21. Celebrating My Dad’s 80th Birthday
We did it! My brother, sister and I, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and the BF — we pulled it off! We were able to give my dad a surprise 80th birthday party that he deserves. Yes, the Big 8-0! Before the end of 2014, I talked about milestones. My dad’s 80th birthday was the highest peak of 2014, our own Big Bang.
Appropriately enough, his birthday is at the end of the year after Christmas and before the New Year.
We (the people I mentioned above), along with my mom, were able to plan the whole thing without my dad suspecting anything. We were even able to hide it from the kids who would have told their grandpa in a heartbeat.
We hired a DJ, videographers and photographers, and rented a photo booth. We got the food catered. Everything went smoothly. And the miracle lies in the fact that we did all of this two weeks before the party! We talked about this for a month and invited people even without having secured a venue yet. We were all nervous-wrecks.
On the big day, my dad, with my mom by his side walked into a beautiful space that we rented and decorated. 100 of our friends and family came to greet him “Happy Birthday.” A couple of his childhood friends were there, too.
Seeing how happy my dad was made everything worth it for this successful and brilliant man. On his special day, we celebrated his journey. If I could sum up my dad’s life story in few words, they are persistence, kindness and success. And even at the height of his successful life, he remained humble. His is a story of “beating the odds.”
One of life’s lessons that my dad taught me when I was in high school that I will never forget is “Never look down on those who do not have as much as you have. You are not sure how long you will stay on top. If you ever fall, those are the people who will break your fall and help you get back on your feet again.”
It is such a tremendous blessing to be able to celebrate my dad’s birthday in his old age. This is a man who started out late in life and proved that everything is possible if you work hard for it — and leave the rest to God.
I am so proud of my dad. My family and I are very grateful for this day. I can only hope that we can have many more with him.
In the end, my family and I were beyond exhausted but giddy with happiness for pulling off such a successful party. The food was plentiful and delicious. Every person was not just well-hydrated and well-fed but also took home plenty of yummy Asian and Filipino food and desserts with them.
I told my dad to get ready to get down for his 90th. (I can only hope and pray to God!)