Birthdays are a big deal in my family growing up, and it was the most evident at my grandfather’s celebrations. His guests would include three generations, even four, of members from both his and my grandmother’s sides of the family; in-laws; friends from his high school days to present ones from the barangay; colleagues who still remembered his birthday long after he retired; neighbors; his children’s and grandchildren’s friends; all there to celebrate another year of his life.
When he passed away, it was a testament to the way my grandfather lived that the same people who celebrated with him during those birthdays were also there to pay their respects.
Tomorrow is his birthday. Happy birthday in heaven, tatay. As we celebrate another year of your memories may we learn to live a life such as yours, so as we celebrate not only days and years, but live a life worth celebrating long after we are gone.