When I was young, we didn't have much. My parents had 7 girls, all were in Catholic schools, so we didn't have birthday parties. My mother then made sticky rice cake, bought some cookies and prepared hot native chocolate drink to celebrate my younger sister and my birthday together. The only birthday party we celebrated at home was my older sister's 18th birthday because she had finished college and had a job.
On my second year in college, Martial Law was declared by then President Ferdinand Marcos. The administration started rounding up student activists including my younger sister, myself and another girl who was boarding at my parents house. We were detained at a military camp called Camp Dangwa. While in detention, I became ill in the camp, and later was taken to the hospital; and that was where I spent my 18th birthday. Imagine the anguish my mother felt when two of her young children were taken away and detained for months and then seeing one of them in the hospital on her 18th birthday. I had no idea what my mother felt and went through at that time.
This year, should be a very memorable birthday for me, one that would never be ever forgotten, a real celebration of life, and real greatfulness for the good Lord's power.
The day before my birthday, I called my son to ask where he was when I stopped by his house. He was already at work, and informed me he rode his bike to work. He uses our other car which was at his house but we needed it for valentine flower deliveries. He told me to go ahead and take the car and that he'll see us on Tuesday to help with flower deliveries.>
At about 1:30 am on February 13, the phone rang, and I thought it was a prank call; then my cell phone rang, but I didn't pick it up because I was trying to get to sleep so that I have energy for a busy day. After several rings, I finally got up at 5:30 to pick up the call on my cell phone. It was a social worker from UC Davis Medical center. She informed us that our son was in a very bad accident, he is serious, but calm and collected and was able to give our business phone, home phone and my cell phone. The other passenger was more seriously injured with broken back, eye and head and leg injuries and at first was not expected to live.
At the end of his shift, it started pouring rain so his friend offered him a ride, will drop him off by his friends apartment which is halfway to my son's house and he will ride his bike home from there. It was a ride he won't ever forget. His friend drove too fast for the weather condition and lost control of the car, hit a tree and then another tree. It's a miracle my son survived - he had a cut on his chest, broken sternum, broken tibia and a day later, they found that his hip was broken too. It was a shock to be awakened with such a terrible news. I can't express what I felt; I just fell on my knees and prayed for my son and the other passenger and for the driver who lost his life that dark, ominous morning.
I called my helper to come in early, informed my daughter of the news, and then rushed to the hospital. My son was in the operating room when we got there and expected to be in there for a couple of hours. We went to work and got busy with valentine orders. We informed his employer of the accident, and I sent a text message to one of his roommates.
After not getting any news, my husband went back to the hospital and found our son in recovery but was sleeping. About 10 of his friends were in the OR waiting room - my husband told them to go home because they are not yet allowed to see him while he was in ICU recovering. When we got back to the hospital at around 6 pm that night, he woke up and had the guilty look in his face and apologized. It was such a rough day seeing my only son all battered, bruised, in pain, and hooked up with mask-like breathing instrument. etc. and can't barely move.
This particular birthday, I am grateful for the gift of life, I feel so blessed and thank the Lord my son is alive.