IT WAS to be one of those eat-out simple dinners for my birthday.

The twist was that my son, Spitzie, will be home from Dumaguete and it will be his treat. I was happy for his offer but more so that my family will be complete. I decided to make the day an “I Love Luci” one—meaning I will laze in bed the whole day.

The previous day was long and stressful. It was packed with meetings and the evening turned stressful when Spitzie was in dire need of an antibiotic for an unexpected recurrence of an ailment causing severe pain but no drug store would sell unless we present a prescription.

Dr. Gayoles came to the rescue and directed me to the Sanitarium Hospital. By two in the morning, Spitzie was able to walk and relieved of his pain. Thank you, God!

The following morning, my little prince kept me occupied with our usual morning nursery and video date which was in my room. Despite the drowsiness from lack of sleep the previous night, I made sure that I was in church for the Mass to express my gratitude for another year and asking God’s blessing to sanctify whatever work He has in store for me.

With lunch after, I noticed that my helpers were putting plants inside the house. Usually this is done with my supervision and choice. I thought they wanted to impress me because it was my birthday.

Our ever loyal Nana of 40-plus years, who has assimilated my Mom’s and my adherence to cleanliness and house dressing, complained that the throw pillows in the main sala were old. I told her to use the new ones I purchased lately during a sale in Manila.

I asked why the tents were being perched in the garden and the reply was, since Manong Spitz is home, he was expecting some friends to drop by. Oh well! Why not? The house is usually the gathering of all my sons’ friends!

By lunch, I forced myself that sought-after respite waking up around six and got myself all prettied up for the dinner date. At whatever age, a girl is a girl. We aim to be presentable and look good especially when you’re adding another number to that figure. Lola, perhaps, but no reason to look old, grey and dowdy!

Nana came up to my room and said everyone was ready to go. So packing my bag, I headed downstairs. On the second flight of stairs, I heard the scream “SURPRISE!” with Katy meeting me with a birthday cake! Oh My! In all my years, I have never had a real honest-to-goodness surprise party!

My eyes were misty but I did not want the tears to flow otherwise if I start, it will flow like a river! I was so totally overwhelmed that it all seemed like a flood of faces kissing titas, cousins, nephews and nieces and some friends. They said even Tito Meling, all of 93 years came at the last moment.

Joy, joy, joy filled my heart. I couldn’t believe this was happening! What an affirmation of love and appreciation! GOD, You are so full of love!

They asked me if I had any idea a preparation was in store, my reply was none at all. It was a total surprise. According to my sons, they planned this for some time with Katy, my daughter-in-law, who is really more like the daughter I don’t have. It was supposed to be a bigger production but there were constraints along the way with Katy’s hospitalization the week prior and more.

But, the numbers don’t matter. I am truly moved by my family’s expression of love and for those who came or couldn’t make it! I love you all and thank you!

As always, the Lord can never be outdone with His surprises! Thank you Lord for the treasures who have so lovingly bestowed upon me!