If I Have Today

If I have today, where would I want to be?

To all the People that loved me and I loved back, if it’s the last day, I wish that all at once I will have you all beside me. It would be my happiest day as if time never passed and People haven’t changed. My Heart will be finally still and content because all that I ever wanted are now with me.

If I have today, whom should I spend my last hours, minutes, seconds?

In the end, it’s all about Family. Everything else are just distractions to what we always knew as important in our hearts and memories. I look at this picture and I could feel my Son’s arm behind my back and his head resting on my arm as we watched our last Sunset at Clearwater. The moments of our Family Adventures turns to life every time I needed them. I remember what gives me reasons to smile. I remember what inspires me to not forget.

If I have today, who should I say, “I’m so sorry,” to ask forgiveness?

To my Mom and Dad. Never a day my heart has not ached for missing time and opportunity that we could have spent together. I am sorry, and I’m sorry everyday. I wish things could have turned differently and our destinies kinder and merciful. I never wanted our stories and relationships to end the way it did. We all don’t deserve it. No one deserves it. I’m terrified and scared to try and take a chance. Why? Should I be? Did I create my own Wall so I can not get through or was the Wall a way to protect my mind and heart from what’s left of it. I don’t think I can survive another heart breaking rejection. I am not as tough as I used to be.

If I have today, who does my heart long to say my last “I Love You.”

To Love is both a blessing and a curse. It will always be a fusion of joy and pain, everything and longing. I followed my love for my dreams, in exchange, I had to leave all that inspired me to believe that my dreams are meant to go far beyond what I can see. No such thing as complete happiness when happiness are pieces of all that is precious, beautiful and irreplaceable. Some pieces are with me, others away from me. The only time they come together in perfect harmony and peace is when I close my eyes. On my last day I wish to say, “I Love You,” to my Mom. She gave me life, my first breathe, nourishment and care to be strong and be ready to be an adult. I offer my last words of love as I breathe my last. It’s only right. Circle of my Life has come full circle.

If I have today, who do I want to hug and hold in my arms for the last time?

The sweetest and hardest hugs are the ones that are the farthest. Distance is cruel. Destiny leaves a void. My last hugs are for those I love but haven’t shown physical affection for many years. I imagine stepping foot on a my Parent’s Balcony, then opening the front door that is never locked unless it’s time to sleep. At the living room, the lights are dimmed except the dining table where my Dad is eating, then my Mom enters from the Kitchen holding a newly cooked Adobo. They didn’t notice I’m watching them silently frozen. My heart is pounding. My chest feels like exploding. No matter how I tried to hold back my tears, they just started falling. Then the hugs. At that point, the past and all its pain drifted like it never existed. I’m Home. I’m at peace. But for how long?
My happiness is as easy as having To Go burger with my family overlooking a free million dollar Ocean view. I have learned to take time doing what I enjoy, try to relax and take care of myself, though it makes me feel guilty sometimes. I grew up in a mindset that self sacrifice for Family is both love and obligation. To pursue one’s happiness is consider being selfish. West and East Culture and Influence can be very conflicting.

It’s the end of World. Everything we devoted our time suddenly become insignificant. We drop everything we’re doing. The most important thing we must do suddenly becomes crystal clear and we pray we make it in time to do it, say it, be with.

One day, I would like to sit by a porch overlooking the Ocean or the Mountains waiting for the Sunrise and the Sunset. No more worries. Just life being good and not in a hurry.

Some die suddenly, some gets a chance for one more Birthday. Others have few months to many years. No one knows when is ours, but we can hope that we get to appreciate the preciousness and fleetingness of Life and Time just before Death takes what’s his. We can hope we’ve lived our lives exactly how we want it, and not feel cheated.

My Birthday celebration started the day after my actual B-day. We drove to Davenport to fix two cravings, Food and Nature. First stop, Davenport Roadhouse.
Food were bursting in flavors. How I can taste literally the grilled smoke of a medium rare Steak was amazing. The Philly Rib Eye, Oh, La, La! I saw my Son bite the medium cooked Burger and the juices dripped down to his plate. I asked, “Are you happy with your Burger. He replied, “Yes.” I did promise him good food as an incentive to go Hiking with me. Bribe? It worked.
It’s not really true that money can’t buy happiness. It can by vacations, it can buy 6.59/gallon gas for road trips, it can buy food, all can lead to possible happy experiences and moments. Money is not evil in itself. We do need money to live comfortably. Why we work is exactly to have money to pay for our wants, needs and desires. Happiness no matter short is still happiness, and I’m grateful for that.

My Life, I work 5 days a week, 2 days of rest and catching up on time however I want. This is my routine and cycle since I joined the Nursing Work Pool in America at 31. everything was planned and scheduled that repeats week per week, year per year. Every pay period, I get free vacation hours that accumulates enough to extend rest and fun days to 1-2 weeks few times a year. This extended vacation hours means so much to me because it’s more time with Family and to myself. It is extra time to enjoy life, heal, reevaluate my purpose. They are my priced Mental and Emotional Health Days. They are as important as breathing air to survive. They are my batteries so I can continue to give, serve, function, smile, be a ray of positivity and sunshine above 100% performance from clock in to clock out.

