I saw my Mom unabashedly enter the room, and my Dad followed suit. Hesitant, as he already felt there was a little surprise waiting for him inside. Like a little kid who needed a little push, he slowly crept in.
And there, inside, were 80 of his closest friends and family members waiting to greet him: “Surprise ~ Happy Birthday!” Confetti, claps and warm hugs welcomed him.
His face turned from surprise to shock, to tears, to joy. I nearly felt the same. And the air in the room wore the same blissful sob.
I haven’t seen my Dad like that: so vulnerable. As if the elephant in the room was given a salute at that very moment — he’s turning 60 years old. The newest member of the non-exclusive senior citizens of the world. Now, legit.
Tables have turned. I remember getting an extravagant 7th birthday party when I was young; it was memorable up till today. I thanked my parents for that. Who knew we’ll come to this: the 30 year old me throwing probably the simplest yet most unforgettable celebration for my aging dad.
We were hanging his old photos on cotton strings and clipped them on walls. It wag a good reminder of his glory days, those that we left behind. And it was a kickstart to all the memories that we are about to create, from this very day.
With only 80 people in the room, the number of guests could have been more especially with all the friendships and relationships my dad has made this past 60 years. I know he can easily fill an entire gymnasium with people who love him. We always knew he could even run and win as a local politician. Hence an 80-seater was easy to fill. I’ve had an almost complete attendance from all those we’ve invited.
And as if I had a sudden epiphany as the crowd roared to the new chapter he is about to embark in his life: ‘value people and in turn they will value you. As most of them will still be there with you in the decades to come.’
Venue: Mom and Tina’s Bakery Cafe (FRDC Building, 106 Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. Ave, Pasig)