Hi Gloria, felicitations on your half-century and five years of existence. You know you are tough, after having been to the door of death twice, you are still there enjoying the gift of life.
You have gone through many difficult and some extreme challenges but you remain unperturbed. Your face shows no traces of pain nor failure. You have perfected the act of smiling even under duress. No one will expect that beyond your smiley face, streams of tears have cascaded.
As you add another year to your lifeline, it is about time you focus on living your life; see more places, visit more flea markets, accomplish your dream of writing your memoir, and publish your book of poems.
I know you have a hard time getting over the idea that your working life is over, but do not fret. Be happy that you do not have the need to get up early and join the long queue at LRT/MRT to go to work on time. From a weary commuter, you now fly conveniently onboard a jumbo bird seeing places. You should realize that beyond your hard life, you are more blessed than unfortunate.
By this time, you should have also learned how to be a bit selfish, do things that will give you joy without feeling guilty. Being conscientious to your needs is not a crime, this you should always keep in your mind. And always remember that happiness depends solely on your own choices.
Continue to be what you are and not others want you to be.
There are so many things that I want to tell you but I will keep them for the next time. For now, enjoy the moment with your children. I know they are the jewels in your crown, your citadel of strength and hope.
You are lucky and privileged to be more than their mom; you are their friend, their buddy, and their obscure critic. You may not be a successful wife but surely you have done great being a mother.
Have a happy birthday and continue living your life!