Best Birthday Gift In This Lifetime

A Day In My Life

Just before I head out the door, my wife handed me a piece of paper. She whispered, “Hey, look what our son made for you. He was in his room this afternoon busy creating this.” I opened the paper which turned out to be a home-made card my son made as an advance gift for my birthday. I was speechless. Pretty much I was smiling on my way to work.

Island Traveler/thisman' Day In My Life

My typical day can be very busy. For almost 10 years now, I had worked as a night shift emergency nurse. Sometimes I have nights were I am basically on my feet, going back and forth, juggling several sick and critical patients. After my shift, I bring my son to school, then have breakfast with my wife as we watch our favorite T.V. series such as Walking Dead and Grimm. Around 10 A.M. I go to sleep, wake up by 05:45 P.M., take my coffee, eat a light meal, shower, say a few prayers, then rush back to work.

A few days ago, I surprise my son with a toy he saw at a store. he wrote in his card, "Thanks for buying my Target toy." Our kids to see how much we love them and in their little yet pure, beautiful way they give back that love. Perhaps even more.

A few days ago, I surprised my son with a toy he saw at a store. Today, he surprised me with a birthday card where he wrote, “Thanks for buying my Target toy.” Our kids see how much we love them. In their little yet pure, beautiful way they give back that love in the most amazing way.

Off days are for groceries, soccer game, trip to the stores, “restaurant-time” as my son excitedly calls it, play and adventure time, church on Sundays, quick exercise at the gym and lots of catch-up sleep if I can. Oops…almost forgot, it’s also my blogging time.

kids show their love in ways that fill our hearts with joy we never dreamt possible. They teach us each day how to care more, give more, live more.

kids show their love in ways that fill our hearts with joy we never dreamt possible. They teach us each day how to care more, give more, live more.

My life sometimes feel a bit monotonous but I try my best to squeeze in some fun and excitement in it. A few days ago, while heading towards soccer practice, I spotted a vacant lot full of springtime blooms. I stopped the car and we all went down to check out the flowers. They were beautiful. A fleeting gift of nature that only comes once a year.

Island Traveler/thisman' Day In My Life

The rest or shall I say, most of the monotonous cycle is broken by my son’s never-ending joyful surprises, ideas and creativity. Yes, sometimes he can test my patience but most of the time, he melts my heart and that of his mom’s with his thoughtfulness, humor and loving gestures of affection. He is my little sunshine that gives me and my wife rays of inspiration, hope, happiness and lots of reasons to laugh.

Best Birthday Gift In This Lifetime

My happiness is easy. Play and activity time with family, a day at the beach or park, home-made gifts from my son and wife, a delicious meal, a great laugh with friends and family, reading generous comments in my blog posts, witnessing answered wishes and prayers unfold.

Island Traveler/thisman' Day In My Life

Part of my gift is a paper plane complete with instructions.

As I read the card, I felt a sense of gratitude and joy knowing that my son appreciates the things we shared together. That he has so much love to give to me, his mom and the people around him.

Island Traveler/thisman' Day In My Life

The best gifts are not the one’s we can buy or put a price tag on. They are the ones that comes from the heart. These are the gifts we cherish and take with us wherever we go.

As I unfolded the paper plane and set it up, I imagined and believed that me and family will travel the world in it. That I will have more birthdays ahead so we can discover the many adventures this lifetime has to give. Seemed like a childish wish but isn’t it that for as long as we believe, anything is possible?

Island Traveler/thisman' day In My Life

To my son and wife, thank you for making me believe that little miracles can happen everyday. That I can overcome the odds, find happiness and peace in the midst of chaos. That I can hope and dream with all my heart. That I can smile, laugh and even shed a few tears and know that you both will always be there for me. You both are my most treasured, priceless gift that God blessed me in this life.

