Since early yesterday morning, I have received birthday wishes on my Facebook wall from friends who are located all across the world.
Just after midnight, my husband came out of the shower and started singing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" in a loud voice and with such gusto. The initial note struck me and made me jump out of my skin. He makes me laugh.
Growing up, my birthday was always a week-long (and more) celebration on the scale of a royal event, that culminated in a party, cake, and piles and piles of presents. That day was MY day. I made the choices and I made the decisions on where we went, what we did, and I knew what I wanted.
Maybe those early celebrations of my "special day" set me up for many "failures" as I grew up and birthdays passed with very little notice. Birthday parties planned often fell by the way-side when guests did not turn up and I was left sitting alone at a huge table in a restaurant.
Then, on my 29th birthday, the worst thing possible happened... I died. I don't mean that figuratively, I mean that literally.
I had been misdiagnosed by an inept doctor and then overdosed by him over a space of 12 months. In the end, I was no longer cognitive of my surroundings, I shook like a leaf while walking, and I could not sit for more than a few minutes at a time without being so exhausted I had to lay down.
The day before my birthday, I was rushed to hospital where I was diagnosed with being in Lithium toxicity, five times above the normal high level, and all my other "readings" were way off.
Arriving at the hospital, I made it into the emergency room and then collapsed.
The next day, my birthday, I suffered a major seizure, my heart stopped and while my body was revived and in a coma on life support, "I" was no longer in the physical realm, and my physical body was fighting to join me.
After that birthday, each one seemed to get worse. I began to dread my day, not really wanting to celebrate it. I began to look upon it with fear, and in that fear that I had surrounding the day, I continued to manifest negativity after negativity.
The one year I made the conscious effort to enjoy my day and truly celebrate, our 8 week old puppy had to be put down, that came only five weeks after our 16 year old dog passed away in my arms.
This year, I face this day for the very first time without my beloved father. Every year, my Dad would sing "Happy Birddday" to me in a mock Indian accent. This came about when I was little and had a very good friend who was a neighbour. We spent so much time together and I developed the "ear" for the Indian accent. My favourite was how Indians would sing "Happy Birdddday" and it delighted me. I aligned with my Indian "sister" and acquired many of the traits of her family and my other Indian friends. As far as I was concerned, I was one of them, and they were one of me.
My Dad thought it was so cute the way I would say it, and so he adopted it, singing to me in that special way each year. It was a song that he and I shared. A moment that was just "ours". It was between Dad and me.
This year, for the very first time, I won't hear my Dad singing to me in that special way. But in the silence of the night, before the dawn hits, I DO hear him. I KNOW he is celebrating with me and celebrating me as he always did.
I miss my Dad. I miss hearing his voice. However, I delight in knowing that he has never left me and is closer to me than he ever could possibly be in life. It brings me comfort and peace.
Dear friends from all over the world, some having been friends since grade one, and others have become dear to me in more recent times, have flooded my wall with birthday wishes.
I sit here in the wee-hours of my 38th birthday, and I am filled with an overwhelming sense and knowledge of the depth of blessings that is in my life. The people who are in my life who are more than acquaintances, more than "friends", they are family to me.
I see the deeper meaning behind each message, and SEE the ones who have taken the time to notice that today is my birthday and written on my wall, sharing their love with me.
What greater gift could I ever ask for than to know that I am remembered and loved by so many?
I think about the spiritual connotations and think of the meaning of the greeting "Namaste", which can be translated to mean "I see you in me and I see me in you. Together, we are one".
While I have emotions of not physically hearing my father's voice singing, of thinking of his physical presence not being here upon this realm; I am so completely and totally overflowing with love, with peace, with absolute joy, and I am present in the feeling.
These messages have been wonderful gifts to me. While they are not wrapped up in pretty wrapping paper with a bow on top, they mean so much more.
My greatest gift is something that I ask of from you, each of you who has stumbled upon this blog. A gift that will traverse days, weeks, months, years.
For my birthday, my greatest gift would be for you to do something special for someone else today.
Whether that is smiling at a stranger, opening a door for someone, giving money to someone in need, volunteering for your favourite charity, spending time with a family member or friend who needs an ear, giving someone a hug, etc. Do it with complete & total love for that individual, whether they are a stranger or not.
Recognize YOU in THEM & THEM in You. We are all connected, let's celebrate life.
Thank you ALL for participating in my birthday desire. No matter what day you stumble upon this blog post, no matter what year you do, take my wish and turn it into a reality. Not only will you be fulfilling my wish, you will be fulfilling something deeper and of significance for you and for the one(s) you share of your Self with.
~ Namaste ~
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