It’s funny that Thanksgiving this year for me was probably the most IN YOUR FACE among all the other years combined. Since Filipinos never really observed Thanksgiving, the holiday usually comes and goes without much of a gobble. So imagine how odd, that last November 21, the eve of Thanksgiving, we interviewed the most unlikely personality we ever had on the show — the American Ambassador, The Honorable Kristie Kenney — to talk about, what else, Thanksgiving! So I inadvertantly learned much about the holiday, since I had to google it so I didn’t come off as unprepared and ignorant. And as it turned out, it was quite apropos that it should fall on the same month that my family is giving our most profuse collective thanks. But I get ahead of myself. When my eldest sister Flory was diagnosed with leukemia just right after Holy week of this year, imagine like someone took our lives, put them in a sack filled with razor blades and rusty nails and broken glass, and then dropped a ten-ton anvil on the sack, with a giant trampoline on top of the anvil, and a herd of elephants jumping on top of the trampoline. Now take the hypothetical pain of that experience, multiply it a thousandfold, then you’ll have an idea of what we went through emotionally during those harrowing times. I don’t really want to re-live those moments, they’re not exactly my favorites, so let’s fast forward to a couple of days ago, November 30. Our family, together with relatives and friends, gathered to celebrate mass, then lunch after, as thanksgiving for the full recovery of my beloved sister. Now, don’t ask us to which of the many treatments, medicines, laying of hands, novenas, amulets, or prayers we attribute the absolute healing. Maybe it’s one, maybe it’s some, maybe it’s a little bit of everything — a confluence of all the energies working together for a common cause. It was a tough battle for everyone concerned, but we got to the light at the end of the tunnel (and no, Daredevil, it wasn’t the A-train), and we were getting together to give endless thanks, for a much coveted second chance. I don’t wield the word “miracle” lightly. In fact many people don’t even subscribe to the concept. But call it what you want, whether it’s a mere random series of events that just happened to work in our favor, bereft of any mandate from a higher force, or a reprieve from a benevolent God, as a result of an endless stream of petitions from people imploring on my sister’s behalf. The fact is, we’re grateful for the outcome, and we’d throw our thanks out to whomever is there to receive it. Personally, as a lover of words, I feel only one word perfectly fits everything that happened to my sister and our family: “miracle”. Nothing short of it.