I get to celebrate a birthday in the next week. There is always a small shiver of excitement that runs through me when July rolls around. It's my birthday month! It brings to mind hot, sunny days, running through the sprinkler, eating popsicles, riding bikes, and the hope of birthday cake and presents. Even though I am a working adult, that little bit of excitement is still there.
When I was young, I could never have imagined myself to be 50+ with streaks of gray in my hair. Today, if I don't look in the mirror, I still feel the soul of that young child in me. The child that wants to skip with joy when I think of my upcoming birthday. I want to bounce and clap with the anticipation of happiness and specialness that makes a birthday something to celebrate. I am the odd one that likes to tell strangers it is my birthday. I tell the mail carrier. I tell the cashier, or the gas attendant who doesn't even look up at our transaction. I say "Today is my birthday" and that person will perk up and smile and wish me well, and that makes my day.
These last few months - actually this year - has been a struggle for my family and friends. We have sadly lost people close to us. We have seen and prayed for loved ones facing health crises, and currently have loved ones struggling to fight atrocious cancers. [Thinking of Tre'von, Tim, Mom, Uncle Dick, Tami, Debbie, Brian, KT…and the list goes on.] My prayer list has gotten longer - so long, that instead of having to count sheep to fall asleep, if I start my prayers for all of those in need, I usually fall asleep before I get to the end of the list. My Grandmother Dorothy always said that "it's okay to fall asleep in prayer, because the angels will always finish it for you". (Love and miss you, Grandma.)
Keeping in mind all of those who are struggling, and all who know how short life can be, as the saying goes...each day is a gift. We should celebrate the lives of those around us, each and every day. A birthday is a blessed reminder of that special milestone.
So…bring on the birthdays…shout to the world...and let's celebrate!
[Happy Birthday to Baron, Miranda, Pam S., Keith/FeFe, Mom, Elizabeth, Matthew…]