Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Birthday Wish

I believe the reason we celebrate birthdays, is to remind us that time is passing by. Time is very cunning; it silently slips past and makes no effort to remind us of the time we have let pass. How many times do we think about time in a way that places the value on it that it deserves?

Time is all we really have if you think about. And if you talk to someone in their later years you realize that even at the age of 96, the realization that time moved so fast changes nothing. What we need to realize is that in the time we have, building relationships that enrich our lives is the best legacy we can leave.

I volunteer at Hospice and I had a patient that grew up in the Bronx and met Babe Ruth as a kid. He used to take the train to 125th street in Harlem to see all of the great jazz players at the Apollo Theatre. What I learned as he told me his stories was that every story he told me was about the people he met and the family he loved. He had little interest telling me about his career, he would always turn the conversation back to the people and his family. His life’s memories boiled down to wonderful stories about the people.

My mom died last year and when I think about the 75 years she was given, she spent most of it staying in touch with family and friends. She lived the life of a Saint because what drove her was to add value to everybody’s life she came in contact with. Her legacy, when I tell stories about my mom, is about how she loved to connect with people. She never wanted to talk about herself; she wanted to know about the person she was talking to. It didn’t matter to my mom whether you were the president or the superintendent of the building. She just wanted to learn more about the person she was talking to. She was always willing to help in any way she could.

The older we get the more we understand what is important. Birthdays remind us to refocus our efforts on the things that are important. The people in our lives, the dreams and goals we have are limited to the time we are given. We never know how much time we will be given so every Birthday gives us a day to think about what is important.

This birthday I am away for work. Today I was given the wonderful wishes of family and friends. Talking to my wife and children was the only gift I needed. And it is always a gift to have a loving family!

Since my last birthday 365 days have passed. I can’t get any one of them back but I can tell you that they were not wasted. Most of those days were spent healthy, a part of a wonderful family, many camping trips, college visits, family visits, and many conversations with friends and family. I have a lot of goals and dreams as well. They are on track but they are also prioritized properly. Family first, always.

My wife Justine is a compassionate nurse that comforts family’s at the most difficult times of loss. Taylor is an excellent student working hard to become a medical student. Emily is currently choosing colleges and has many choices because she works hard and is very smart. We have 3 pups that make every return home wonderful because they share their unconditional love that fills our hearts. These are the things that I am so proud to be a part of. A family is the legacy we leave. I couldn’t be more proud of my family.

My Birthday Wish is that everyone takes a moment on their birthday to think about what is important. Tell someone you love them. Send a card to a friend that might be struggling. Hug that kid tighter tonight so they know how much you love them. Remember we are here for a limited time. Use every minute you can to let people know you care.

I have never been happier in my entire life because I have so many wonderful people in my life! I hope you can say the same! Happy Birthday!

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