What a year! (But aren’t they all?)
Geraldina is now a cancer survivor. We entered the year knowing she had to go through a lumpectomy and radiation; and she did. Six months later her mammogram is clear. We are blessed – and thankful. As so many friends and family that have gone through similar experiences know, this changes everything. And it strengthens our solidarity with women throughout the country and the world – particularly those that struggle with inadequate health care. This is particularly personal for Geraldina as she continues her work at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
Reemberto entered his first full year of post Montgomery County government work by joining the amazing team at University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth. Not full time though 🙂 Included in the various amazing assignments is helping out with the Purple Line efforts, the Small Business Anti-Displacement Network, the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability – and most personal: teaching a study abroad course in Havana. (Check out www.Reemberto.Biz to see his work-related virtual porch.) He continues his Friday routine with the Rotary Club and recently joined the Board of Montgomery History. But, he is most proud of doing occasional Abuelo Day Camp with Berto, including spending full days riding the Metro and Ride On buses.
In 2022, it felt good to travel again, for both vacation and to visit familia. (We did make sure we were super boosted and masked as appropriate.) We vacationed with the Gilgenbachs at New York’s Finger Lakes in the winter and North Carolina’s Outer Banks in the summer. Having everyone stay in one house was plain fun and made for beautiful memories for Mirabelle and Berto.
We were able to visit familia – old aunts and uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, nephews, nieces, grandnieces and grandnephews, partners and friends – in South Florida, Atlanta, and Albuquerque. Toti and Luisa visited too! All the familia is getting older – go figure! (Tia Lila turns 102 this year.) But they remain a blessing too. It felt very good and very natural to share with them in 3D. May we someday soon reclaim that joy without the shadowy threat of Covid – but we realize we are simply not there yet.
Rembe & Dana (and Berto and Mirabelle) and Iggy & Jess are doing wonderful, living it up in DC and Alexandria, where Iggy & Jess are new homeowners. Rembe and Iggy have new jobs. Jess keeps traveling the world. Dana keeps winning triathlons. Mirabelle is in gymnastics and more; and Berto is in swimming, skating – and more.
It was exceptionally good to be able to do yet another Caja China pig. This time to celebrate Berto’s kindergarten graduation, with mariachis singing from our new deck.
We also went on a pilgrimage with a fascinating group called ‘Discerning Deacons’. We were joined by a contingent from the Amazon. Very moving experience. The journey to Mexico City included a visit to the Shrine of La Virgen de Guadalupe on the feast day of St. Phoebe – the female deacon referenced in the Bible. A beautiful blessing. (Let us know if you want more info on this.) And, in 2023 we look forward to visiting the Holy Land with friends from the ACU.
(To see pictures and videos from our outings, vacations, and celebrations, go to our virtual porch www.Reemberto.Info )
We also almost went bankrupt – just kidding! – contributing to social and political causes in which we deeply believe. We did try to do our part. We obviously voted, but we did much more. It is simply heartwarming to have been there for friends – mostly women – who successfully competed in local and State elections. We are genuinely excited about the enthusiasm younger folks demonstrated in the election – and we are genuinely hopeful for what that means for our state, country, and world.
We are very thankful that we can continue sharing our treasure with organizations doing work to make our local community – and world – a better place for all. Among these: Shepherd’s Table work with the unhoused locally, Puente de Amistad work with the children of Cuba, and Catholic Relief Services with emergency relief worldwide. We are providing the links in hopes that you too can consider contributing 🙂
One amazing incident we want to share is our happenstance presence at our parish – Holy Trinity in Georgetown – on a given Saturday Mass. We showed up and saw that something was definitely up. Security was super tight. When we settled in our pew, we realized that three pews behind us is none other than President Biden! And, adding icing to the cake, it was his 80th birthday and the congregation sang happy birthday to him 🙂 Very cool indeed.
Finally, our virtual gift to you:
Books we’ve listened to – and highly recommend:
- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Isabel Wilkerson)
- How Democracies Die (Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt)
- Battling the Big Lie (Dan Pfeiffer)
- Unthinkable (Jamie Raskin)
- Peril (Bob Woodward and Robert Costa)
Our favorite Podcasts – Google them and give them a listen:
- Ultra – a 6 part series (Rachel Maddow)
- Atomic Gambit: The Relevancy of the Cuban Missile Crisis – a 6 part series(JFK Library)
- Pod Save The World (Ben Rhodes)
- Pero… Let me tell you (Miami Cuban guys – hilarious!)
- El Enjambre (direct from Cuba – informative)
Faith Fountains – check them out:
- From the British Jesuits https://pray-as-you-go.org/
- America Magazine – worth the subscription https://www.americamagazine.org/
- Daily Reflections from Richard Rohr https://cac.org/
FELIZ NAVIDAD 2022
Reemberto & Geraldina