My husband's birthday is in January. It's always the coldest day of the year. Always. Never fails. The temperature in Chicago drops to 7 below, the roads freeze. We rarely go out to celebrate due to the weather. I'll pick up a nice cake, and we sing around the kitchen table.
This year was different. I made a point of making plans to go out and celebrate his birthday. Our kids dropped what they were doing and made their way downtown in the cold. Parking was hard to find. Line at the restaurant was long. The kitchen table was looking good.
We enjoyed a terrific meal in a restaurant we had never been to and ordered dessert for his birthday treat. No one sang! We were happy to be together as a family celebrating life.
I went out of my way to do this, because Blago celebrated his birthday in prison last month. I doubt he received hugs or a birthday dessert. His family must have been sad that they couldn't share or celebrate his day with him.
Ten years ago, my cousin died at the age of 37. She left 3 young children. At her wake I stared at a photo of her with her family standing in front of the castle at Disneyworld. She was beaming. Another cousin walked up behind me and said, "That was taken just before she discovered the lump."
I hated my birthday until that night. I thought of how much my cousin would have loved to celebrate another birthday. It's a gift we take for granted.