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Apr 24

Reason to Celebrate

Yesterday was Jane’s birthday! Two years ago today she was born (with the creation of this blog) in the early morning hours of my own birthday, at my kitchen table. I thought we should celebrate a little, and a peace cake seemed fitting, since that was all I was looking for and what being Jane has given me in so many ways.

I have to admit that I was never much into celebrating my birthday. Of course as I child it was pretty fun but even then all the attention was a little embarrassing somehow.  As I got older it just seemed like a lot of fuss over me when I felt like people should have been handing those gifts over to my mom for what she went through that day to get me here… None of that is meant to say that I haven’t been grateful for the loving wishes and gifts sent my way over the years.  I’m blessed to have so many people in my life that care enough to say so, I think we all need to hear it sometimes, and I believe birthdays are in fact a good time to celebrate the people we love.

No doubt birth is an incredible miracle and I’m not only talking about the birth of a baby. Relationships, businesses, literature, every work of art and idea was just a magical, unexplainable little spark at some point that was brought into the physical world eventually through someone’s desire and effort.  I was honored to be there to witness the birth of my first grandchild last September.  There was indeed a lot of effort involved but the crazy part was that all of the sudden he was here!  We could see him, we could touch him and kiss his sweet face!  Life is astonishingly beautiful in moments like that one.  Human beings are amazing, miraculous creatures.  Not just that first breath but EVERY breath should be enough cause for celebration.

Birthdays have become a time of reflection for me, for appreciating what I have right now and considering what I would like to create in the future.  This year that ritual has been especially poignant not only because of all that I have so miraculously gained in my own life but also because of the losses suffered by those around me. On Monday we got the news that a friend of the family had suddenly and tragically died.  Totally random, an accident in her own home, she fell down the stairs, and that was it. No warning, no preparation. Just gone in an instant.  She was a wonderful woman, with a husband who’s been battling cancer, three beautiful kids and her first brand new grandbaby almost exactly the same age as my own sweet little guy. How does that happen?  How could this be her time to go?  How could that happen to her family when they need her so much right now?

I don’t know the answers to those questions even though I’ve experienced my share of death.  All I know is that death is the exact opposite of birth. It’s mysterious and unexplainable. All of the sudden someone is gone…  I have come to accept that (although sometimes grudgingly) because I feel certain that the beautiful spirit within, the original magical spark, must surely live on.  While that does bring at least some degree of comfort and should be a reason to celebrate there is still a gaping empty space where that vibrant, strong woman used to be on this physical plane.  As I prepare myself to see the faces of her family members tomorrow and the grief of so many people that were far closer to her than I was I am reminded once again that life is short.  It’s precious and fragile.  Although I have never intended to make this a memorial site I find myself needing to sit down to write most urgently when coming to terms with death and contemplating the fleeting yet brilliant nature of human life.  It has been a cornerstone of my own recovery, centered primarily on pouring out my thoughts on the many ways people process different kinds of grief.

In spite of this sad news I did end up celebrating all day long yesterday.  I was definitely feeling the love, with friends, with family and in my yogic practice. There was such joy and celebratory energy in every breath.  How could I possibly be so ungrateful as to ignore that, the miracle of breathing, even on the most ordinary days?  Why do we wait to celebrate being alive?! This is the only moment we know we have for sure.  We can’t afford to wait for the perfect moment or the right time. This is the moment, this is the time to appreciate what we have, just as it is, and if there are things that really need changing then now is the time to change them. What good are even our greatest intentions if we never act on them? Now is the time for telling people they’re special and that we love them. Now is the time to appreciate and love yourself! Set your intentions on living in the beauty of all that you have right now and celebrate the brilliance of all that you are today.

  • Jan

    Happy Birthday Jane!!! I love your message, which inspires me so much!! Where did you find that peace cake? Hope it was good! The picture is of flowers from my yard this spring. Enjoy!

    • http://janedoerecovery.com/ Jane

      Thank you Jan!!! I just saw this (I know it’s been forever and I do apologize for the late response – distracted with life and finishing other writing projects is a poor excuse for not checking in on comments for months on end) but I wanted you to know that when I turned my notifications on and saw this lovely comment and photo I was humbled. I do so appreciate your support and interaction here on the page, it was a virtual cake party invitation with “virtual” cake. I wish I could tell you that was actually my cake but it’s just a great picture I found. Your flowers are gorgeous and your sweet comment has inspired me to be much more diligent keeping up on the comments section of site. Love and Light <3 Jane

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