|Thank you to my friend, Jordan for this.|
Birthdays are a potpourri of memories of past celebrations of our birth - many fond, some fun, a few bittersweet, and, maybe for some, even upsetting. But regardless, each year is a celebration because we are blessed enough to wake up to a brand new year of life. And I know I appreciate it more this year than I ever have.
I used to hate my Birthday. Honestly. I dreaded its arrival. I guess I never felt the day was a happy reminder that I was still here, but more a reminder that I wasn't wanted in the first place. That's a whole other backstory that I'll save for another creative nonfiction story but I just never felt anything on this day.
My grandparents made sure my Birthday was a big deal every year. I had a special dinner, presents and my grandmother had a close family friend who'd make my cake every year. I was grateful for their thoughtfulness but for some reason, something always seemed to be missing. In retrospect, maybe knowing a bit too much about how I was really brought into our world left me with a feeling of sadness...of wondering why others wanted to celebrate the life of someone who was never meant to be here.
But you know what? I was.
After many years, and many passed Birthdays, I've realized that I was meant to be here and for whatever reason, my Higher Power thinks I still am. Two years ago, I almost succumbed to complications of liver disease (which I still cope with every day). I don't remember very much but I do remember one nurse who reminded me on a daily basis not to give up. That if I had finished everything I was supposed to finish on my life's journey, I wouldn't have woken up. I hold her words close to my heart to this day whenever I get down or want to give up. If someone up there believes I still have work to do down here, I will stay strong enough to do so.
Birthdays don't scare me or bring me down anymore. I now see them more as a beautiful reminder, something my children instilled in me (who are more excited about my day than I ever was). And even if it's decided that I don't need to wake up tomorrow, I'll be at rest knowing that it all meant...something.
Have you reached a milestone too? Why not write about your thoughts and feelings about your day too?