I’M a night owl. I’m never awake at five in the morning unless I have to go to the port or airport. On holiday, however, I’m an early bird, raring to get up at dawn to trek, to go hot air ballooning, to go on a game drive and of course, to see the sunrise.

My sisters and I once bickered over the sunrise. We were in Boracay staying at this place I had carefully picked out for its fabulous views. On our first day, I suggested that we wake up early the next day to see the sunrise.

This began an argument that ended with my sisters fiercely declaring that they did not want to spend their vacation waking up early in the morning to watch the sunrise.

The first night I was home from the hospital, I said to myself, this is my chance to check out the flaws of my design. I had put in a lot of research to make sure the differently-abled annex I had built for my parents in 2012 complied with international accessibility standards.

Who knew I’d be lying here in a borrowed hospital bed just a few years later.

Thank you, Uncle Joe. I feel your healing presence. Thanks to my parents, my brother, my sisters, my uncles and aunties, cousins, nephews and nieces for the unparalleled love and support, to Joy who held my hand all the way and to Lucille and Carolyn for the five fabulous house dresses—my daily wardrobe since.

Thanks to those who showed up, day before surgery to make me laugh. Thanks to those who stayed away post-surgery so I could rest. But thanks also to those who broke the ban, sneaked in and appeared in my room anyway to surprise me.

Thanks to those who sent me an endless supply of food including special home-made steamed lapu-lapu and many other healing concoctions.

Thanks for the balloons, the flowers, the prayers, the masses, the offerings, the healing tips and techniques, the visits, the thoughts, the love.

Thanks to Jun, Daisy, Gerry, Caroline and Anna Mae. You know why.

Thanks to those, from far and near, whose stream of Facebook and Viber messages kept my care and communication team busy—the chef and the award-winning journalist. To my cousin, Juvy, who flew in from Mindanao, to be my special nurse, I cannot thank you enough.

Thank you, girls. You rock. Post-op, you are still making me smile and laugh. I cannot believe you still had the temerity to Viber me the guy’s photo. Again.

You never give up. It’s true what they say. When love is there, it shows. I don’t need a man, girls. I have you.

Thank you to my surgeon and the rest of the surgical team. Nice sutures, guys! Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and caregivers who attended to me and most especially to Fred, my hero at Recovery. Thanks to Ann and Judith, my special nurses who are as incorrigible as the girls and still making me laugh till today.

Work has a way of overtaking your life. I haven’t had a chance to see the sunrise in a very long time. After six days in the hospital, though, I am now awake at five in the morning everyday waiting for the sunrise. Thank you, Lord.