Celebrating a Milestone
Last Wednesday one of my favorite aunts (yes, I have more than one) celebrated an important milestone: her 60th birthday. Coming off from my somewhat unremarkable birthday lunch two months ago, I took over the preparations of her birthday lunch. I wanted this birthday lunch to have food that are actually preferred by the celebrant, something that didn’t happen during my own birthday lunch.
This birthday lunch was also a surprise, because my aunt didn’t know about it until it became too obvious that the many dishes I was preparing was to celebrate her birthday. On the day before, as she saw me marinating chicken legs and making Embutido, she asked me why I was cooking and I told her I was just ‘in the mood’. She didn’t say anything anymore but I knew that she suspected something was up. The next morning, she saw the mound of vegetables and meats on the kitchen table, which probably confirmed her suspicion. My work in the kitchen has been chronicled HERE.
She was genuinely surprised and happy with what we were doing. We had a few guests–uncles and cousins, to make it a bigger celebration.
I wanted to do this because as an aunt, she has always been very generous and supportive of me. She worked for more than 20 years as a nurse in Saudi Arabia and as a boy she would regularly send me toys and other useful stuff. This generosity continues till now, even when she’s retired from working abroad and teaching. When I returned from Cambodia in the grips of depression, she continued to support me when others were confused or wary around me. Without her, I wouldn’t have survived and recovered from my ordeal.
Over-all it was a good celebration: extremely tiring and stressful but when I saw her clear and obvious joy, it was all worth it.
Happy birthday, Tita Emy. We love you very much!