Island Traveler/thisman' Day In My Life

To my wife and son, thank you for bringing color to my world. There is no greater gift that I could ever ask or wish for on my birthday.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend. Hope you enjoyed my post for this week’s photo challenge called “A day In My Life.” May we all celebrate tons of happy, memorable birthdays and events this life has to offer.

What’s your most cherished gift in this lifetime?

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in family, Life, parenting, photography, Weekly Image Of Life, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

140 Responses to Best Birthday Gift In This Lifetime

  1. Happy Birthday. I would love someone to make me a plane like that. It’s wonderful.

  2. James says:

    How you could stay asleep from 10am-5:45pm amazes me (and makes me jealous). I worked graveyard before and I could only muster 2-3 hours of sleep regardless of how tired I am. Anyway, such a great post. Those hand-made cards and crafts are beautiful. Our kids may not think much of them, but we, their parents, treasure them like gold. Happy Birthday!

    • As parents, our kids creations are priceless. The joy they give us can not be bought. Best part is that they give it to us generously everyday. Aren’t we lucky. As for sleep time, well, gone are those days when we used to sleep for 6-8 hours. Thanks.

  3. Happy Happy Birthday !

  4. This is so adorable and lovely!

  5. Once again you have a lovely way to tell your heart’s story. The images of your son in the sundrops are priceless in the capture and the memories.

  6. fgassette says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! It’s the simple things that lift and touch our hearts. Family means everything. Glad you had a wonderful day.


  7. elizz says:

    happy birthday my friend and wishing you lots of birthdays to come.. you had the most priceless gift on your birthday..

  8. cocomino says:

    What a lovely gift. It’s a great treasure.

  9. Wonderful reminders to try and find moments of gratitude in every day.

  10. Angeline M says:

    Happiest of Birthdays. Your son is getting so big!

  11. wolke205 says:

    Happy Birthday my friend!! :D What a wonderful & heartwarming gift*sigh* Hugs, take care :)

  12. Praveena says:

    Yes , Its the priceless gift..Happy Birthday:)May you have many many returns of the day with your family..wishing you to experience more and more adventures in your journey:)

  13. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Happy Birthday and I realy hope that one day a plane will fly all of you around the world!

  14. Gracie says:

    Happy birthday, island traveler! It’s these little gifts and smiles from the little ones that can keep us going no matter what. You are so blessed with such a sweet and good-natured son.

  15. A day in your life is a wondrous event! Thank you for sharing it. I would categorize it as ANYTHING but monotonous. The stories and adventures you share with your family are the things that dreams are made of – something we all hope to achieve.
    And your best birthday gift ever was so awesome. I still cherish those kinds of gifts from my girls from when they were little and have them tucked safely away in a box in my closet to be taken out when I’m feeling blue or lonely.
    I hope you had an even more spectacularly happy birthday than what was portrayed here! God bless you and your family!

    • Thanks Darla. I hope to make a treasure chest where I can store all my son’s works. One day, I can share it with him when I’m old. And yes, it will for sure comfort all forms of longings. God bless.

      • I didn’t have treasure chests for my girls, but I did save their best work in a box. :-) I gave them their boxes when they grew up, but I think I should have saved them myself as I think they may have tossed them. :-(
        Blessings to you and yours as well.

  16. Amy says:

    Happy Birthday to you, IT! That is such a sweet birthday notes from your son. Thank you for sharing you day with us!

  17. naomimgruer says:

    Love the card and the paper airplane with instructions! My daughter wrote a similar card to her dad but it said, “You’re the best dad because you always take me to Dunkin Donuts.” (!) :)

  18. ideflex says:

    Have a wonderful Birthday – Health, Wealth and Happiness for you and your family!

  19. Still Times says:

    Happy birthday to you. Great post! Those handmade mementos are fantastic and so touching.


  20. Mazigrace says:

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating YOU!!! Thanks for sharing your day with us.

