Today is my birthday.
Each year on my birthday I am reminded how lucky I am.
My back may hurt, I may be exhausted, I am still grieving…but I am lucky.
I laugh, my body is healthy, my heart swells with love for all my family.
As a plus, I thought this whole past year I was already 43. So really, I haven’t aged a year this year!
Every year since I was 27, the main thing I think about on my birthday is Michael.
Michael was my brother’s best friend and I don’t remember a time he wasn’t in my life.
Michael passed away from cancer the year I was 27.
He was too young.
However, it is not his death I think about, it is how he lived those years of illness I think about.
Years of illness I am always in awe of.
I cry as I type this because I remember him as so gracious.
My memories of that time have all blended together.
There is so much I could write, but the main thing is something that changed my life.
Visiting Mike in the hospital, I recall a conversation where he told me the nurses made his stay tolerable.
I remember him telling me a nurse brought in a record player and stayed after her shift to listen to albums with him.
I don’t know why, but that has always stuck with me.
It is because of Mike, him talking to me about being sick, that made go back to school to be a nurse.
I had been working for a dot.com that had spent millions of dollars to make a product that went no where.
I felt so much of my life (lets face it, you spend so much time at work) had been a waste.
After Mike passed, I remembered our conversations.
The company I worked for folded.
I took that chance to go back to school full time for 2 and half years.
It is because of Mike that I have helped thousands of people during a scary, stressful time, in their life.
I think of him often.
Especially this past year since Matt’s death.
I hope that Mike was there to greet Matt when he left this earth.
I know he was.
And I am once again eternally grateful.