Friday, December 25, 2009

From Christmas Chaos to Silent Night

On November 11th, I was offered a new job at the University. This was good news, of course, but it also meant that the next three weeks were very busy at my old position, tying up loose ends and putting things in order. Then I started my new position, which involved two more weeks of frantic activity, getting everything organized for the new semester before breaking for the Christmas holidays on December 18th.

Two days before the holidays began, my little Nana became sick with chest congestion and a cough. For the past nine days, we’ve been tending to her as best we can. Meanwhile, Mom and I were also hurriedly getting pockets of Christmas shopping in, weathering the crowds in the stores, and worst of all, in the parking lots (shudder!!).

When I tried to take Nana to her Doctor’s appointment two days ago, my car broke down three blocks away from the Doctor’s office. Many Good Samaritans stopped to help us (which was truly heartwarming after my previous shopping/parking lot encounters). In the end, the car had to be towed to the garage and the Doctor’s appointment was cancelled. Fortunately, we were able to reschedule the appointment to yesterday, and, in the meantime, my car was fixed.

The Doctor prescribed an antibiotic for Nana, but it will probably take a while to kick in. While she’s much better during the day, her cough still acts up at night. Sometimes, it sounds very alarming.

Yesterday evening, Mom and I went to the Christmas Vigil Mass. I’d resolved beforehand not to set all my hopes on Christmas Mass being a very peaceful experience. That may sound cynical, but I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment. Miraculously, only one child cried for about a minute during the homily, and this was at a children’s liturgy (meaning there could’ve been much more wailing)!

Also, Fr. X shared in his homily about how he had been in a bad mood for the past week because of various technological problems (I could relate), and how he’d almost missed out on the whole point of Christmas. It was comforting to hear him admit his humanity and weakness. I myself had already lost my temper a few times (sometimes in the worst way) during the holidays. My Mother and my Grandmother deserve better treatment than that…

After Communion, Father turned off the lights so that only the candles were lit, and the entire Congregation sang “Silent Night” acapella. Beautiful! Very peaceful… Mom and I went home to Nana, and we were able to give her Holy Communion because the Communion Minister had given us the pyx the previous weekend (we didn’t want her to come to the house and catch Nana’s cold). At Mass I was given an extra host to take home to Nana.

In the evening, Mom and Nana and I exchanged our presents, had some drinks, and listened to some music/sang some old songs.

Anyway, it has turned out to be a relatively peaceful Christmas after all, although Nana’s still not out of the woods with her cough. Last night her cough was very bad, but then she only started taking the antibiotic yesterday. Please pray that she will get better soon!

(Update: Nana is all better now - the antibiotics kicked in after 7 days. Thanks so much for all your prayers!)

Today is Christmas Day, and we’re relaxing. We’re also preparing for a guest – a friend from the States is coming to visit tomorrow and will be in town for a week. We’re planning to go to Quebec City for a couple of days, because she hasn’t been there yet. I feel bad to be away from Mom and Nana during that time, but I will stay in touch with Mom and hear how everything is going, especially with Nana.

Thank you, God, for bringing some peace to my little family during Christmastime!

Here’s a clip from my favourite Peanuts’ Christmas special:

Saturday, December 19, 2009


GoD and DoG by WJ Francisco

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pink Glove Dance

The employees at Providence St. Vincent Medical Centre in Portland, Oregon put together this little video to create awareness of breast cancer:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

God's Comforting Presence

Today, over my lunch hour, I went to Mass to pray for my Dad's soul (today is the third anniversary of his passing). It just so happened that today's readings were particularly comforting for those who might be thinking of loved ones who have passed on. It was one of those times when I could really sense God's comforting presence throughout the liturgy. At the end of Mass, I silently spoke to Dad, in my heart, and believed he was listening. As I walked back to my office afterwards, the sun was shining very, very brightly and I felt my spirits lifting way up!

Tomorrow I start a new position at the University. Thanks for your prayers, Dad!! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Funny SNL Parody!

This has to be the funniest "translation" I've ever seen!
(Warning: Occasionally crude, but quite comical, IMHO...)