Birthday Reflections

(Photo from the last time we brought our camera to the trails)

In the days leading up to and including my birthday, three things happened:
  1. An old friend died of cancer.  The friendship was old, not the friend.  She was 33.
  2. I ran into two three-year-olds at the park, separately, who said "its my birthday!"  It was mine, too, I told them.
  3. A middle aged couple died in a motorcycle accident just outside of town.
On their own, each event might have given me pause, but combined together surrounding a my birthday -- a natural time for reflection -- they have me in a huge bucket of life-contemplation.

The friend was young, she minded her health and did everything right.  She was a mom of two kindergarteners.  Yet, a couple months after her last marathon, she was told she had terminal cancer.  It makes me think about my own mortality, and the defining moments of my motherhood.  If I died yesterday, what would I have left for my children?

The two children weren't twins.  They didn't even know each other.  And there definitely was not 600 people at the park, to make it more statistically expected.  It was random.  Two three-year-olds jubilantly ran into my life on our special day to remind me about how great it is to be alive.  Or, if they were typing this they would probably say HOW GREAT IT IS TO BE ALIVE!  LOOK THERE'S A CATERPILLAR THIS IS AWESOME!  I can't say I'm right there with them all the time and I wonder: how do I bring a little more of that into my life?

The couple owned 100 acres just outside of town.  They built trails all through it, and where their trails met the creek, they even created a couple of raft ferries that operated on a manual pulley system.  Though the woods, they made whimsical little sculptures out of scrap metal.  My kids love that place.  Here and now, in a time when it seems everyone is worried about getting sued, they said anyone could go there - this secret little gem that all the locals know about.  It actually, tangibly made a difference in our family's life.  We have good memories, thanks to these people.  They took what they had and shared it.  And of course, this brings us to the biggest questions of all: am I using my gifts to help others?  Am I making a difference?

Somber thoughts for a rainy day.


  1. I too have had the contemplative thoughts about mortality this week as well. My dear friend's husband died 45 years young living her a widow at 35 and with a young son. Then to hear of the couple who created that amazing space that we only discovered a month ago died this weekend. I began to feel so grateful and kicked my butt to fully enjoy moments, tell the girls and Allen I love them and slow down.

  2. Ug. It Is so hard to learn these lessons and then remember them from day to day. I'm sorry to hear about your friend, Crystal.


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