Miracle & Me: A Life of Gratitude

     During the peak of reconnecting with longtime friends on Facebook to include sleepless nights on Farmtown, Farmville and Café World, in early 2009, I received a Facebook request from a high school friend to write a note on the topic “25 Random Things About Me”.

     I thought it was an interesting exercise for me to reflect on things I thought about myself, while it may have sounded trivial to some.  It was also a good getting-to-know-you activity for most of us who have lost touch after several years.  And so, I wrote the list and went with the flow of my thoughts.

     The very first random thought that came to mind was that of my gratitude for each and every day God has given me.  Interestingly, I ended the list, again with an expression of thanksgiving for all the people in my life and the life-changing events that have shaped me to what I have become now.  The writing exercise seemed as if I was starting my day giving thanks and ending my day with a prayer of thanksgiving, when actually, I feel grateful for each and every moment of my life.

     Living a life of gratitude is rooted from my childhood years when mama used to tell me the story of me being a “miracle baby”.  Mama, along with our relatives, would re-tell the story of me having an accident while I was on my walker when I was nine months old.  To their surprise, I did not inflict any kind of injury (internal and external) and not a single bruise.  All I did was cried my heart out, probably from the shock caused by the incident.  Mama only told me details of the incident when I was already in elementary when she probably thought I was mature enough to understand the story.  From then on, she would always remind me, to this day, especially during my birthdays, to give thanks for my second life and all the blessings I have received.

     Along with that, she would always remark, “Anak, may misyon ka pa sa buhay.” (Child, you still have a mission in life).  As a child then, when all I cared about was school and playing patintero and trading stationeries and Care Bear stickers with my friends, I did not fully understand the gist of the story and mama’s conviction in her reminders.  I did not care what my mission in life was back then.

      Until one fateful night, my life changed forever.  In late 2000, at the peak of my young adult years, we had a car accident while cruising the dark, barely-lit streets of New Manila on my way home with friends.  The incident left our vehicle wrecked while all the five of us still intact in our seats.  It was fortunate for us having worn our seat belts on that fateful night.  I was on the passenger seat and got almost hit by the approaching car coming in perpendicular from our right.  I was spared from the collision with the arriving car getting slammed on the right side of the engine and not on the passenger side where I was.

     My world came to a pause.  My mind blacked out and I became unconscious for several moments, until one friend spoke, “Okay lang kayo?” (Are you all okay?).  It felt like I woke up from a long sleep.  My whole body felt so numbed that I could barely move.  The only major pain I felt was from a big scrape on my right arm.  When my consciousness and senses came together, my very first thought was being grateful for having awakened to a new life.  It was the beginning of my third life.

     Since then, for the last 13 years, I have striven to treat each moment of my life as if it could be my last.  For me, it means having total peace of mind in all aspects of my life.  It means saying what I need to say, especially to the people who matter most to me.  It means doing what my heart tells me to do.  It means being genuinely happy.  It means being true with myself.

     I have learned to accept that everything in life is impermanent and that change is inevitable.   I learned to accept that in any given time, in the blink of an eye, our life can change…anything or anyone in our life can change.  Letting go or accepting these changes in our life is one of the toughest things to do.

     During the past 13 years, I have been awakened to…

  • Take care of my health–mind, body and spirit 
  • Accept failure and use it as a springboard to better my self 
  • Turn my wounds into wisdom
  • Breathe and endure life’s obstacles/challenges with composure 
  • Open myself to learning and possibilities 
  • Focus and keep a positive outlook in life 
  • Remind myself to never assume, especially when dealing with the people in my life–personal/professional 
  • Say/write and express what I sincerely feel 
  • Pursue and work on things I am passionate about 
  • Be kind and compassionate whenever I can 
  • Let go of hatred, anger and negative vibes/energies.  Life is short to keep them in my life. 
  • Listen and follow my heart 
  • Accept that genuine happiness/inner peace depend upon myself.  External happiness, in any form, is what I consider an “extra bonus” as everything in life will come to pass. 

     Above all these, I still carry with me mama’s childhood reminder of me still having a mission in life.  I may not be able to fully discern what my mission is but I will forever live with a grateful heart, especially with all the “extra bonuses” that are yet to come.

     I no longer expect much in life.  I have been through so much in life that I simply strive doing things I would not want to regret not doing in this lifetime. I also strive letting go of everything that does not add to my happiness and inner peace.

     I am grateful for having this chance imparting with you my heart, my deepest thoughts, my deepest being.

Some of my most treasured childhood memories


About the Author

     Angela Antonio started her career as a marketing executive in the airline-tourism industry.  In her pursuit of serving humanity, Angela entered the education field and recently accomplished her master’s degree in Special Education.  As Angela aspires to live her passion, vision, and purpose—Zen & Sea came to life. Angela founded and conceptualized Zen & Sea back in the summer of 2006. Angela enjoys traveling, cooking, crafting,  singing, music, yoga/meditation, and nature trips.

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