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A Birthday Gift

A year ago, Dad’s birthday fell two weeks after he died, one week after his Celebration of Life.

My mom celebrated his birthday by arranging for everyone in the local coffee shop to get free coffee that morning. And she took gifts of appreciation to the nurses at the local hospital.

Birthdays weren’t a huge deal when I was growing up. I definitely felt like it was a special day, and everyone celebrated, but…the world didn’t stop. No matter how extravagant a celebration or gift, the world stops for no one.

My dad (and mom) rarely asked for anything for their birthdays. They always said they didn’t need anything. It’s not that they had everything possible. It’s that they had what they needed and much of what they wanted.

They were thankful to celebrate another year of life.

Birthdays are celebrations of life. We don’t have to wait until someone dies to celebrate his or her life. We can celebration others’ lives and our own today and every day.

Give a gift today. Celebrate life. Extend a hand, encouragement, and smile. Have a conversation. Listen well. Look someone in the eyes and tell him or her what you’d say if you knew he or she wouldn’t be around tomorrow. Write a note of appreciation. Be kind to a stranger.

Every day is someone’s birthday. Every day, we can learn, grow, and start something new. Every day, we can celebrate life.