The Happiest and Healthiest of Birthdays…

Mitch Schneider
June 8, 2020

I have a problem with people who whine about an impending birthday. Folks who are reluctant to celebrate. Especially, when those birthdays start to stack up.

All birthdays are special! Yours, and all the birthdays of those close to you. If you don’t believe me, contemplate your last birthday being your last birthday and let me know if that doesn’t change your perspective. It certainly has mine. Once you realize that none of them are guaranteed it becomes a lot easier to embrace each and every one of them.

I came to terms with that reality after my initial diagnosis. Then, again, when I began to symptomize. And, finally, when the possibility of my stem cell/bone marrow transplant became real and we had to confront the possibility of an unsuccessful outcome. Take the certainty out of a birthday — any birthday — and suddenly they take on an entirely new sense of special.

Consequently, I’m the first in line to celebrate all birthdays. Mine and everyone else’s.

A little bit of that ‘special’ was lost on me last year.  Especially, with regard to our June birthdays. Our kids are both born in early June, four years, and twelve hours apart. And, one of their daughter’s birthday is in June as well.

I was still only two months into my transplant recovery still sequestered with all contact severely restricted when those birthdays rolled around. I remember feeling denied. Punished. And, just how desperately I longed to be with everyone. How much I wanted to celebrate.

This year was different. Better. We were able to celebrate together. Able to appreciate just how precious every birthday is and can be.

Having everyone at the table with no empty seats is a big deal. Something worthy of celebration. And, certainly, nothing to whine about!


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