So it’s my birthday today, and I did something my mother never got the chance to do. I turn 44. Not only me, but all her children made it to 44; but since I’m the youngest, I feel like we have all escaped her tragedy. Death is a very powerful thing. All negative energy is powerful, but death is in a class by itself. My mother accomplished many things in her short life. She experienced good, and she experienced bad. I never in the time that she was gone, ever lost sleep wondering, “Will I be as hard a worker as she? Will I be as wise as she?” But for some reason, for years, I feared that I too might die at a young age, leaving my children to grow up without a mother. And consciously, I know that worrying doesn’t help. I know that there are some things in life we cannot change. I know that life is going to be what life is going to be. Unfortunately, subconsciously, fears always creep in.
Many people think birthdays are just another day. Some even think birthdays are only for kids. And others refuse to even acknowledge their own birthdays. They dread the fact that they will be one year older. What they don’t realize is every day they become one day older, so really when that birthday arrives, another day is not going to make that much of a difference in age. But I’ve always loved birthdays because they are unique. A holiday is for everybody, but a birthday is just for that one person. And it doesn’t matter how many people are celebrating on that day, it is still for the individual. But more importantly, when you realize that amidst everything that was taking place in the world, your mother put it all on hold to ensure that you were safely delivered, then how can a birthday not be a special day?
Although people are living longer in these times, many are also dropping like flies. We all know someone who was fairly young and thought to be healthy, and the next thing we hear is that individual has suddenly died. Sure every day should be celebrated, but a birthday is the pinpoint to mark that one has completed yet another cycle. When I was employed outside the house, I did not work on my birthday. That day was for me to reflect and take stock of my life, not for me to be stressed on somebody’s plantation, making more money for him.
So forget about getting older. Please, I know the feeling of staring at the reflection in the mirror and wondering where the younger version of what I see went. Enjoy your birthday because you only get one a year, if you were lucky enough not to be born on February 29, or quite frankly if you are just lucky. I’ve said it already, but I’ll say it again: birthdays are cool because without one, it means that you are no longer around, and perspectively speaking having a birthday sure beats the alternative.