Tomorrow May 14TH I will celebrate the completion of 58 full years of life and begin down the road of my 59th year. What that holds for me, I am not sure. For some reason this birthday is one of reflection. I think it might be because this has been a year where my mortality has become a reality and not something that is just blindly talked about.
What I mean is that since I was eighteen years of age, I have had doctors and others tell me that “If you do not lose weight, you are going to die”! I have heard this so many times over the years, that death was just become another word to me. A word with no personal individual meaning. Oh I have experienced death in my life as I am sure many of you. I have lost friends and family very close to me. I also have been ill, enough times and badly enough to be knocking at those doors of eternity. Yet when I was suffering with those illnesses, I seemed to have youth on my side and I would hear “Mike thank God you have a good heart”!
Well this all changed this year. Let’s face it first of all I am 58 years old. Even if I were the healthiest person walking this earth, I am still 58 years old. Oh and yes, I can still have another 20, 30 years ahead of me but there is a finite number of those years.
Oh I know the 50’s are the new 40’s and the 40’s the new 30’s etc. but is anyone telling the Big Guy in the sky that we humans have decided to push back time by 10 years?
Another thing that has happened this year is that I am beginning to have “Heart” problems and other medical problems that I have been warned about for many years that were going to catch up with me!
Therefore this birthday is one of real reflection, celebration, and gratefulness.
I am grateful to my “Maker” for giving me all this time so far. I am grateful for those who care for me and have followed God’s guidance to see me through some real tough times. I am thankful for those who love me. Needless to say at the top of that list is my wife. Then my son and his family. Then there is my extended family and friends who love me and have stuck by me through “thick and thin”.
I reflect on how lucky I have been. Though my battle has been rough and there have been some close times both medically and emotionally, I am still here to talk about them. I remain to be the luckiest man on earth.
I love the life that has been given to me, would I change some things if I could? Of course I would. Yet I desire. A “Hunger” to live, to carry on and believe me it is a fight sometimes. One that is worth it.
I love opening my eyes each morning to see that I am included in another day. Then by the end of the day, I love to put my head on my pillow and focus on the beauty of the miracle that I just privileged to live. The day, the events, the people I got to interact with was a thing of beauty!
That is why I sit here May 13th the day before my birthday and I make my plans. Plans for the day, the week, the next three months, the next 12 months, 60 months and yes I am taking bets that I will be around for the next 30 years.
Life and I have a deal. It goes like this… I don’t waste a moment of life and appreciate all of those moments, both good and bad, and in return, life will continue to give itself to me for many years to come.
Life is a bowl of cherries and yes sometimes you get a pit or two. When you do get those pits, what do you do? You spit them right out and dig right back in for another cherry. Life can be fun even at it most worse moments. Those would be the times to hang on the hardest and use the tools that you have gathered through your journey to help you get through it. Maybe it is a friend, a call, a book a professional or a prayer. Whatever it takes, fight to survive and live to enjoy another moment.
Even at my darkest moments if I looked real hard and opened up my eyes I saw light at the end of that tunnel (and still do)!
As a gift for my birthday that I give from me to you, I give you my love. I give you my hope. I give you my “Hunger” for this life.
May you never starve of hope and dreams, may you hunger for another day and may you be happy to be who you are and then from there….
we can start…!