  21. Freedomborn says:

    Many blessings for your special day Island Traveller, I hope your Birthday will hold many more precious memories for you. Thank you for sharing freely the gift God has given you in Photography and also for your Loving thoughts, we always remember you with fond affection and are thankful for your encouragment and support. God bless you and your Loved ones greatly now and always.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • My friend, thank you for the generous gifts of words that warms the heart. Just like what I tell my friends and family, “Just pray for me,” that’s a gift that I will always need and be grateful for. I guess it’s a gift we all could give for each other. Thanks.

  22. ♪♫♪♪♫♪♪♫♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪♫♪♪♫♪♪♫♪
    Such a heartwarming post. I know what you mean. My son is my world, even at 27! (Him, not me – haha!)

  23. aRVee says:

    Happy birthday bro… Great to know you have the best birthday gift in your lifetime… Stay blessed! :)

  24. bebs1 says:

    They say you can only give as much love as you have received. Your gifts to each other are truly priceless.

  25. Happy birthday! Yes, our family is truly a priceless gift.

  26. dearrosie says:

    Many happy birthday greetings IT. What a beautiful card and gift from your son. Such lovely photos of him running through the flowers…

    I thought I had a busy life until I read what you do in your 24 hour day. I am impressed.
    You’re so caring and thoughtful, the people you care for in your emergency room are lucky when you’re on duty.

    • Sometimes I want to scream, “I need a day off please,” but then comes this moments that seem to erase the physical exhaustion. I just pray I will be healthy always. Not really getting younger you know. Thanks my friend.

  27. ristinw says:

    Oh, Happy Birthday, Island Traveler! :D
    Wish you all the best of the best!!!!

  28. Happy Birthday! I’m so happy for you that you received such a special gift just as you gift us so many special messages of love and caring. And how wonderful you can save them and store them never to be lost. Recently, I was made aware of You might want to check it out to prepare a book you could amply fill for your son and wife someday.

    • I will check Thank you. I was reading about yesterday about a similar topic. Our work will be a living reminder of how wonderful life always. One of the best gifts we can give to the young generation of our families and friends. Thanks Georgette.

  29. becky6259 says:

    Aw, such a beautiful birthday card! It is obvious your son put so much work and love into it! Your photos of the field of flowers and your son playing in them are priceless! If you still live in Texas, the bluebonnets should be blooming around now — beautiful, vast fields of them grow there and I have always wanted to get a picture of my grandchildren amongst a field of them, but alas, have only had the opportunity to get a picture of our dog running around smashing all the pretty blooms (we quickly scooped Lucy up before she could do too much damage), lol. Have a wonderful birthday, and enjoy your lovely family!

  30. Happy Birthday Doc! May you continue to have a great life with your family…!
    Cherish every moment with your son, the years will be fast. I sometimes feel a twinge of regret and wished I had more playtime with my daughters, drew more, painted up a storm, watched more Powerpuff/Dora/Dexter/Rugrats/The Wild Thornberrys…
    God bless you and protect your family.

    • Never too late to catch up. There will be always regrets of not having done enough but what matters is the present and how we cherish each moment and one another. God bless you and your family. Thanks.

  31. MikeP says:

    Those cards are the best… love the introspective way your story moved in. Made me think of my youngest as I prepare for her wedding. And you’ll be happy to know that she lives in your state of TX. She emails and texts now… sure do miss the hand made pics though. Thanks ‘IT’

    • Wow, your youngest is getting married! Are you flying to Texas? Lots of great places and people here to find inspiration from. I wish your daughter and her husband- to- be all the love and joy. Thanks.

  32. Happy Birthday. Your son sounds like a real treasure. I saved some of my children’s writings and artwork. It’s wonderful to look back on. Glad you had such a fantastic day.

  33. ChgoJohn says:

    As your son matures, I’m sure his gifts will, too. They’ll get more “complicated”, as he tries to fill a need or want of yours. I’d be willing to bet, though, that few will ever touch your heart like these simple cards and plane (complete with instructions). I hope you’re enjoying your birthday and may that plane truly soar, just as it did in your son’s imagination as he built it.

