comforted him saying that he looks fine whereas my mom was saying that she noticed hair growing. To lighten up the mood my brother commented on me saying I don’t even recognize him and that I should give him some of my hair. The truth was…yeah I don’t recognize him…I just don’t know how to act…I can’t even look at him cause I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable with me being uncomfortable. Before we went to bed, my mom repeatedly said to pray for my brother…

My mom has been working her ass off to keep this family alive. With her little motivation and optimism that “everything will be okay, just pray” kinda attitude – she worries a lot. She worries how she’s going to help my brother with finances and his health. How shes going to be able to put food on the table with her social security check plus try to pay for the other bills on top of that. My family is running on two incomes my brother and my mom…thats it. My mom shouldn’t have to worry, but she does…this Christmas she has a lot to worry about…I still can’t get her voice out of my head when she broke down crying, wondering what shes going to do…

My eldest brother like I said is the second one who pays for rent and everything else. He works 5 days a week and then some as a Supervisor of sorts for Frys. He’s been working there for almost 15 years and has yet got his million that Fry’s promises each employee who stays that long. Last month was rough for my brother and my family because he suddenly lost all his hair. His medicines are costly and he still doesn’t know whats wrong with him. We don’t have enough money to find out whats wrong. Hes sick, but hes still pushing through as though he was 100% healthy. I realized that he has a lot on his plate and I don’t blame him for being pissed and unhappy at times – especially now. I’m not sure whats going to happen – but I’m waiting until next month to once again help out the family. I pray he gets better – I know he will. This Christmas – I’m not sure what my brother is thinking, but he is the only person whos gotten the family at least one gift…he really doesn’t have to. =/

My sister, she has been out of a job for almost 2-3 years now. Its been rough because she was the main financial bearer for the family. When my sister had a job, our family had everything. I took advantage of that a lot…I took it all for granted. My sister is super smart and can do anything – she just can’t work. So now shes left being my mothers companion every day – helping around the house, going out for some fresh air, and doing house work. Before, she never did any of that because she was busy working. My sister is religious and well she knows she has to trust God in all this – which she does. I’m waiting for next month to help her get back to the process of everything. Hopefully she’ll have a better 2010. I’ll help her…I need to. She cooks for me and makes sure I have food…this Christmas she has a lot to worry about, but a lot to look forward to.

My second brother is the one who didn’t get the job from google. Hes well qualified and he passed the test, he just can’t work. I overheard my mom saying he was crying when he found out this morning. He had a job a year ago and that Christmas was a little better because of it, but he was laid of months later. He hasn’t found a job since. All he does really is stay in his room…I don’t know what else…he downloads movies and plays video games…but he stays in his room. I feel bad because he really needs a job cause he deserves so much more. I remember he bought the coolest Christmas presents for everyone…he was thoughtful…now – he puts what he can on the table and prepares the food. This Christmas isn’t really starting off great for him after the sad news this morning, but I know he’ll make it out soon…actually…I really don’t know. He’s going to mass with us tonight, like he always does once a year, maybe he’ll pray for something good to come his way.

Now…where do I fit in? I feel like such a stranger here…especially since I don’t live here anymore. I do my thing in SF then come here and its like I’m burden even more. I want to help them, which I’m in the process of doing by taking two jobs next semester, but even that – I don’t know how much more I can stretch myself. I mean shit, I’m graduating next year…its going to be busy. I’m applying for the masters program, I’m going to try to do well in that one class I have next semester, and do all the other extra shit that I always do. PCN is definitely not in my eye sight. I guess…my horoscope was right today, I’m best doing everything solo for now. Out of all my friends, I have it hard, for all my friends they can rely on their family for support or at least something to look forward to. If anything, its the opposite in my family, they look to me for support and hope – which I’m trying my best to do. Thats why I’m picking up work hours – 8 hrs shifts a day – mornings and closing. Even though I don’t want to work – I have to. I wish I could buy my family presents, but from all the money I made – I’m trying to pay off $200 worth of parking tickets (my stupid fault), bills, phone bills, rent, and food! I just have to wait a few more weeks until financial aid…and then it’ll be okay again…but fuck…I’ve had such a hard semester, on top of losing my job, on top of friendships be complicated, on top of my family troubles, on top of loosing my guy interest…

I’m sorry that I felt like I had an UNSO Christmas feeling this whole time…I gotta make my life worth it, I gotta make LIFE happen, I gotta do this even if it hurts me…I leave Dec. 26th – early in the morning for work. At least I get to spend time with my family for two days…at least I have a family.

Its been a hard hard year…I’m been trying my best to look at the bright side of things…but family is first, then me, then the rest of the world – and if my family ain’t doing good – why should I? I don’t think its right…I rather suffer with my family than be happy without them.

Like I said, this Christmas isn’t about the gifts that are or not under the tree – but rather the family and good food that I do have that counts…

2010 will be a lot better.

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One Comment to “iljb#79: A unso-Merry Christmas”

  1. I just wanted to send you some love and positivity. I know it’s hard right now, but things will get better. You just have to continue to hold on and keep moving forward. Look for brighter days each breaking dawn because new possibilities and new beginnings are on the horizon.

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