To Celebrate

celebrateAre you like me on your birthday? Do you ever wonder if you might be getting surprised? When I was 30 years old, Karen did just that. She surprised me with a huge party of family and friends. There was music, a DJ, lots of food, and being surrounded by loving family and friends. I remember thinking, “Wow! This is Awesome!

Yesterday, Karen and I discussed whether we should get friends together to go out and celebrate my birthday (we wouldn’t be able to celebrate tonight because of an event already scheduled). As the day moved on, we heard a group was getting together and going out. They are lots of fun to hang out with. Do we join them or do we do our own thing?

We decided to celebrate by the two of us going out to dinner and then to see standup comedy. Time together – to share, to laugh, to look into each other’s eyes at the dinner table and exchange no words – the moments where you don’t have to talk. You can just sit quietly looking into each other’s eyes and feeling the appreciation for mutual love, attraction, and gratitude. Those minutes or sometimes seconds of being in the moment.

Following dinner was a nice walk in the surrounding neighborhood and then the comedy show. Laughing is sooo much fun! Watching Karen laugh is the best. Her smile rocks.

Today includes going out for a fun meal with Karen and the two youngest boys to their favorite restaurant. Eating at their favorite restaurant always leads to smiles. The two older boys are away at college and so talking to them on the phone brings smiles. Smiles make for a wonderful birthday.

While incredibly grateful for the memories of my 30th Birthday party, the party is not what I remember most today. When technology did not make it easy to do so, Karen produced and gave me a 30th Birthday CD as my gift. The CD was filled with over 30 people throughout my life leaving messages for me. In those recordings were shared life memories, insights, friendship, and love. To this day, sometimes when I’m listening to music on my iPhone, one of the tracks from that CD begins playing. Soon, I find myself wanting to listen to more of the messages on the CD.

The party was never the celebration. No party is. The celebration was and continues to be the LOVE shared.

A birthday is a great time to reflect. On this day 45 years ago, my Mom endured through the pain of childbirth as only Moms can understand – to bring me into this world . . . to experience love each and every day and to live as fully as possible.

To each of you who have come into my life since that day in 1970, THANK YOU for being you and for the love you continue to share.

YOU are what I celebrate today.

Tralfamadore’s understanding of death

“The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, and so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.”
~ Billy from “Slaugheterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut.

This passage is a reinforcer of why funerals are meant to be celebrations. Celebrate the moments you have with the deceased. The moments are STILL with you – some more meaningful now than they were at the moment of occurrence.

Of course this is my interpretation. What is yours? Please share in the Comments Section below:

tralfamadore