What age was it that you stopped wanting to celebrate your birthday?? For me it was 41. Why?? because now I was on my way to 50.
July is a busy month in my family as we have 3 birthdays starting on July 1st and ending on July 27th. When my son Jacob turned 15 on July 1st I realized in one year I will be preparing to send my oldest to college, having another driving, and sending my youngest to first grade. This will be both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.
My mom turned 83 today and I am sure she and many other elderly will tell you there is a time where we will fully appreciate each birthday as we get up there in years because you start to feel the aches and pains of aging. I don’t know when that happens but I know I take each birthday I have and those of my loved ones a little more seriously these days.
One of my main goals as a father and husband has been to create memories for my family. Those can be as big as a family trip to Disney World to as simple as playing catch with my sons or reading a book to my daughter. Unfortunately some of these tasks are getting more difficult for me to do physically. And I have to say that stinks! So now I reflect on each birthday at the memories I have helped to create and embrace my “new normal.” I can no longer throw a baseball to my sons, shoot a basket, or take a slap shot on the ice. But I have become their biggest fans and can still give them coaching pointers much like my father did for me with his disability and of course have my youngest sit on my lap to read a book. Those memories are still being created just a little differently in my “new normal.”
So what is my point?? Enjoy your birthdays. Celebrate your birthdays and those of your loved ones. Create beautiful memories. Don’t wait for some diagnosis to make this happen. As I tell my older kids, if you get up in the morning thank God because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone, whether you have ALS, cancer, or appear perfectly healthy.