The BEST Birthday Cake EVER!

 Above (L to R): some blonde neighborhood girl, sister Leila, ME, and sister big sister Mimi. 

Above (L to R): some blonde neighborhood girl, sister Leila, ME, and sister big sister Mimi. 

Well, 51 years on this planet and I'm still going strong. Looking back at my life makes me appreciate what I have and especially where I came from. I remember growing up in Waikiki, my parents didn't have much money to celebrate my 6th birthday. Mom wanted me to have a birthday party but I told her that I didn't have many friends to invite. So she had my older sisters invite some of the neighborhood kids to my birthday party including a few from school. Dad worked two jobs, as a chef at a local hotel and also a limousine driver while mom worked in a hotel gift shop. Life was simple and they made ends meet by thinking out of the box. 

The night before my birthday I could hear my parents doing something in the kitchen. Little did I know that they were baking me a cake. They didn't have much money to buy a cake but had enough to buy a box of Betty Crocker cake mix. Dad made his famous butter creme frosting and added Quick coco mix to it to make it chocolate frosting. Mom had some shredded coconut and they ended up making a German chocolate cake for my 6th birthday.

 Above: Sister Leila with Mom.

Above: Sister Leila with Mom.

That afternoon when I came home from school, I walked into our little apartment and saw a few of my schoolmates and kids from the neighborhood wish me a happy birthday. Let me remind you that I was such a shy kid growing up. I didn't have many words to say and observed most of the time than participate. I had social anxiety at times and would just keep to myself. Mom came out with the birthday cake and everyone sang happy birthday. I was moved by the well wishes and was shocked. But the cake....it was amazing!!! It was extremely moist and I could tell that my parents made it with lots of love and care- just like how they raised me and my siblings. 

After everyone had left my little birthday party, I thanked my Mom and sisters who made all of this happen. I'm the type of person that don't ask for much but when they did this for me, I felt so honored and appreciated. I feel like that today on my 51st birthday. Looking at all of the birthday wishes from all my friends who I keep in contact on social media made me realize that I'm loved by many. I may not keep in touch with them as much as I would BUT there were people who I haven't heard from in awhile wishing me a happy birthday. Really, I was blown away. I had a phone call from my God-son, Eric, give me a call to wish me a happy birthday. We talked for a good 25 minutes and I really enjoyed our conversation. To me, that was one of the best birthday gifts ever and he even said that he'll make it a tradition to call me on every birthday of mine. I had birthday wishes from my sister, Leila, who sent me a birthday card. She told me that she's taking on mom's tradition of sending me birthday cards. I'm sure I'll be getting a phone call from her and the family singing the happy birthday song, a tradition that Mom and Dad would do with Dad playing the ukulele in the background. 

Looking back at my 51 years of life makes me appreciate those who love me and who I've touched at some point in their lives. Whether it was a brief connection or a lifetime connection, I made a difference in their life in some small way. I will always remember the love that my parents gave me when they made that birthday cake. Although we didn't have much, we had the most valuable thing in life...LOVE.

Thank you to all the birthday wishes. I'm looking forward to many more birthdays and plan to reach 100 some day.