Life’s Gifts and Surprises

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Another year. Another birthday. Another year older.

As I ponder on my yet another birthday, I cannot deny the fact that I am not getting any younger. In a few more years, I’ll hit the big 5-0. Then not far along, I will be in the retirement age. And I wish to retire early too. Then after that, what? The “golden” years? Somehow this “gold rush” is nothing I want to rush into. Is it really all downhill from here?

But there’s a lot to be thankful for. I have chased my dream and is living it. Nothing more can I ask for. (Or maybe that one dream of being a rock star got away.) I have a wonderful wife. I have two wonderful kids. The kids are grown up and in a few years they will be off to college and off on their own. I am healthy, or I think I am, and I have never felt better. Except for some ache here, and there, and here, and here, and …….Sorry I digress.

Over the years I have received some awesome birthday gifts. A full army fatigue uniform with matching toy machine gun when I was three. Did I tell you I dreamed of being a soldier when I was a small boy? A battery operated toy fighter jet plane that run in circles and spread open its wings, given by my Ninong, when I was six. I love it, even though I wish it could also fly. A red bicycle when I was eleven. I rode that bike until I was in college, and I even spray painted it purple once with the help of my friends. Purple? Don’t ask.

My favorite birthday gifts though are not cool toys, or some preppy clothes, or expensive gadgets. It is far more priceless than that.

About 2 weeks before my 31st birthday, my eldest child, my daughter, was born. It was an early birthday gift really, and it was a marvelous gift. A gift that just gets more precious as the years goes by. What could be a better gift?

Then nine years ago, exactly on my 36th birthday, my youngest child, my son, was born. It is a gift that keeps on giving. Because my son shares the same birthday with me, since then my birthday celebration turned into a children’s party or pushed into a secondary event. But I don’t mind. I don’t mind it at all.

Life begets life. Wonderful gifts of life. Nothing else can top those birthday gifts, right? Well I was proven wrong!

On this most recent birthday of mine, or just about that time, my wife and I had a surprise. It knocked my socks off and sent me into a tailspin! Quite unexpected, but it is a pleasant surprise.

I know I am getting old, but nothing makes you younger than this kind of life changing event. My wife and I may have shock and apprehensions initially, but now it is turning into delightful anticipation.

My two kids are getting excited too, for they know that love is never divided. It only gets multiplied.

The flowers are blooming. The grass is growing. The birds are singing. It is spring time. Life begins again. In diapers.

spring time in our home


  1. it’s always inspiring when someone knows how to count his blessings -big and small, particularly those non-material and intangible things that the good Lord has been pouring.

    you have been blessed with those priceless birthday gifts, doc!
    here’s to a happier, healthier and wealthier years ahead!
    happy advance birthday po! 😉

  2. By today’s standards, you’re still just a young adult. 60 is supposed to be the new 40. My best wishes for the soon-to-be new member of the family. You space having children well. It will help when you have to fund college education especially.

  3. When I’m reading the words “my wife and I had a surprise. It knocked my socks off and sent me into a tailspin!” I started to smile, I’m hinting you will announce that you and your wife will have another bundle of joy…. Truly it is a pleasant surprise, a blessing from the lord. Children are blessings… soon the sound of lullaby and baby talk can be heard again in your home. Congratulations to you doc and to your wife 🙂

  4. Congrats at welcome to the club. Parang speed meter ng sasakyan para sa akin ang ating idad. Hataw sa idad na 20 hanggang 40…panay ang broom-broom…walang takot ika nga na bumibiyahe at sumusuong sa nais tahakin ng buhay. Masaya kahit masalimuot at punong-puno ng pagsubok. At pagdating ng singkwenta ay medyo nagmumuni-muni na sa tinahak na buhay…at tunay na napupuno naman ng pasasalamat dahil sa mga pangarap na natupad at kahit minsan ay may aberya sa daan ay nakakatuloy naman sa biyahe ng buhay.

    Malayo pa tayo sa overspeeding sa freeway…pero enjoy lang sa bawat sandali habang tinatahak dahan-dahan na punong-puno ng pananampalataya ang kaloob na buhay ng Maykapal.

  5. Belated Happy Birthday. It’s a joy and inspiration to read your post. A few days ago, I turned 41. I thought I need to make more happy memories with my family more than ever, that I have less time than ever. Getting old made me see things that I missed before and made me value more the people in my life. It’s no longer about running after a profession or for bigger bucks. It’s now about finding what makes me and my family happy. To love more, to give more, to live more. You wrote you had your youngest kid at 36, that inspires that it may not be too late for #2 kid for me. My wife just turned 35 and thought there’s risks, she also wants to try another baby. Wish us luck!

  6. Hope the tornadoes that recently struck the mid west including Iowa did not make you so busy, hopefully things are more settle there now. My father in law was 43 when they had their last baby who is now the father of my children. It seems your family can afford maybe two to three more babies. Babies are lots of work but they surely bring joy and the feeling of being blessed. You can be like Jacob who was delighted when he has Joseph and Benjamin, his children of old age. Many are trying and wanting to have children but not so fortunate. Congratulations to you and your wife and to the whole family 🙂

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