    • I’ll will savor every piece of his magical childhood. I agree with you. Years from now his wants will change, I just hope he remembers where true happiness comes from. Thanks.

  34. Lynda says:

    Happy Birthday! I always tell you this, but it is true, so I say it again:

    “You are so blessed!”

  35. Haryo Wicaksono says:

    Woww,, that was a very sweet moment… :)
    I’m sure you won’t forget that memory in your life..

  36. Tammy says:

    Gorgeous post! I love the cards and especially the airplane.

  37. You are a lucky man. Birthday presents such as these Are to be treasured for a lifetime. Sometimes I stumble upon a card or airplane that my son made when he was little. He’s a grown man now. Time goes by so fast.

  38. angrygaijin says:

    You are an awesome father to really appreciate this gift from your son. :)

  39. angrygaijin says:

    Oh btw! Happy birthday!

  40. auntyuta says:

    Happy Birthday, dear IT. I must say you did get some beautiful gifts there. To feel the love of someone is precious. It’s my son’s birthday today too. He’s turned 53!

  41. LB says:

    I so remember those night shift days (I was Ob/Gyn ER), parenting and going back to school. You are succeeding at letting that child know he is a priority! (I love the picture of him leaping in that field of flowers)

  42. This is beautiful. As I look at the pictures, I’m reminded of cards I used to make my own dad and cut them out and make little things. As a parent, my most treasured moments with my kids are the whimsical, the out of the ordinary, the ones written down on paper. Thank you for sharing this special gift!

    • Thanks Brenda. As a kid, I too made cards for my parents and they always appreciated them. They would even show it to their friends. Now my son is doing the same and I’m really happy and proud of him. Kids reminds us that we can be happy with the most basic and simple of things.

  43. Patty B says:

    Birthday Blessings!

  44. Cheryl says:

    Happy belated birthday, Mr. B … Fabulous post. Spectacular card. A keepsake to show him when he’s your age!

  45. penpusherpen says:

    It’s good to stop and think how much we have to be grateful for, Traveler, so many are wrapped up in what’s wrong with their life, instead of concentrating on what’s so, so right….. Your hearts is full with love for / from your family, and underlined by your thought provoking words above… Belated Happy Birthday wishes… may you and yours have a wonderful week… xPenx

    • Thank you for the beautiful, generous comment. I wish I learned sooner what things to prioritize but now that I’m older, I realized my description of happiness then was a bit wrong. Never too late to turn around though.

  46. thirdeyemom says:

    Homemade cards from children are the very best gift possible. Absolutely priceless !

    • They are. I told my wife, “we need to make sure we keep all this priceless tokens.” She totally agrees. I do need to make a bigger treausure chest for all them. Thanks.

  47. Happy Birthday! You have all of the blessings that truly matter and a heart that knows how to appreciate them. Bravo!

    • Thanks. Love of family helps us see what’s really important in our lives. I would like to believe that I am blessed because I have them to share my life with everyday.

  48. Purely.. Kay says:

    Happy Belated my friend! I hope you had an amazing birthday. And that card from your son is absolutely adorable. I simply love it.

  49. Happy Birthday! :)
    Not to expect too much of life, to rejoice over the little things, that’s how happiness can be cultivated… it’s all from within. Beautiful post!

  50. Happy Birthday, dear friend! This post made me cry. It was so simply and beautifully expressed. Your family is so blessed to have you, as you are blessed by the joy and love they have for you.

    • Thanks Naomi. I appreciate a lot the wonderful comment. Whenever my wife ask me what I want, I usually tell her, “I already have what I want.” The rest are just surprise bonuses.

  51. Fergiemoto says:

    Happy Birthday! WHat wonderful treasures from your son!

