Humans keep time. We have to, there's no way around it. We have deadlines, schedules to stick to and of course the special days, the good stuff to celebrate and remember. There are months and days that simply become a part of our lives as we grow older.
Life itself grows older. It changes, it rolls obstacles in the way. Celebrating is not as easy as it used to be. The reasons are endless and vary from year to year, but the reasons don’t matter. What really matters is the thought. A shared memory of those birthdays from the past. Right now, it’s all we have that we can work with. I’m happy I have good memories of cakes, gifts and surprises I planned for the people closest to me. I’m happy I could show them how very special their birthdays were to me. Shared laughs and time spent together is the glue that binds these memories forever. Because for every memory I have, there’s one to match it with the other person it was shared with. It’s like an echo. My favourite kind.
Some people love their birthdays, others hate them. My last two were pretty bad, to be honest, so I think it’s a little sign from life that it’s OK for me to let go of wanting to celebrate mine. But I won’t let go of birthdays of people I love. Those, I treasure like Christmas, or like snow. These days are entwined intricately into my heart. They are not the Facebook recommended birthdays, which I despise so much. They are not even in my calendar. I hold them in my heart without a need to be reminded by anything other than how it beats.
How many birthdays we have is a mystery. So make them count. But here’s a tip: if you make all the other days count too, you’ll have mini birthdays every day of the year. There are a thousand things louder than your cry as a newborn baby. Live louder than that first cry, show your presence in the world, but with others, be as gentle as the heartbeat of your mother.
We don’t need parties for now. For now, we have all the memories we created and shared. Drink with them, dance with them, laugh with them, eat all the cake you can with them and most importantly keep them. Don’t let them fade, because the really good ones are hard to top. Instead, let them expand and fill you up, until you feel the curve of a smile slowly, but surely spreading wide across your face.
One more thing: birthdays are never cancelled, or forgotten, especially the ones that are kept safe with me.