As a kid you always look forward to your birthday. I still do. The thought of getting another year older makes me truly happy. Think about the alternative.
However, since 1993, every time my birthday approaches I can't help but recall the tragic events that have happened over the years since then. My birthday reminds me of Waco and the Branch Davidians. I remember seeing the house on fire, and so many people dying. Then in 1995, the bombing in Oklahoma City at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. I remember the feeling of helplessness for all of those people; especially the children. And now, the Boston Marathon. More senseless death.
Each year is a time to celebrate another year of life on this earth. Yet, over the years, I've began to hold my breath and I say a prayer that nothing It happens again when my birthday week rolls around. My heart sinks and goes out to all of those have been effected by all of these tragedies. I wonder when it will stop. At a time I want to celebrate, I'm reminded of the evil that lurks in our society.
On top of all the tragedy that has taken place in our society, we had the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West Texas. Coupled with the death of my niece's mother on the same day. Instead of a birthday cake this year, I morned the loss of her at her funeral yesterday. I watched two girls that will forever be without their mother.
However, this year I'm still going to celebrated the fact that I am here. I'm going to be mindful that this time thirty-eight years ago, I began my journey. I'm thankful I had another year to see my daughter grow. After all, when she was five weeks old I wasn't sure if I would even be here to see her first birthday. I thank God everyday that I am. So, even if it is my own private celebration, I will celebrate. Regardless, I am thankful.
As I write this, I realize what I need to do to bring balance to this crazy world. I need to embrace the past and look to the future. What impact can I have on encouraging goodness in others? For my birthday this year, I will not let the evilness invade my every thought this year. I will refocus on what I can do to seek out and spread love to others instead of hate.
I will choose love and strength to fight this battle. I will choose faith over fear.
It's MY birthday week. I'm taking it back.