I finished the Philly Rib Eye. It was a big serving. I don’t normally eat that much. So time to hike and burn those calories. I was having reflux.
Anywhere along Highway 1 are beaches. Choosing can be confusing. I decided to hike towards the concrete swing by the beach. It’s of what’s left of a pier long time ago. Why it’s there is a mystery when it is challengingly steep to go down for up close experience.

“It’s easy to forget that we are not born to live forever. It’s easy to forget all things eventually end and cease to exist. It’s easy to forget we get old, wrinkled and that our Brain Cells do die everyday losing memories that once were dear. It’s easy to forget we are God’s creation with a purpose and not acting God defying or ignoring our purpose.”

Some places we go, beautiful patches of wild blooms grows from the pieces of ourselves we left behind as flower seeds.
20 miles per hour wind made it harder to go down the beach. I skipped it for next time. Son warned me not to. He was being smart and cautious.

Today is the day I was born 51 years ago. Now, that feels so very long time ago. I’m old and will just get older. No denying that worrisome truth. Worry because honestly, I’m concerned of being old when I still have so many youthful dreams I wanted to do. Worry because I don’t want to stare at the mirror feeling 31 but looking 51? Thinking, feeling and looking young matters to me. Worry because I don’t want to experience chronic degenerative aches and pains? Worry because sometimes I see myself in some of my Patients, and they are in pain, suffering, alone in their fight with sickness and anxiety. Worry because I don’t want restrictions to my untamed mind and heart. Freedom and Adventures matters to me.

As I got older, I cared less of my fears and tried the unimaginable. Younger, I was scared of heights. Ferris Wheel brings butterflies in my tummy. The past few years, it’s walking on side of cliffs, ravines and riding thrill rides. Anything to feel alive and excited.
He walked near the tip like it was nothing. I followed, but my feet were unsteady from the strong winds. After a quick picture, I backed out. I was being smart and cautious this time. It felt unsafe.

This is me being honest on my Birthday and reflecting on my fears and troubled heart. This is me doing what matters to me, time and moments with Family and some quiet time for myself. No parties. Just lots of outdoors, mindfulness and Roadtrip Adventures.

Swanton Berry Farm is our must stop for the best Homemade Organic Sweetest Blueberry Pie and Hot Apple Strawberry Cider. $7 a piece seems expensive but it’s worth the delight in one’s mouth. It’s my Birthday, so I asked for the entire pie which turned out cheaper considering how many slices I ate. I had 3. All that sugar, had to walk it off.

“51 candles are too much, one candle is enough as long as it’s lit with genuine, unconditional Love.”

These are just one of the many gems that awaits anyone that seeks the many Adventures and Discoveries of Santa Cruz County. Everyone can choose their escape and getaway. Many beaches are free.

To all who shared the Heart and pieces of this blog, Thank You. I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness in each feedback and reply you’ve written. Thank you for the likes, the kind support and for sharing your side of life and adventures generously. You all make blogging an enriching journey and experience year after year.

“We bloom and whither, bloom and wither till we used the last borrowed seeds of life.” Last stop, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz. I took a walk along West Cliff. Yellow flowers everywhere. I walked towards one of the rock edges and found a quiet place to sit down away from People. The World was all mine for a few minutes. These flowers sat next to me. It understood my heart without me speaking.
Not everyone gets to say goodbye. Often we’re busy being busy. Many won’t even have a chance to beg and bargain. Live while still alive. Never linger feeling dead while alive. We will never have enough of time that is just about us and all that we care in this World. Picture: Lilies on a pond that overflows into the Ocean. It’s sewage water that looks like a Waterfall from afar. Even with dirty water full of harmful chemicals, beautiful blooms grows. That’s hope. That’s miracle happening right before my eyes.
West Cliff close to Sunset. Few hours at the places I enjoy, experiencing what I love all over again with my Wife and Son. This is the celebration I want. It’s what makes me happy. It is my Birthday after all. No wishes. I want tomorrow to surprise me.

Son, being himself told his Mom, “Dad is old but he thinks young.” Should I be concerned I don’t feel my age? Is it reckless if I think I can be anything I want, do whatever I want, go wherever I want?” I would like to believe age is but a number and I get to control the narrative of the rest of my life starting today.

About Island Traveler

Just a Man too curious where his dreams will take him.
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37 Responses to If I Have Today

  1. ~M says:

    This is such a wonderful post. Really speaks to my heart. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My Rollercoaster Journey says:

    Happy belated birthday! I’m catching up on blog reading. Very powerful post. Made me reflect on who I would hug and stay with and my answers were my son and my parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful birthday to you! Stumbled upon this and felt like I took a beautiful travel trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks . I’m glad you enjoyed. It’s nice to travel through other people’s eyes and experience. It’s still kind of expensive and hard to travel internationally and seeing destinations that are close has been a great blessing and wonder.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aisyah says:

    Happy birthday! May you have a great, happy, successful and healthy life ahead! I love how your writing is all personal yet relatable to all of us at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I believe human emotions and circumstances share something universal, regardless of where we are in the World. Being open to what really is happening in our mind and heart is the key for unlocking the doors many of us have created to shield us from more pain and sadness. We set ourselves free by being able to acknowledge and share our truths. It’s makes the pain and sadness better, easier by the day. And that’s hope that things will get better for all of us.


