Yesterday was my birthday.
As far as birthdays go, the day started out pretty uneventful. No balloons, no party, no cake and ice cream.
Seeing as I am one year away from entering a new decade, I don’t make a big deal out of my birthday any more and I just don’t need that kind of birthday hoopla. For me, it’s just another day in the life, turning one year older and hopefully, wiser.
Now a real day for celebratory mode happened last month when Mother’s Day rolled around on the calendar. Mother’s Day is special to me because I am the mom of three grown children, a mom-in-law to three more special people, and I remember with love and fondness my own mother and mother-in-law who are no longer with us.
This year, Mother’s Day proved a true celebration because all three of my offspring and their spouses traveled all those many miles that keep us apart to come home to our house for that weekend. This blessed me immeasurably because it was their idea to all converge on the home place.
Mama’s Empty Nest was a full house once again. Full of those I love. Full of happiness. Full of laughter. Full of conversations. Full of noise! Full of fun and good food and the joy of being together as a family.
As each couple arrived, my joy-meter soared and it continued that way through the entire Mother’s Day weekend. Eloquently written, meaningful cards and a perky springtime bouquet of flowers were bestowed upon me and while, the gifts are lovely, the family time spent together means so much more.
That weekend was just full of happy, happy, happy. Chats on the couch, stories shared, and friendly competition while bonding over video games, which previously laid unused and forgotten, proved to be highlights of our weekend. That and remote control helicopters flying around the family room!
Sunday brought a full pew end to end at church with all eight of us squeezed in together for worship. We enjoyed a sumptuous brunch afterwards and one by one, each couple climbed back in their vehicles for their long drives back to their lives elsewhere.
With that under my belt, you can understand why my birthday wasn’t a big deal. My family had just been here a few weeks earlier. So I expected a quiet, uneventful birthday and that’s what I received.
But oh, there were still blessings poured into my quiet day. My near-by sister treated me to lunch after church. My far-away sister phoned me to sing Happy Birthday greetings.
One my one, my children and spouses called to tell me they loved me and wish me a happy day. My dear 96-year-old friend also telephoned me with birthday wishes.
My personal Facebook page blew up with happy greetings and well wishes. And hubby and I spent a nice peaceful day at home on a beautiful summer-like day just like I love – sunny but not hot with a cooling breeze wafting through.
So it really wasn’t uneventful after all because I felt loved and cared for, content and happy to spend a little time conversing with the ones I love and being remembered. Isn’t that how every day should be spent?
And that made me think how many people exist that not only don’t get many birthday celebrations, they don’t feel loved or that their lives even matter to anyone every day. For whatever reason, their days are spent in loneliness or regret or illness or unhappiness. And that reminded me how blessed I truly am and that I must do my part to bless and encourage others whose lives I might touch.
Today is June 3. It’s one day after my birthday. When I positioned myself at my desk this morning at work, I turned over the leaves on my daily desk calendar on which are printed many of the quotes and scriptures I love.
As I did that, I stopped to read what was transcribed on the date of my birthday. This is the quotation I read from Stephen Grellet, Quaker missionary: “I expect to pass through the world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer not neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Those words written long ago transformed themselves into a message just for me, a message deemed to be an excellent way to commence the first day of another year of life. I pray I remember the message each and every day.