Remembering Christmas in IHMS

Most of our memories of Christmas in IHMS are always fun.

The class preparation, the caroling, the evening program, the party and, of course, the overflowing spirits, and the most anticipated of all, the Christmas break--all these make up our image of Christmas in this hallowed seed-box.

But behind the veneer of fun lies the other side that can only be described as lonely.

After the festivity, we when we turned off the music or when we travel back to our family for the holiday, we silently went on our way. It was a lonely path we took.

Looking back, we realize that life then was a sink or swim. We had to steel our feelings in order to survive. We always tried to hide our emotions. We enjoyed the compliments of the ladies, but we tried to feel aloof and detached. We thought emotion was a sign of weakness. We were acting our age, yet we had to go beyond our feelings.

We did not know if that was the best way to cope with life. But it certainly made us survive through all those years. And those who couldn’t manage, faltered along the pathway.

We were supervised by young priests who must have been going through their own emotional processes, too. So we trudged down the beaten path mostly on our own. No wonder people would always say that we were less equipped emotionally. After all, we were mostly on our own.

This is the other side of our memory of Christmas in IHMS. When the fun subsided and night settled down, we remember the lonely time we spent as we walked back to the dorm or as we head for home.

It was a lonely walk. But it strengthened us, helped us survive, and made us who we are now. (nox arcamo)