#235 (52 years ago)

On an island 5 km in diameter, I entered this world as a premature baby weighing under four pounds. At least that’s the story my mother told me when I was a young kid. I don’t have many pictures of me when I was a child and living in the Philippines. The only one I have is in black and white and is the size of a passport picture. It wasn’t a closeup of my face. So making out who the subject of that vintage photograph was would require a magnifying glass. 

It took four years before my mother married my step father who was stationed on a military base in Manila. My mother worked on base as a housemaid for one of the military higher ranking officers. My step father was in the US military stationed on the base where my mother happened to work. That’s how my mother met my step father. 

I unfortunately don’t remember my biological father. The story my mother tells me is that they were both young and my biological father decided he didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.

It takes a village…

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Based on my mother’s stories, I had plenty of relatives to watch and care for me so I guess I was literally raised by a village of aunts and uncles and cousins. 

People say they can remember their childhood but I’m not one of those people. I only have faint recollections of playing with some airplane and I remember the first time I’ve ever seen fireworks. I also vaguely remember taking baths in a barrel similar to an old oak barrel where wine or whiskey ages and ferments. Other than those faint glimpses into my childhood in the Philippines, I don’t remember anything else or people who cared for me. 

Going to America…

Shortly after my mom wedded the only father I know, we both flew from the Philippines to the US of A. The first American soil we put our shoes on was San Francisco. 

Since then, I lived in various states: North Carolina, which was where my brother was born. From there, we lived in Virginia, which was the first time I had ever seen snow. It was fun for me as I was too small to actually do chores like shoveling snow or the like. I remember having loads of fun with my friends during my first snow sighting. 
Then I believe we moved to Arkansas then Kansas then finally settled in Texas, which is where both my little sisters were born. 

I blinked…

Now, I’m 52 living in the Pacific Northwest with two grown boys of my own. In retrospect, I’ve lived a life full of twists and turns that couldn’t have been anticipated – but that’s life. You roll with the punches and there were many of them. 

I didn’t think I would be a widow at 26, remarried and annulled within six months, then married the third time to be dismissed after ten years of marriage with no reason other than “I just don’t feel that way for you anymore.”

Apparently my mother had a sense that this would happen as I’m the only child taught how to cook. My other siblings were not required to know their way around in the kitchen. When I confronted her for the special treatment, she replied, “I saw that you would be on your own in the future and you would need to fend for yourself”. Thanks mother for your foresight. It has paid off in spades. 

Birthday celebrations…

I typically keep things on the down low when my birthday comes up as I’m not big in public celebrations. I would rather the day be just another day. So far I’ve been successful in avoiding the public celebrations with the help of taking the day off from work. 

The adage: “Out of sight out of mind” has apparently been the saving grace as when I did have to work on my birthday, I chose the “work remotely ” option for that day. No one had been the wiser. 

For this year, I’m on vacation for my 52nd year and I love it that way. 

Happy quiet birthday to me…

#bestbirthdayever #life #singleasianmale


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