Happy Birthday to ME

It was a cold, wet day, pounded by a constant downpour of rain. The sun did not show itself for a single second, but I knew it was still shining on me. I felt warm, joy-filled, loved and absolutely connected with my purpose all day long.

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The reason for my joy was because I was happy to be alive and celebrating that I lived to see another birthday! I not only had the energy to be actively engaged with a variety of fun activities all day, but I was totally tuned into why I should celebrate birthdays at all.

Birthdays are benchmark reminders that we are still alive. If we are alive then we can automatically have hope for our life to have a purpose. We can have desires for how we want to live, what we may want to accomplish and how we may want to be of service to others.

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Even though I may not always be operating at 100% of my potential or be in perfect health, I am ALIVE and that means I am not dead and therefore I am not done.

Between January of this year (when my chemo began) and my birthday on October 7th, there were many times that I wasn’t sure I would have another birthday. I even had moments when I was okay with the idea of never blowing out another candle.

I was not in fear of death, nor did I choose to die, but simply flirted with it as an option that could possibly come sooner than I might have expected.

Once I came out on the other side of the dark tunnel of cancer treatment, where one can lose their memory of what it is like to feel healthy and vibrantly alive, I discovered my appreciation for life itself grew greater than I ever knew possible.

It is for that reason this birthday was sweeter than any of the preceding sixty-six birthdays had been for me.

Although it is wonderful to be bombarded by hundreds of happy wishes on Facebook and to be surprised by lovely gifts from friends and family, the greatest reason for my joy was that I was able to fully appreciate my life…my reason for even being on the planet.

I realize that I did not have to have cancer to fully learn this lesson. I was misguided enough to even believe I reached the pinnacle of a complete understanding of how much joy is possible for us all before my diagnosis.

The truth is my prior level of appreciation for life and my ability to live in a state of joy missed the mark.

As far as I have come and in spite of how much I have experienced and learned on this journey, I have a sense I still haven’t learned this lesson fully and most likely won’t before I make my big exit.

What I am believing at this moment is the ultimate reason for life itself is to simply learn as much as possible while we are here sharing this planet with our fellow humans. I believe we are meant to allow ourselves the appreciation and enjoyment of the many gifts that come to us each day.

If my hypothesis is true I can tune into the joy that is present in every moment. I can openly express it so it can be shared with those around me and perhaps have them join me. I can learn, grow and celebrate every day, even though there may not be cake, candles and ice-cream and a chorus of Happy Birthday going on in the background.

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  1. Kate,
    Thank heavens you are strong and feisty! Another birthday to say “everyday is a gift, to learn, to enjoy and to celebrate”. I am so grateful for you and our friendship.
    Love, Tami


  2. Tami….thank you so much for your encouraging words as well as for your constant inspiration. As you know, it is visions of YOU that kept me positively focused during the most challenging times. I think we should get together for a mutual life celebration! ‚̧


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