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Location: Chicago, United States

I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Dear Auntie Pattie Koh,

I have celebrated my birthday 03Sept, in the morning with my two boys and my wife only. My youngest son drove three hours to have a day with me. He now lives near his school and is renting an apartment there. Then my eldest son came, and the four of us had a wonderful lunch at the house only us four. We never talked about my birthday, but we talked about the times the two boys was growing up. My eldest son was telling his story about his travels to Europe and South America. He was giving me and his mom a big thank you for all the things we have given him while he was growing up. He said his tour in Europe when he was 17 years old gave him so much insights on the life outside the states. He was also telling me that when he travelled in South America, he was able to compare the life of these people and the lives of his countrymen back home in the Philippines.

My youngest son was relating back the stories when his school toured the 7 cities of Italy. The school choral group, which my son is part of, and the shcool orchestra, was invited by the school system of Italy so they performed in 7 cities of Italy and was amazed by the response they got from the school and the students. But the one thing my youngest son was telling us that he was very proud of -- is the fact that me and my wife and my sister in law and mother in law, followed my son to all the places where they did their performances. He was telling me that he has lots of classmates who are filthy rich but their parents never bother to be with their children even in one place they had the concert. He was telling us that all of his classmates and members of the choir and orchestra were all jealous because he was the only one whose family was present, watching his performances.

We had a nice time in Rome and at the Vatican. We saw and received the blessing of the Pope from his balcony during the noon time prayers.

It was a very nice conversation during the meal. We were able to recall the happy times we had together. My childrens stories and their feelings and their shared thoughts about how they feel about me and their mom is something to remember. That was very nice to hear.

But my heartaches and pain, is knowing that the two boys have already embarked on a journey of their own. They have given me and my wife the things that they are planning and will be doing when they have finally finished their schooling and how they will settle down.

My eldest son said, she might be moving to New Jersey with her girlfriend whom he said he will be marrying eventually. She is Italian-German and my son loves her very much.

My youngest son is thinking of moving to Europe where he will pursue his dream of being a culinary expert and wanted to be exposed to the famous restaurants of Europe. He even told us that if he will get married, he prefers to live in Europe.

The pain has strucked me, but I did not show it to my two boys. My wife noticed it and just held my hands and smiled at me. We cannot hang on to our children for the rest of their lives. I cannot be the burden on my two boys nor will be the standing block to their dreams and aspirations in life.

Life has to go on.
Life in America has its pains and its pitfalls too.

So, Auntie Pattie Koh, I have to prepare myself to be alone and so does my wife. We have already plans of selling the house when the two boys are really fully on their own.

Are birthdays supposed to be like this?


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