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From the East

QinQin Sun Stubis
is a writer, communications consultant, and mother of two living in the Maryland area.

Holiday Love, Holiday Pain

(Continued from Monthly Columns)

We are Americans. In spite of our differences in religion and culture, we all embrace tradition, family, and friends. It is the time of the year we express our affection and appreciation to those who love us and those we love back, those who accompany us on our journey and whom we depend on to succeed in life. No words are too trivial and no gifts too extravagant to show our thanks.

For those of us who have lost a precious family member or friend this year, our wounds are still fresh, our lives devastated, and our holidays never the same again. And yet, we have to go on living, carrying our lost loved ones with us, their smiles and words, their memories and deeds.

As I do some soul-searching this year, I cannot stop thinking about my dear sister, Min Sun Bamfield, whom I lost tragically and suddenly this May. Though two years apart, we were as close as inseparable twins. I still remember how during our teen years we wore identical clothes and were amused when people couldn't tell who was who.

After we both settled in America and started families, the holidays drew us even closer, being the only family members who were here for each other. Min was a loving aunt to my children. She always made sure that there was a mountain of presents under our Christmas tree.

Right now, it is hard for me to look at a shopping catalog or compile a holiday gift list without thinking of Min. "Min would love this," I say to myself, only to realize that I cannot buy the present and send it to her any more.

I miss her so much more now that it is the holiday season. Thinking about her has become the only channel for me to express my gratitude for having had such a wonderful sister.

For those who have lost a loved one recently, carry them in your heart as you celebrate this holiday season, and make toasts or holiday wishes on their behalf, for now they live within you and they breathe through you. For me, this is the way to celebrate my love and ease my holiday pain.

You can always reach me at qstubis@gmail.com.

Qin is a longtime columnist of ours who lives in Bethesda, MD..



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