On Celebrating Life

Life absolutely surprises you sometimes. Often, it’s the kind of awful surprises you never see coming: like when someone hurts you or when your life changes in a negative way.

Yesterday was not one of those days. I was able to experience the cycle of life in several positive and completely uplifting ways.

We’ll start at the beginning. I spent time with some of my closest friends and their family yesterday after their baby boy was born. One of them referred to me as part of their family and it made me tingle a bit inside. Of course, it’s something I’ve known for quite some time, but to hear it just meant absolutely everything to me. It was outstanding watching two families come together to support a mom when she needs it the most. It’s almost unfathomable how this one small life will grow and affect the lives of countless others.

Next, there’s the life of my cousin’s little daughter. She’s not even reached her teenage years and yet due to an illness, she has experienced more pain in her life than many adults. However, on Saturday, her wish to become a princess will come true and I’ll be there to share in her and my family’s joy. The amazing part is that this celebration will be completely unintentional. I decided spontaneously to take a trip to Charleston this weekend, and I stumbled upon a wine tasting event near Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. Turns out, it’s sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and they are granting her wish.  It’s another one of life’s little miracles.

Later, I celebrated the birthday of a dear friend whom I’ve grown close to over the last several months. She has only made Columbia her home for a short time and she’s already establishing roots here. I so enjoyed seeing weeks of secret planning come together for one memorable and relaxed evening for a friend who does nothing but give of herself to others.

Finally, there’s the biggest surprise of them all. My mother and I ran into a old friend of hers she hadn’t seen in years. He had his Dad in tow and today is his 101st birthday. The man was in good spirits, lucid and had the biggest grin on his face after he shook our hands. He has experienced more life than any of us and he looked as though life was just beginning for him.

Obviously, yesterday was a long and exhausting day. I survived on a little bit of junk food and adrenaline. However, it’s those moments that came together to create an unforgettable day of celebrating life.


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