Few of us like to face mortality. Yet we all
must annually embrace our aging process.
As tots we've got plenty to celebrate with
fun, games, gifts, and goodies. Most party
on until suddenly they realize that rather
than on an upward rise they've plateaued.
Or worse, have started on a downward
descent whose outcome is a dead end.
However all hope is not lost. Some like
Frank's father survive to a point beyond
expectations. Thus at almost 100 we laud
his every day as nothing but a blessing.
If only we could all be so optimistic...
I loathe birthday fetes. In part because I
consider snuffing out one's candles a bad
omen of things to come. I like presents but
I don't like performing before a audience of
friends and family. Others like my eldest
daughter "E" beg to disagree. All of her life
she's leveraged every birthday to the max.
Today is her big day and given she's already
been celebrating for a week - it's certain to
be a blast. However this year puts her closer
to the big four ohhhhhh. A marker that for
most adults is if nothing else a wake up call.
Or if one is in denial... a rude awakening.
How is it possible that I have a child that old?
Realizing that your "baby" is more than adult
is humbling at best. Even today my children
remain young in my thoughts and dreams.
Now that my youngest has two children I'm
forced to face the reality that we're all moving
closer to our expiration dates. Who knows how
or when one flips their switch from optimism
to fatalism? While said time bomb ignition
differs by the individual, ultimately we each
must embrace our here and now. Appreciating
every gift life gives us. And what better way
to go on living than doing just that? 24/7/365!
The best thing about birthdays is that they
mark another year of growth, wisdom, and
self realization. Slowly but surely each of
us reaches a point where we finally accept
who we are. Not all are happy with who
stares back at them in the mirror. A few
remain bitter over their pasts imperfect.
However most enjoy reaching a point of
no return. Because along with all of the
memories - both good and bad - comes
the ability to embrace our own reality. So
rather than fight the inevitable, we finally
accept that right or wrong - it is what it is.
Reasons to celebrate
Since birth, I've watched my eldest overcome
an endless series of challenges. Many (in her
father's opinion) self-inflicted. Over her three
plus (plus) decades on this earth "E" figured
things out. And more important, has embraced
herself in all her glory. Allowing such a self
realization to occur may be the toughest yet
most fulfilling aspect of parenthood. You see
ultimately every parent must let go. And in
doing so give their child the greatest gift of
all - complete responsibility. So today is the
day to celebrate all that "E" has already and
is yet to accomplish. Her best is yet to come!