Saturday, November 06, 2004

Tous Ensemble

Today we packed up kit and kaboodle and went to church. If you ever decide to have more than the stastical 1.8 children, I highly recommend having extended family available to help.

With my dad, step-mother, mother-in-law, Cheryl, and myself there to chase small people, this was one of those few times where the adult to child ratio was 1:1 or better!

Mothers and Daughters

All of Us

This coming year, I am planning to accompany my dad to the Philippines for a family reunion. He is very excited that I am going, but even more so that Michael will be coming along. My dad is very much looking forward to introducing his grandson to everyone as "Biray". Biray is the name of our "clan", my father's mother's people, and the Edwin family is only one of many.

I myself am getting more excited as this year winds down and long slide to next April begins. This will be a rare opportunity for me to connect with my history and heritage on a first-hand basis. I have met aunts, uncles, and cousins here in North America, but since my birth and emigration, I returned only once to the Republic of the Philippines, when I was 13, to visit.

These experiences are becoming more important to me as time passes for a number of reasons:

My dad is now approaching the age my grandfather was when he passed away. My grandfather died the year before I was born, so he never knew my dad to have any children. My dad has at least had the last few years to see my own children born and grow into young people with defined personalities. My children too have had a chance to know my dad and who he is as a person, though the memories will be buried deep because they are so young.

My Father's Father

My father is also one of my few links to my extended family and my heritage. Most of my dad's family are still in the Philippines and those who went abroad are scattered far and wide. (Those of you who are out there that we call family, one of the reaons Cheryl and I post here is with the hope you will respond.)

My Grandmother's Funeral

I grew up Canadian, speaking English (and a little French), and watching HNIC on tv. My parents speak different dialects, neither of which is Tagalog, and we were never taught any of them. My connection to Filipinos in general is diminished.

Of course this trip cannot possibily make up for 30 years of living here, but I am hoping that with my dad's help bridges can be built and that Michael and I can be a part of the family he had to leave behind so many years ago.

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