(As always, our Greenwich barkada NEVER fails to be the first to remember special days. Luis, Michelle and the rest of the gang, THANK YOU!)
I won’t lie, 2011 has been a difficult year. Since my beloved sister passed away last February, it’s been a difficult climb back up. It was either one thing or another, but things weren’t getting any easier. So when my birthday rolled along, I wasn’t really expecting anything. Nothing bad, nothing great, just no expectations. And you reach a certain age when you come to expect birthdays with equal parts of excitement and dread. And ika nga ni Jackie Chanak about birthdays: “You’re one step closer, to your final destination…” So late last night, I slept, only to be awakened at 12 midnight with a chorus of the birthday song being sung. It was Baby Whale, Delle, and the rest of our barkada. They brought food and we stayed up until 2, chatting and laughing and doing what we do so well when we’re together.
Then, in the morning, we did the Morning Rush, and we were deluged with possibly the most birthday greetings I ever had. The combination of texts and tweets and Facebook messages were incredibly overwhelming. I honestly don’t know where to start responding to all the wonderful messages people sent my way. Some days, self-pity grabs ahold of you and won’t let go no matter what. But today, it was simply impossible to feel sorry for myself. The amount of goodwill was so furious that only gratitude was allowed through the door. You know when you’re in the dumps, and somebody says they know how you feel and you’re like: “You DON’T know how I feel. You’d have to be me, in my shoes, going through what I’m going through, to know how I feel.” The same goes when so much good vibes come your way. It’s impossible for me to explain how it feels when so many people tell you how much they care about you. You’d have to be me, going through what I’m going through, to know how I feel.
Being a lover of words, I am so disappointed that I couldn’t find ample words to express how thankful I am of the whole experience. Close family and friends, mere acquaintances, and mostly complete strangers pouring out affection to someone they only hear on the radio; it’s an incredible high. With the arsenal of words I’ve built up all my life, only two words would suffice: THANK YOU. You might think I’m being OA or showbiz, but when you’re the recipient of such wonderful gifts, you feel like no amount of thanking would be enough.
(3 doctors dropped this off, MNG, RCG and Len. Kaya daw ganyan yung cake kasi they’re big ‘fans’)
Life is still tough. Wonderful days like today won’t drive away the demons. But they give me newfound strength to face whatever needs facing. Many people tell us that we make them smile in the morning. They thank us for bringing laughter when they listen. But you guys have no idea how much you guys give us, just being there, listening whenever you can, during the good times and the bad, when we’re funny and when we’re not, when we’re complete and when one is absent, always being our companions as we are yours. You guys got all mushy this morning, so allow me to do the same. Many of you I don’t even know, but know that you give to us as much as you say we give to you. Who knows, maybe I’ll live past a hundred, or tomorrow a meteor falls on me and blows me to smithereens. So let me thank you for a wonderful birthday. You guys all know who you are. If you sent some love my way, as Ellen would say: “Back at ‘ya!”
Jackie Chanak: “Very. Touching. Arte mo, OGAG!”
(The nice folks of The Body Shop treated us to a shopping spree! I couldn’t believe how generous they were. Thanks guys!)