My husband thinks it's a bit morbid that I continue to celebrate my parents' birthdays even though they are no longer here, passed on to Life beyond life. But I don't think so and I need to put it out here because there is a lesson for all of us in remembering. From where I sit, it's not dark and sad. It's ripe with celebration of who they were, who they will always be to me. It's my way of pausing and honoring my Mom and Dad, keeping them in my vocabulary, staying connected in an abstract, but very real way. I think of them every day, but these days are special, just as they were before death overshadowed.
Today my Mom would have been 87. I lost her nearly three years ago when I was on the other side of the world in one of the most remote destinations I have ever visited, a boat ride, a float plane and several commercial jets away. I didn't make it back in time to hold her hand, to see her off and she died alone. It's a heartbreak I'll never quite get over.
So today, as I blow a birthday kiss to Heaven, I think also about you and me in the present, too. This is our lesson, Underdogs: Grab someone you love and kiss or hug them in the here and now. Peace after our goodbyes comes only from being there for one another before we part. Pick up the phone and call. Tell her you love her. Tell him all you hold in your heart. You never know when you'll be too far away, literally or figuratively, to get there in time. Today is all that's promised. Make sure it counts.
And happy birthday, Mom! Thanks for this lesson, one of many. Love lives on.