I think it's strange that we wait until someone dies to have a celebration of life. Don't get me wrong. It's a beautiful way to send someone off when they have passed from life to Life. But why don't we do it sooner as well? And often? Every day?
Today is my own little celebration of life. It's my birthday, a time to rejoice in the privilege of another year breathing this air, loving my people, being a witness to life. Another set of 365 days to try again and again to get things my own version of right. To fail and to get back up. To succeed and lay my head on my pillow at night with satisfaction. A year to talk to my kids, watch them grow, love my husband in new and wonderful ways, pet the dogs as they lay their heads in my lap, content just to be with me. Just to be. Days to taste the delicious array of foods, feel the cold and the warmth and be out in the world. What sweet blessing.
But shouldn't every day be this celebration? A dying man would tell you, "Yes! Yes!" But we are all headed to the same end so why wait to take this grateful approach? Why not right now? We know gratitude yields a slew of benefits. Science tells us so and experience backs that up. The happiest people are grateful people. We need to stop and give thanks every day.
So thank You, God, for another year on the planet and for the path You have directed since I was first me. Thank you, birth mother, for choosing life even though you weren't equipped to take care of it. Thank you mom and dad for choosing me by choosing adoption, for loving me and guiding me and letting me know you are still near. Thank you Andrew for trying so hard, growing so much and loving us well. We are nothing short of a miracle. Thank you Christian and Jason for being my best teachers and the ones who push me the hardest to be the woman God created me to be. Thank you friends and family for loving me, supporting me, enriching every day of my life. You make it a lovely, blessed journey. And thank you, Underdogs, my dear ones who join me here to read and connect. Without you, the words I write, the feelings I share fall into a vacuum of nothing-ness. You give this meaning.
Today, go out and celebrate your life. Or the life of someone you love. Don't wait for a birthday. Make a list of what you would say about you at your own end of life celebration. Or about the other person at theirs. What good have you done? What love have you shown? In what ways have you given and received? What were your triumphs? How have you learned from your failures and your challenges? I have faced many in this past year, hard times, impossible times and they are our best teachers. Embrace it all, Underdogs, the joys and the struggles, because it is all life and life is precious. Every single day of it.
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