Miles away on your birthday

23Turned 23 today. My first birthday away from home and alone– none of my colleagues knew it was my birthday. sure I’ve felt the distance from where I was.

7am, afraid to get up as a big ball of depression. worried I would become wicked home sick as this day rolled around.

Hours went by– I have found myself bustling at work in between long distance calls, birthday cards, videos, lengthy text messages, and voice notes, which surprisingly left me feeling tickled and vastly alive.

All the more, at 6pm, *Mommy (video) calling*

And quickly as I answered, Mommy: “Hello anak, happy birthday!” “Ang dami mong bisita!” *filming everyone*

I was tongue-tied. My loved ones were all gathered home to celebrate and feast for my birthday. Holding back my tears while the call was packed with “Happy birthday!” “Walang iiyak!” “We love you!” “We miss you!” “God be with you” “Uwi ka na ate” etc.

*Let’s try not to cry, fast forward to now*

As the night came to a close, I’ve realized that I didn’t really need to be home to feel loved and special. and that I didn’t really need a genie to ask three, or any of my wishes to– because clearly, God has blessed me with great people who could make me happy equally as I would have been if I was home.

Family, like branches on the tree, we all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one.


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