My Husband Chose a Simple Birthday Celebration

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by Alliah Czarielle |

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My husband, Jared, recently celebrated his birthday. Hooray for 29 years of fighting and surviving!

He opted for a low-key celebration at home with me, our daughter, Cittie, and her nanny. Because it was a weekday and I had to work, we didn’t have much time to do anything particularly special. Besides, even if we wanted to leave the house, we would’ve hesitated due to the spike in COVID-19 cases here in the Philippines.

Jared was perfectly fine with spending his birthday indoors. In fact, he wanted to treat it like any other day. He sat at the kitchen table from morning till late afternoon working on his newfound charcuterie hobby. Being the home cook he is, he spent the day preparing a long chain of sausages by hand.

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As soon as my shift was over, we went to the nearest shops to buy food. Then we returned home to have a simple yet quirky family dinner.

Jared isn’t too fond of sweets, so he exchanged the traditional birthday cake for a large pizza. (He now had a meat cake, we joked.) To preserve the celebratory element of the unconventional birthday, I suggested that we add a candle. However, we couldn’t find any birthday candles at home or at the store, so we settled for a large “blackout candle” in a pastel orange hue. We also had an unused cake topper lying around, which came in handy as a prop.

birthday | Hemophilia News Today | Alliah hugs her husband, Jared, while their daughter, Cittie, sits on his lap. They are all smiling for a photo with a pizza and large orange candle on the table in front of them.

Celebrating Jared’s birthday in a quiet yet quirky way. (Courtesy of Alliah Czarielle)

We took pictures and sang “Happy Birthday” in a manner that was anything but organized. Then Jared and Cittie both refused to blow out the candle. I expected this, since neither one likes attention. In the end, Cittie experimented with how far away from the candle she could stand and still blow out the flame. But she only felt secure enough to do this when she thought no one was looking.

Jared once told me that he already feels “too exceptional” due to his health conditions. Growing up as the only kid at his school with hemophilia meant he often received special treatment from his classmates and teachers. Sometimes, being that one “sick kid” even worked as a free pass for him to do just about anything he wanted. At times, this label made it easy for him to get away with mischief. He wasn’t proud of it, but it was his reality.

Now that Jared is an adult, he simply wishes to lead a semblance of a normal life within his limitations, as far away from the spotlight as he can get. While he appreciates other people’s care and concern, he doesn’t want any more attention.

Jared wants other people to be seen, too. In fact, one of his life missions is to help other people shine, even in ways that he can’t. He happily supports me in my chosen career paths. He is also committed to teaching Cittie self-reliance and resilience — two traits he doesn’t believe he possesses, but hopes to develop within himself. Through these actions, he shows selflessness and maturity. And I find that respectable.

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Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.

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