We originally meant to spend the Christmas and New Year holidays with my parents and brothers in Boston, but an unexpected family situation led to a drastic last-minute change in plans: My parents cancelled 4 two-way tickets to Boston, and Jeffrey and I flew to my hometown in Mexico. The flight home was less than ideal. The first leg of our flight was delayed by 2 hours, after which we missed our connecting flight. Then, the connecting flight we were re-booked for was cancelled. In the end, we were re-routed to my hometown via a different city, and when we finally arrived about 6 hours late, we learned that our bags were lost somewhere in the United States of America.
My initial reaction was to curse the world, for what would I do without my skinny jeans and cognac leather boots? Additionally, half of our Christmas presents to my family were packed in those bags.
Our stuff arrived 5 days later, long past Christmas and shortly before our flight back to Boston. It turns out I did just fine pairing my raggedy travel jeans with tops out of my mom’s closet. No one judged me for wearing tennis shoes to our family Christmas party, and my parents and brothers did just fine opening up their Christmas presents from us several days late.
It actually was a wonderful Christmas. We had a grand Christmas party with my grandma and grandpa, my parents and brothers, 10 out of 11 of my mom’s siblings, all of their significant others, 30 out of the 36 cousins, and most of their significant others as well.
Two days later, my grandpa passed away. He did so after talking to us about the meaning of Christmas, and the importance of family unity. And he gave each of us, individually, his blessing. He passed surrounded by all of us, in a room full of love. After granting us an unforgettable family Christmas celebration.
And so as I say goodbye to 2013 and welcome 2014, I hope I can always remember that really, the only important thing in life, is to be with the ones you love at the right place and at the right time.
Happy New Year to all of you. May you too remember to focus on the stuff that actually matters, in 2014 and beyond.