Today is Tita Minda's birthday. She has been with us since she was 19. She is now 29. I see it fit to dedicate this entry to her. First, I'd like to greet her a very happy birthday. Second, I thank Allah for her birth and for letting her enter into our family.
It wasn't long ago that my youngest brother would refer to her as his other sister. She was not only been a "Tita" or an "Ate" to us but she has also been a surrogate mother when my mother could not attend to us. She was our keeper of the house - not just in the literal sense but also in the sense that as part of our family, she has managed to raise us by being a supportive sister, an understanding listener, but most importantly a dedicated friend.
On numerous occasions, she has more than hugged me and tried to dry my tears that had uncontrollably swelled and fallen from my eyes. She didn't know some of the reasons I had shed them but she was there to comfort me.
She had taken care of me when I was sick and had been confined in the hospital. She has seen me at my best and at my worst moments. But she remains - a loyal friend.
She came to us with a few blank pages of knowledge to fill. She learned to cook with us and now she is a remarkable chef that even my youngest brother, Christopher, would rather eat at home than to dine out. She is always eager to learn, always updating herself. She is intelligent not just academically and no test should have to qualify her mental prowess. She has survived the "school of life" and she lives ever full of God's grace and serves as a source of comfort and love.
She is our other sister, my mother's other daughter, my youngest brother's other mother. She has taught Christopher how to love. Even in his stubbornness, he softens and melts like ice when Tita offers him kind words and just admonishment. She has taught my brothers to work around the house. She has taught them to love one another. She is a living example of unconditional love.
Endowed with a caring heart, a giving soul, a propensity to love, she is the best sister or daughter anyone can ever have.
Ate-Tita Minda, We LOVE You!!! Happy Birthday!