If you have read my previous post Fire & Ice: The Chillout Project, then you already know that I just recently celebrated my birthday. Birthdays are truly special and bring forth tons of fun because it isn’t just a salute to the day you were born into this world, but a celebration of life — of milestones and memories, achievements and endeavors, of the ups and the downs, of what you’ve become after all those years and of what you continue to aim and aspire to be. It’s a celebration of simply being alive and for many, it’s the how long you have stayed alive (LOL)!
For some of us though, it can also be a time to honestly evaluate how life has been throughout the years, how well you have lived it, how hard you’ve labored and how much all that hard work has paid off — counting all your blessings and checking to see how much money (savings) you have managed to put aside for the future.
Speaking of counting the blessings, this year, I was tremendously blessed to have been able to share my special day with the people who truly matter to me and have, through the years, contributed to who I am today. I was blessed to have such a committed and loving husband who worked exceptionally hard at making sure I got exactly what I wanted for my birthday. I was blessed to have such a sweet, affectionate and supportive daughter who patiently stayed beside me and consistently cheered me on throughout all the stages of planning my birthday party, even though she wasn’t going to be there (since it was meant to be a “grownup” affair).
Family and friends are what truly makes any birthday worth celebrating, wouldn’t you agree? It’s not really the material blessings or the successful career. Without family and friends, I just can’t imagine how one’s life would be. All of the tangible blessings, achievements, success, and even health would be meaningless if you don’t have your family and friends to share and enjoy them with.
And so, even though a birthday is that once-a-year occasion when people surround you to shower YOU with love and adulation, and tell you how much YOU have been a blessing to them and that YOU are probably one of the best things that ever happened in their lives, the truth of the matter is that you are who you are (and certainly would not be where you are) right now if you didn’t have them. I, myself, would certainly not be here right now, saying all these things to you, if not for the very people who helped me believe in what I am good at and what I was born to do, who helped me rise above the challenges, and helped hone my beliefs.
That being said, I dedicate the following song (at the bottom of this post) to my husband Rick, my daughter Arra, and all my friends who stood by me through thick and thin, constantly reassuring and reaffirming me, and not giving up on me even when — and ESPECIALLY WHEN — I pulled my “dumbest” acts. You guys were my ever-loyal cheerleaders and fans, my shoulder-to-lean on, my occasional beer-buddies, my psychotherapists, my stress relievers, my inspiration, my Polaris. And because life is too darn short and unpredictable that there’s no way of knowing if you’ll be “here today and gone tomorrow”, I decided not to pass up this opportunity without thanking a few people in particular who are certainly worth mentioning –
- My cousin Gwen (you are the anchor to my ship and my compass when I drift off course)
- My “Ate Jen” DP (you were my first ever kakunchaba/kalaro/kainuman/pinsan and I love you to pieces!)
- My “Nanay” Linda (other than my own mother, you were the only other woman who had given me a bath and patiently scrubbed my grubby toenails as a child…but most importantly, for having taken me under your wing, put up with all of my kamalditahan and still managed to lovingly give me all the guidance and advice I needed)
- My BFF Jasmin (even though we seldom get to talk now because we’ve both been extremely busy with family and business, you never fail to take a quick time out of your busy schedule just to make sure I’m okay and to encourage me through every difficult time…you are and will always be my “sunshine after the rain”)
- My GFs Marsha, Karen, Elma, Cha and Charlotte (for being my regular chatmates, kabisyo and “shock absorbers”. If you were surprised by this gesture, I don’t blame you guys a bit. I know I very rarely say this and for that I apologize. We go waaaay back but I will forever be thankful to God for giving us a chance to get to know each other better. Here’s to forty more years of friendship!)
- My Tuesday Group Sistahs Deeda, Anna, Mich, Jenny, Bunny, Yvette and Marge (my ever-glamorous ”spiritual accountability” partners)
- My long-lost BFF Elise (we had seen each other both at our best and at our worst… you are my reminder of how stubborn God’s love really is; it was from you that I learned what it means to fiercely love someone and never give up on him, and for that, I will forever cherish you)
- My “Ate” Marilen and “Ate” Baby (I grew up admiring and idolizing you; you were exactly what I envisioned myself to be “when I grow up”. Thank you for setting the bar high, haha!)
- My GF Chalet (I would not even be in the music industry had you not first recognized my talent; for believing in me and for always raving about my voice, I will forever be grateful to you)
If one would take away all my material possessions, you guys are all what I would be left with… yet I would still be one of the world’s RICHEST!!! :)
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Have a blessed weekend!
The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.
For more Weekend Reflections, please click here.
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