Yes, it is my birthday today. I turn 37, classified by many as 'late thirties'. But guess what, I have needed my parents today more than any other birthday in the past. Not for their presents anymore, but simply their presence.
You would think that if I got as old as I am today, I would be dancing with joy. I lived yet another year, making new memories, friends, experiences and of course, mistakes! And came out quite alright on the other end. Don't get me wrong..I am very grateful for all of the above! But I was not feeling my usual happy self this morning. I think it is because I thought I would have accomplished a bunch of things from my list of life goals. As most things in life, very few of those items are checked off, and many of those may never get done.
I was wallowing in my morbid thoughts, when I turned on my phone to see a flood of wishes from friends far and near. Thank you to each of you for being so thoughtful..that did cheer me up a bit! Then having my 5-year old sing his version of 'Happy Birthday to you, Cha Cha Cha,' and seeing a silly insurance form completed by my dear hubby, which i was supposed to finish today, made me happier. Yes, you cannot believe how 'real' your expectations become as you get older!
But I was still unhappy about my List. That's when I started missing my Dad.
He would always have the best list of wishes for us. He was known as a man of few words, but on our birthdays, he had the most number of things to say and write in our cards. A lot of it would be listing our achievements in the past year, and then wishing us on our next steps. He would have known what to say to make this big hole in my heart slip away. I sometimes wish I had recorded those phone calls or messages, just to hear his voice.
And then my Mom called. She was more happy about my birthday than I was, and I admire her strong will power. After letting me rant and whine about everything, she calmly said, "Well today is your birthday, so be thankful about what you have accomplished and stop crying about the have-nots. There is so much to be thankful for in life, your health, your family, your friends, your community. Go out and have fun, and leave your worrying for tomorrow." This coming from a lady who has had to deal with such a big loss in life in the past 6 months. I admire her for her courage and will to move on, and yet find words to comfort my pain.
Be Thankful for what you have - Such a simple, yet powerful message, that we often fail to acknowledge ourselves. We always need a sounding board for our fears and sorrows, and most likely its our parents. Heck, I am a mom myself and I still needed to hear it from my mother. Again, there is nothing new in this piece of wisdom, but its often forgotten.
So thank you for being such a valuable part of my life, Mom and Dad. Thank you to my loving husband and son, to all my family and friends who stand by me no matter what. I will pick myself up and go celebrate for the life I have, for the List I accomplished even without asking for it!
Leaving you with a quick snapshot of my son's birthday card for me. Coincidentally, its a picture of a butterfly coming out of its cocoon..so what if its on a Christmas card!
Have a great weekend :)