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Ever since I moved to Los Angeles, I have always celebrated the annual anniversary of my move.  I believe in honoring milestones.  Some measure life through time, I measure through milestones.  

For me, 2020 was a year of milestones.  I mark this year as the year my favorite person, my grandfather, passed away.  I marvel at his life.  He grew up with challenges and adversity.  Despite this, he graduated from high school in three years as the valedictorian and married his high school sweetheart.  Afterwards, he attended college without the luxury of textbooks.  Regardless, he passed the bar in 1940 scoring 100% in Mercantile Law.  He was a WWII veteran, serving under Douglas MacArthur….where he escaped behading as a prisoner of war.  As the Founder of the Antigraft League of the Philippines, he impeached 14 Supreme Court Justices in a 1988 landmark case in the Philippines.  Although my grandfather’s life may be remembered with such monumental milestones, it is his undeniable love and pure heart that I hold deep within mine.    

My uncle Elpedio is another source of love.  Caring and genuine, he once confided with me his desire to get to know me.  Obstructed by his limited English vocabulary, I felt his undeniable love during this brief 2015 car ride.  With his passing, I honor the blessing of that heartfelt conversation me and my father’s brother had those five years ago.

Like many years, my blessings, this year, were bountiful.    It was the year that I discovered a blooming fig tree in my rear patio.  And, this year was the year that I began working on a personal book project.  From being offered an opportunity to collaborate with a Ryan Murphy television production to taking part in an outdoor meditation event in San Diego, I’ve been blessed with notable 2020 milestone experiences.

With the state of the current world, 2020 brought about many virtual experiences.    I competed in my first virtual game room experience (we won!).  And, this is the year that I joined an online Facebook community that centers on jewelry auctions.  My  favorite virtual activity of 2020 was reconnecting with members of the Arizona State University Speech and Debate team via zoom.  Taking part in a virtual reunion with my team members (and coaches) filled me with joy.  

There were many transitions that occurred this year as well.  For three friends, milestone experiences occurred with substantial moves throughout the U.S.   While they said goodbye to their previous home, I also said a goodbye: to the mall of my adolescence, Metro Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  

2020 also brought about moments of fright.  From loved ones challenged with COVID to witnessing a freeway adjacent brush fire (from Fourth of July fireworks), anxiety filled me with worry.  Fortunately, the fire was tamed and most of my loved ones have recovered and are recovering.  

There were many “firsts” for me in 2020.  This year also marked the first year that I missed out on voting for the SAG Awards.  And, another first includes working with a Japanese Couturier who is custom designing a red carpet jacket for me.  A fun “first” was visiting a store just outside of San Diego stocked with merchandise from storage units (an interest based on a Farrah Fawcett connection).  

Perhaps some of my favorite milestones of this year include moments that made me laugh….out loud.    Getting pranked in an Academy Awards elevator by Tom Hanks brought me deep laughs.  And, I wasn’t able to contain my laughter in the many moments my three year old nephew made FaceTimed me.

In looking back at 2020, it could have been better.  Missed opportunities seemed to be abundant.  But, one thing that was also abundant was that this was the year of milestones. 

It marks the 15th Anniversary of DON’T CALL ME WALTER!
It marks the 25th Anniversary of my graduation from college

It marks the 30th Anniversary of my gradation from high school.

And, it marks the 50th Anniversary for my parents.

Milestones remind us of our blessings.  I wish all of you continued blessings for 2021. Thank you for blessing me with your presence. I look forward to sharing personal milestones with all of you.