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Days for reminiscences

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

The cooler air of December is here, but this time, people wonder why it is also bringing a lot of rain that hamper the activities of people especially the young ones who are enjoying their extended vacation from school. This is, indeed, the most-awaited month of all, because, not only are families able to get together for reunions, it also brings home the ones studying or working away from home. As in every December, I remember one of the songs in our music classes in the elementary grades which I can memorize until now.

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Do my schoolmates and contemporaries, even from other schools, also remember? The first lines went this way “The months that come/ through the charging years/ Well, I love them all/ They are kind and dear/ Some pleasant thing / Each is sure to bring/ But the best of all is Devember!” Do you agree? For me, it has a special significance because it is also the month I was born. But I’m not telling you the year, of counsel! When my schoolmates and I would argue about the best month, I would quell them by singing that song.

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But I think we have much to be thankful for now that December is here. For one, the deadly virus that has spread its venom worldwide now seems to have eased somewhat, with our medical people and scientists close to finding both a vaccine and a cure for it. If they can produce and supply the world with them this month, that will surely be a great Christmas gift from Jesus Christ Himself. So let us pray in thanksgiving, and that this virus will go away, never to return.

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But the month of December also brings some unhappy memories for our elders, especially those who lived during the 1940s. For that was when World War II broke out, and people fled from the towns and cities in  fear of the cruel Japanese invaders who ruthlessly killed even civilians, and penetrated even the farthest towns and barrios (now barangays). Horrifying stories of their cruelty spread everywhere, and it took a long time and another generation before those were forgotten.

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But we are a forgiving people, and have forgotten – or forgiven – those cruel Japanese soldiers. And later, the Japanese seemed over-eager to make up for those wartime wounds, and have become friends with us. And, of course, few of those who witnessed their actions during that war, are still around to recall them. “Time heals all wounds,” they say, and this is what has happened between us and Japan.

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Anyway, we have much to be thankful for this Christmas, because it seems we can celebrate it in our usual way, without the hindrances brought by the COVID plague. So let’s not fail to include thanksgiving prayers during this season for showing what medics call a “flattening” of the COVID curve. But let us continue to pray that when it goes away, it will never come back again. Don’t forget – “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”.

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As for the COVID that seemed like a death sentence for its victims in its earliest days, God be praised! Medicine has finally found a cure as well as a vaccine for it, and we hope it will be available for all countries and cause the end of this scourge, the way smallpox, tuberculosis, and other formerly incurable diseases and considered death sentences to victims, are conquered.

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For Catholics, a forthcoming feast is on December 8, the day dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. It is a very special day for devotees of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In most Catholic schools, as in La Consolacion College, that is the day when elementary school pupils have their first Holy Communion. That is a very big day, when the first communicants have a special mass officiated by the Bishop with all the girls in white dresses and veils. I do not know if that is still being practiced lately. But it was a truly memorable day, with our parents also attending the ceremonies. Ah, this bad weather and inability to go out seems to be a perfect time for reminiscences.*

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