My mother whom I lovingly call ‘mama’ greeted me a week before my birthday through text. In her usual lengthy and thorough text message in our native language Tagalog, she expressed her overwhelming happiness and pride as I am about to be 34 in a few days. She reminisced how she was rushed to the hospital four weeks before my birth day due to tremendous bleeding. She was afraid she’d lose me. She was in excruciating pain and was given multiple injections to help keep us both alive. Her childhood friend died upon giving birth earlier that year due to the same medical situation she had. My mama did everything in her might to prevent the same from happening. After all the labor pain and the agony of my mama I was born under c-section on November 20 exactly 34 years ago. We were out 9 days later. After weeks in the hospital with all the procedures, tests and medications my parents incurred hefty hospital bills. The doctors and nurses perceived me as a very expensive baby; they suggested I’d be named Lee Majors after the Hollywood actor who played the six million dollar man back in the 70’s. The name I have together with the day I was born will be a perpetual reminder of that fateful day 34 years ago.
In my mom’s text message she added what seem like a summation of what I should be in life. That as I gain the knowledge of my generation that she prays that I humbly give myself before my creator, she being an evangelical pastor herself that is always the essence of her messages for me. She concluded by saying that I submit everything and recognize the sovereignty of the almighty God. That she loves me and very proud of me.
That text message is my source of strength and happiness, like how mothers are, the sincere appreciation of the things we do in life and the subtle reminder to love God above all is the greatest birthday greeting I have this year.
Though I opt not to celebrate my birthday with a bang like what I did for the last 16 years, I decided to just take it easy and just muse over the past years of the great life and love that I have. Rekindling every moment and just be thankful of this blessed life is what I plan to do today.
My Facebook notifications and messages overflow with greetings from family, friends, students, peers and acquaintances. I feel loved today. Each one in their simple ways wishes me happiness on my birthday. I will be forever grateful for this day and I shall not forget that exactly 34 years ago my mother was in labor, she did her best to deliver me out of this world to enjoy what life has to offer. The hardships and pain only a mother can unconditionally do for her child makes for a more precious 34 years of existence as I continuously pray for more.
Now, I realized that I should celebrate, be truly happy, and enjoy my birthday and all the days of my life, for a great woman suffered and risked her life in order for me to be born and live.
I have all the right reasons to be happy.
Happy birthday to me ! Thank you Mama