Birthday Beauty

Picture of a "cake" made of flowers with six candles and a blue mylar balloon with the words happy birthday on it floating about the cake            Picture of a grave stone with two bouquets of flowers in front of them

This morning when I woke up, I woke up with the thought, “I wonder if I’ll ever have a (fully) happy birthday again.”

I took a breath.

Then I smiled.

I probably will never have a birthday that does not include (at least) a hint of sadness, grief, and longing.

But I have had, and will have, many fully human birthdays.

And being fully human means access to being fully joyful.

There is so much beauty and peace in the full acceptance of what is and is not.

What is for me: Being loved so fully in the first 16 years of my life that I will carry the grief of the loss of my mother for the rest of my years.

What is for me: Giving flowers now, as often as I can, to those I love, because I did not/ could not give them to my mom on my birthday when she was still alive (and she would have thought they were a waste of money then anyways).

What is for me: Deeply savoring the joys of each moment, one bite and sip, one breath and laugh, at a time.

What is for me: Profound gratitude for all of it, even when it is hard.

I have often wished for ease and I don’t now wish for more hardship (I’ve had my share for a few lifetimes), but I also know that life, in its fullness, in its authenticity, is comprised of all of the things, all of the emotions, all of the moments.

My life is a gift. One that continues to be full of and filled with love, with the best of people, with beautiful moments. I am so richly blessed.

The beauty of this birthday is the gift of reflection, my own, but also the way my life is reflected back to me through the beautiful people in it. The beauty is in the journey towards trusting myself that I’m on. The beauty is in each bountiful moment.

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