I have come to embrace them as I get older and after my cancer diagnosis years ago I made a pact with myself (and my wife) that birthdays should be celebrated. As I have said before that the alternative to not having a birthday is not a good one. Once you are born it’s nice to have a bunch. If you were never born I guess you wouldn’t miss them. I used to be kind of embarrassed by them, I would tell others to just let them pass by without observation.
This birthday is #4 since my surgery and radiation. Disease is a scary thing when it includes the words “cancer” and comes with a ton of statistics that show life expectancy based on one thing or another. It made me and my wife and family permanently different that day. It made me truly understand the power of prayer. I am forever thankful even as we face the most challenging thing that has ever (or likely will ever) happen in my lifetime on this Earth.
So when I reached in the mailbox this birthday anniversary, it took on a whole different meaning again. I had 11 cards arrive in the mail from people I don’t even know. Some had a postmarks from Wisconsin, Oregon, and many from Tennessee They were birthday cards with wishes for a happy life and a long life with the battle ahead. They were like ‘prayers’ from strangers, but not that strange really.
My wife and her friend from Tennessee have been fast-friends corresponding through the Internet for years after her family had been stricken by life threatening cancer that ultimately took lives of family and friends they loved. We even got to meet her a while back when she was in our neck of the woods and had a wonderful time. In her faith and love, she sent a wonderful card and got others to send cards of prayers & wishes for a happy birthday, including a card with a half a dozen signatures from her place of work (TVA).
I am (and will always be) genuinely touched. It was the best birthday present I can remember. It was the statement of God’s grace. It will be a highlight of my life for however long God lets me be here. Making tracksinthedust that will not ever last, but with the chance to touch others once on their journey with grace while time allows- I hope it will move on long after I am gone.
I am truly blessed. Take your time to send a card or a prayer to someone who needs it.