Today is my daughter’s birthday. A day I really questioned whether we’d see this year or not. When she was little, birthdays were about making sure we invited all her friends so no one felt left out and had the most fun place and a great cake and decorations and etc. It was all about celebrating to excess. While I’m not a keep up with the Jones’s type of person, I wanted my daughter to feel like her other friends and to have a party that sorta kinda maybe was up to par.
I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve learned that life is not a sure thing and a next birthday may never happen. I’ve learned that no matter how many decorations or how much you spend on the perfect place or that you managed to invite all the friends you were supposed to, nothing is as important as the day your child takes one step forward for another year.
When I came home to find my daughter so sick that she held a knife to herself wanting to end her life, I never thought she’d take a step forward a year older. From that day forward it is like every day is a birthday. Every day she gets up and gets dressed and doesn’t die is a day renewed and a day reborn. Every single day today is as precious as the day she was born. I look at her now and celebrate her birth every day I see her face in the morning with eyes wide open breathing in the morning air.
There are still times I fear I will wake up and she will not. There are periods of time where I’m sure she feels the same. But they are fewer and farther between than they were last year. There’s more hope in her eyes and laughter in her voice. She is learning to fight against a disease that is so misunderstood and shunned and stigmatized so that every day she takes a step, it is truly her birthday. So today she officially turns 15, but every day she is one day stronger, one day happier, one day wiser, one day more full of life than the day before. For this I am eternally thankful as it’s shown me that I need to do the same; I need to live my life stronger, happier, wiser and more full of life every day I am able. We all need to this. It is our birthday every day.
Happy birthday everyday my little bebops, you’ve taught me so much and you are my heart.
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