  5. Heartfelt words with great photos. Thank you 😊 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ourcrossings says:

    Happy Birthday to you! Wishing you a fantastic birthday and a wonderful year ahead. Make every day count!

    We’ve all thought about when our last day on earth will be and what we would do. I would most certainly spend time with my friends and family. I would gather the people I love and I would soak in their hugs and kisses and cherish hearing their voices. I would remind them what I love about them and tell them what I’ve been meaning to say.

    On the other note – Swanton Berry Farm looks like an amazing place to stop by! Nothing tastes as good as fresh berries! Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Aiva for sharing your thoughts and heart what to do on “last day of Earth.” It’s beautiful and something I would love to do too. Yes, fresh berries are the best. Going to Swanton always in an adventure and so many beaches to pass by along the way. Have a wonderful week my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. “Age is how you choose to feel” ( I second Notes’ comment!)
    Yours has been a unique journey with many chapters, and you’ve shared so many stories with us – you are our surrogate family as you and your wife had doted on your son and given him unconditional love and encouragement to become whatever he’s like to be.
    Your work for the past two years has been extremely challenging, and most likely there are times when your soul feels very weary – what a world – you and your teams trying to keep people well, have witnessed too much suffering, risked your own lives (still are) to help those who are ill – while other people challenge modern science. These have been hard times.

    You deserve those breaks, where the flowers sit beside you.

    As always, thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. May the next trip around the sun be an easier one. You’ve earned and deserve it!

    Love, Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lisa for a very thoughtful, kind and generously supportive feedback. Yes, the last 2 years has been challenging as both work and personal but I am thankful that I have job that gets to help people while at the same time allows me to have short vacays and time for self and family. My blog community has been one of my anchors in this Pandemic. It kept me sane and grounded when things are chaotic and scary. Truly a blessing to have such a wonderful Blog family. ♥️🙏


  10. Happy Birthday to you my friend, I hope you got everything you had desired and maybe not desired but gotten pleasantly surprised by, on your very special day. I do know that the world you are surrounded with is very happy that you were born. Enjoy your young age and mind every moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you my Friend. Yes, I got my birthday wish and more. It is nice to stay away from work and just focus on family and self. This is the kind of celebration and gift I want knowing how precious time and moments are. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy birthday, wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ab says:

    A wonderful beloved Happy Birthday to you! What a wonderful way to celebrate your special day with that delicious lunch, pie and nature scenery with your family. You are as young as you feel – but also more carefree about your worries and smarter about the risks that you take!

    I don’t know what happened between you and your parents but it’s obvious it causes you continued pain and grief. I hope that whatever caused you two divide will find a way to bring your hearts and bodies closer to each other one day soon. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ab both for the well wishes and kindness. I’m hoping to go home to see my Parents this Summer and hopefully Love is enough to heal and forget. I never thought I would be that person I see in the movies where leaving becomes very difficult and loving another person becomes a tug of war of loyalty and affection. It’s easy to loose Hope and give up but deep inside it doesn’t feel right, and as still continues to give pain and grief. Sometimes, I don’t recognize anymore myself and people I grew up with in the span of 20 years. Distance and circumstances do change people, and lies becomes a poison that breaks even the strongest of families. But God is good and I know he will be there when the time come. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ab says:

        That is a huge step you are planning to take this summer. Follow your heart and trust that your pure intentions will guide you where you need to go, regardless of the outcome.

        20 years is a long time and for sure you will not be the same person you were. That means you’ve travelled and experienced a lot, for better or for worse! 😊

        Wishing you healing times with your family this summer!!!


  13. Happy Birthday!! I completely agree about how time away from work is so important to just unwind, recharge, and focus on what matters in life like spending time with loved ones or being outside in nature. Hope you had a wonderful time spending your birthday with the people you love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did. It is very important to escape from our World and Work. We went to Carmel and just got back today. It was nice to just think of nature and enjoying time with family. My Son said I talk in my sleep, which are probably part of Stress at Work and Life. Self healing is important. To relax is key to facing the next chapters of life better. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. elvira797mx says:

    Happy Birthday! Age it’s something mental, if you feel young, strong, healthy, happy, you will be like that. Thank’s for share a wonderful post and photos!
    Enjoy! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Liz Au says:

    May God bless you and your family abundantly. ~Liz

    Liked by 1 person

  16. May you live a long and healthy life so you can enjoy all that you love for as much time as possible. Happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Notes says:

    Age is how you choose to feel.
    Enjoy the Love of your family.
    Happy Birthday !

    Liked by 1 person

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