Life Worth Celebrating
TRIVIA TIME – Recorded on 7” vinyl in 1963, American singer Lesley Gore first sang, “It’s My Party.” The song lyrically portrays the embarrassment of a teenage girl at her birthday party when her boyfriend Johnny disappears only to surface in the company of another girl. The song’s chorus, “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to… You would cry too if it happened to you,” became a part of American pop cultural language as a phrase used to describe being humiliated and miserable during an event that is supposed to be a happy occasion. Listen to it here.
Every year about this time I write a post on birthdays. Not because I’m self-absorbed and egotistical, but because I really love life. And a birthday is just that – celebrating life. I celebrate the fact that God has given me twenty-six years on this earth, and for all I know it could be my last. I hope it’s not, I feel there are more things planned for me yet; but even if it is, I cherish the relationships and moments I have been given here, because they are many.
At some point on my birthday I think about death. I think about how this life is temporary and there is an eternal place where no one celebrates their own birth, but rather their death. Death here means life there, and that’s a beautiful thing. There’s only one banner that lasts the test of time, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge that it isn’t mine. As pretty and pink and glittery as I think my banner may be, it will fade away just like everything else. And I think I’m okay with that. I want to be okay with that. I need to be.
But before one can die, they must first live. And before one can live, they must first be born. I believe all life is precious and sacred and mystical. I’m at that age where my friends are bringing life into this world, and that’s all very exciting. But one day I’ll be at that age where I watch my friends leave this world, and that will be very difficult but also very exciting. Because death here means life there, and that’s a beautiful thing. (If you don’t know what “there” I’m talking about, ask me!)
Enough with the deep stuff though, back to living in the present. I love celebrating my birthday! I love feeling valued and appreciated. Who doesn’t? And my husband and friends, they’re so patient with my oddities. They love me even when I’m unlovable, and this displays an indescribable devotion which I hope they all know I reciprocate with undying appreciation.
“You don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.”
I have this new friend, whom is really very thoughtful and I like her a lot. She’s a July baby too, and her birthday is just six days before mine. Anyways, my husband and I received this card in the mail but on the back of the envelope it said, “Open July 8th” (which I already knew to be her birthday). Luckily we only received it the day before, because patiently waiting isn’t our strong suite. But we did wait. And on the appointed day we opened it up and there was this sweet little card inside in which she thanked us for being her friend and encouraged us in the most heartwarming way.
Wait, aren’t YOU supposed to be the one receiving thoughtful cards on YOUR birthday? Well I’m sure she did. But I think it is a very selfless gesture to show appreciation to those who make a birthday worth celebrating. Now I don’t know where she got this thoughtful idea from, maybe she just came up with it (which will make me love her all the more), but I decided to pay it forward and do the same for my birthday. So I mailed out just a few little cards to just a few of those “certain” dependable friends.
But to those of you whom I wasn’t able to mail a card to, either because I ran out of stamps or because my hand got tired or because there’s just so many of you I love, thank you. Thank you for being a part of my life and making my birthday a day worth celebrating. And I would like to leave you with this one wonderful thought:
“When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of “Me, too!” be sure to cherish them. Because those weirdos are your tribe.”
Part of “My Tribe”