When I was a
child going to his first day of kindergarten, I remember being afraid of the
world out there. I tried to run back into the house before it was time to go.
My mom caught me, picked me up and spun me around. I remember her gently
placing her hand on my back and saying (in tagalog), “You’re strong. It’s
going to be alright.”

I keep my problems hidden from my family, however, somehow mom still knows when
her first-born son is having them. But she doesn’t interfere and still finds a
way to place her gentle hand on my back to push me forward.

To this day, mom still picks me up in her own way. When she finds me turning
back, she spins me right around to face the world. I can still hear her say to
me, “You’re strong. It’s going to be alright.”

Happy Birthday, mom.


Your son, Jay.

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