Birthdays and Funerals


I’ve always thought how interesting that on the very same day of someone’s happiest moments another person is struggling with the saddest of times.

I remember an adoptive mom sharing that her son’s September 11th arrival continues to be a date people don’t associate with happy thoughts. To this woman September 11 is when she became a mom. At the same time, September 11 is the date another woman grieves over the loss of the same baby, and a country mourns the loss of thousands of lives.

Other dates are less publicized but nonetheless share common stories of loved ones gained and lost. Whether we are aware of these everyday moments we should never take for granted the little things, as when it is all said and done, they will end up being the big things. The first moments, the silly gestures, the small misunderstandings, how the clouds parted, and the wind that pushed us slightly until we began to run. If we considered every breath, tear, and true belly laugh as gifts then our journey, no matter how painful, discouraging, boring, exhilarating, or happy, will be all the more special.

I recall a young girl sharing an awakening she had after complaining to her psychologist. She shared she was in so much emotional pain and the psychologist responded, “That’s amazing – feel that pain – you are alive, you are breathing, you are feeling, and that is beautiful.”

We have no control of what happens next but we have every bit of control of our reactions, what steps we choose, how we end up interpreting the experience, and what we gain from the feelings we have.

Breathe in deeply.  Exhale. Be thankful for this very moment. Reach out to those who can support you in all the good and not so good the world has to offer.

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry. ~ Maya Angelou




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About the Author Michele

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