  52. Hi Mr. B … birthday blessings! may the good Lord continue to give you the desires of your heart … always!

  53. adinparadise says:

    Happy birthday to a great and caring dad. Your son is a very lucky little guy. :)

  54. Happy belated Birthday, Island Traveler. What a wonderful birthday gift. We loved your words and pictures What a wonderful family you are :)

  55. Sony Fugaban says:

    What a touching story…

    Apologies, bro, for not being in the blogging world lately. I am currently in the Philippines for my vacation (Until the 16th of April), and I’m trying to spend every second with my family. I learned that my 30-day vacation is too short to do other things than splurging it with them.

    I also had a lot on my plate before I left the Middle East almost a month ago so that explains what…

    Anyway, it’s refreshing to read a piece from you while my second baby is in deep sleep. I just thought of checking my “wordpress” friends so here I am.

    Your son is such a wonder. Please tell Adrian how much I admire him.

    I will try to squeeze that blogging time of yours as soon as I can. I believe it’s high time to include it in my schedule. I so miss sharing my stories too. (Universe, please conspire for me…LOL)

    • Sony Fugaban says:

      And, of course, belated happy birthday. May the heavens pour you good health and more days to come.

    • We will always be here Bro. For now, spend every second with your family. Wow, you have a second baby. Truly a priceless blessing. I know how hard it is to be away from family but that’s how much we love them. We are willing to set aside our wants so we can give them a better future. Please extend my congratulations to you lovely wife. God bless you and your family always. Have an amazing vacation.

  56. Indira says:

    Belated Happy Birthday. It was really the best B’day gift for you.

  57. Imelda says:

    Belated happy birthday. :-) Your son just told you the most important thing you can give him – your time. He likes to spend time with you.

    Oftentimes, I feel like my life is a bit monotonous too. On the other hand, I thank God that that is all the ‘complaint’ I could have about my life. That means, most of the things I care for are going well. :-)

  58. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Happy birthday! your first photo is absolutely wonderful!

  59. Sunshine says:

    thanking the Universe for your heartfelt posts that always uplift and bring happiness to so many people, IT…happy belated birthday and ☼sunHUGS to you and your family. ♥

  60. The Guat says:

    Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. Definitely a happy belated birthday my friend! The fact that you got a hand written card like that is great, knowing that your son appreciates you, loves you and respects you is priceless. What a great way to celebrate! Sorry I’m late for the party here, but I send you some California sunshine and good vibes :) Be well my friend.

  61. nothing can beat little kids for making you smile!

  62. lifeofaministermom says:

    Oh I don’t know how I missed this one, but how incredibly sweet!!!! Hope your birthday was the best one yet. Happy belated….! God bless you!


  63. Happy birthday! Thanks for sharing all this with us. Your photos are awesome as always, but that part of you that you share on this space is even more precious. More blessings to you and the family…

  64. Thank you to all. You made my birthday more special. Best part is that I can read these generous thoughts again and again. God bless you all. I will catch up with my replies as soon as I can. I seem to be chasing time lately. Whew!

  65. Iamrcc says:

    Innocent but heartfelt expressions of love are always the best. Thanks for the like of my Weekly Photo Challenge post representing “Change”.

  66. There’s never a monotonous day when you’re a parent. I love your kid’s card and presents. Kid presents are the best, aren’t they? My kids give me post-it love notes and love cards all the time and I couldn’t ask for more.

  67. Paula says:

    Happy belated birthday :) Wish you more wonderful surprises on your way!

  68. Madhu says:

    Aww, precious gifts indeed. I know how much i treasure those little impromptu notes from my grandchildren! Happy Birthday IT :-)

  69. Aian Ramos says:

    Before, I can’t imagine how a kid’s art work would melt a grown man’s heart, I guess when you’re a dad, it just does! Happy Birthday! They love and adore you, you’re definitely doing something right. Monotonous it may seem but I guess it’s the most brightly colored and exciting world this blessed wife and kid knew ;)

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