A Special Birthday Present

My favorite moment with my mom was when we were back home in the Philippines. When I turned 4 years old we were too poor to buy a birthday cake nor birthday candles. My mom cooked a stack of pancakes and little ones to go around it to look like a flower, made from basic flour ingredients. She then took four match sticks and stuck them in the middle of the stack of pancakes, lit them and sang happy birthday and had me blow out the candles.

Her present to me was a new sundress made from the leftover materials she had collected from the factory where she worked making baby clothes. She was paid by the number of how many baby clothes she could make. She would work in the factory during the day and her boss would let her take some home to finish. I can remember how she would come home from work, feeds us kids, put us to bed and I would wake up in the middle of the night and see her up sewing more baby clothes to turn in by the next day.

That birthday was a birthday I could not forget. That present was one I cherished even to this day. Even though it was simple, it brought lots of joy to me knowing my mother made it with love....

-Arlene Adoptante

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