So it's my birthday. Happy birthday to me. I have been overwhelmed with birthday wishes from friends and family and from my new friends on Facebook and the blog community. It's a wonderful feeling!
Birthdays can take on different meanings as you get older. Some people want to stop counting at a particular age - it was 39 for me for awhile - while others want to celebrate with abandon as they snatch one more year of life from the ever-dwindling supply available to us. But for the terminally ill, birthdays become much more meaningful. They are in such short supply that it is impossible to ignore them and they become key milestones in our remaining journey. I choose to celebrate my birthday as a tangible indicator that I am still alive and still determined to beat the odds and get from this one to the next. This is where my optimism shines through and where a postive attitude can take root and strengthen my resolve.
Others may try to forget because they view such milestones as countdown markers leading to their death - a measure of how little time they may have left. But as much as they try, they really can't forget because choosing to not celebrate gives power to the day as well. It certainly can't be ignored!
When you are living with a terminal diagnosis it is often a struggle to give meaning to each day you have. You try your best to make the most of each and every day - to milk the very best and very happiest of the time you have, particularly with those accompanying you on your journey. Otherwise, you find your days measured by other things - a handful of pills in the morning, a couple more at night, another handful of fills with a slight adjustment the next day and then a couple more at night. Every day must have meaning and it is often a struggle to find that meaning as the days count down. But give me a birthday and I will pack it full of meaning. I'm alive and right now life is very good.
Today, my brother and nephew are down from out east and, big surprise, my son showed up from way out west to be with me today and for a couple of weeks. Nothing could have made me happier.
So here I am. It's my birthday and I'm surrounded by people I love. It may indeed be my last one, but it's my birthday and I'm surrounded by people I love.
Life is good today.