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A close-up of a newly opened delphinium flower (Summer 2013).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Personal Gratitude List This Christmas

Christmas comes only once a year but it is one of the most celebrated occasions in the world, particularly to Christians. It is associated with gift-giving, a time for celebrating sensory pleasures (e.g., holiday foods and feasts, bright decorations and cheering music, and glistening snow, real or artificial).

Having lived in Canada for 9 years, I missed the traditional noche buena (large Christmas meal), the lechon (roasted pig), kinilaw (Filipino sushi), and other native foods in the Philippines. I missed the gaiety that comes with carolers singing Christmas songs, the loud noise of firecrackers, and the explosive beauty of the fireworks. I also missed my two sons and their families. I still have to meet my two grandchildren in person. 

Although I missed so many people in my country and things that are unique to my own culture, I am grateful for where I am now in my life and for what I have.

I am grateful that I am in Calgary, where I can be peaceful and creative, where I am loved and supported. I am grateful for the experience of grace as well as the challenges that are always part of existence. I am grateful for my health and the wisdom that comes with age. I am grateful for being in a beautiful country and for its compassionate people (of course the occasional bullies are also around to add drama to life). 

I am grateful to my deceased parents--for my life, values, and education. I am grateful to my sons, Jan and Soren, for giving me unimaginable delight and thrill as they were growing up, and for making me proud of themselves now that they are adults.

I am grateful to Deane, my husband, for loving me unconditionally. I am constantly learning from him and my world has changed positively because of him. And although I don't fully understand chemistry, astronomy, physics, biology, mathematics, and the slide rule, I am grateful that he shares his knowledge of these disciplines with me.

I am grateful to my daughter-in-law, Bernie, for being a wonderful wife to my son, Jan, and the best mother to Ethan and Adrian. I am grateful to Melie, for giving our family the gift of a pretty girl named Princess.

I am grateful to Estrella, my best friend at Xavier University, for always being there for me through thick and thin. She is a good role model for her work ethic and resiliency.

I am grateful to my two other best friends, Fr. Francisco Bustamante, S. J. and Atty. Samson "Samantha" Tan. They have brightened my life and have continued to do so after all these years. Their advice, sense of humor, and support have made a difference in my life.

I am grateful to the following U of C professors for their support all these years: Jim Frideres, Bryan Hiebert, Greg Fouts, John Mueller, and many others who have made my life as a Ph.D. student truly a remarkable one.

I am grateful to all the Philosophy teachers at Xavier University--Joseph, Lalot, Matet, Enting, Jane, Mario, et al.--for the collegial joys they have shared with me during the years I was with them.  

I am equally grateful to my former students who have inspired me in more ways I could imagine when I was still at Xavier University. They were the main reason why would I get up every morning and walk to XU in my high heels (I don't wear high heels anymore for fear of slipping in icy areas here in Calgary during winter. For more information about Calgary's climate, click here).

I hope you enjoyed my gratitude list.

Contact me for comments and questions.

My next post will be after Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

P.S. This just came from John Mueller: The Digital Story of Nativity (Thanks, John!)


  1. Amy, always remember that you are thought of fondly. That you still put a smile on my face and in my heart. The friendship that we both shared is unique for it encompasses space and time.

    When you first made me held Mary to my arms, it was as if that you have bestowed to me parenthood. I will never forget that. For that moment, my life was altered in a very different and positive way.

    I love you and missed badly.


  2. Thank you ma'am for opening my mind to the Philosophy of Man.

    Until now, although the question still lingers, "What makes man truly human", trivial as it is - to be continually curious makes life worthwhile.