Happy Birthday dear Clo. Today she would have been 58.
Birthdays meant a lot to Clo. She loved being celebrated. She loved being surprised, and sometimes the surprise didn’t match up to her hope. She dreamed of big galas and I was seldom up to that. But we pulled something close to satisfactory off again and again. Yellow roses always helped and her very favourite St. Honoré Cake. I managed to include both each year. I am going to have a pedicure today in celebration of Clo! She would approve. She deeply appreciated having her feet lovingly attended to and looking spiffy as my father would have said.
Celebrations are necessary. We all love to be honoured, each in our own way. Clo liked it to be with as many people as possible, I prefer a quiet few. I remember having special days with my kids when they were small. I loved having time with just one at a time. We could focus on each other and I tried to make it something about just them. I remember picking my daughter up mid school day and going for lunch. I remember taking my son to McDonald’s for pancakes and dropping him off at school late. I remember camping trips with all of us, and not sure if any of us really liked to camp. We aren’t actually much of a camping family. But the definite upside was it was a terrific opportunity to be with cousins otherwise not seen. An inexpensive way to celebrate more loving time with extended family. Burnt marshmallows and long evening camp fires were absolutely something to celebrate.
All special times with special people that did not happen nearly often enough when looking back. Aging is absolutely showing me how important it is to nurture special relationships. The connection of ages, the shared history, the commitment of others who know and understand us, all so very important to feeling healthy and well and strong as time moves on. My birthday wish to you, in celebration of dear Clo who so liked to celebrate, is that you are intentional and mindful about cherishing all of those you love and who love you. The more love you send out, the more love you receive. Do random acts of outlandish kindness and see what happens. Open your heart even when you might feel reluctant and see if the results aren’t better than the status quo.
My Buddhist friends are telling me to thank even my enemies for their kindness. Even someone who has hurt me has the potential for teaching me something, if nothing more than teaching me to forgive. It isn’t good to hang on to resentments or anger, so if I can learn to let go when I have been hurt, and thank that person for their kindness in giving me an opportunity to learn how to stretch into more of who I can be, I am ahead of the game. Buddha asked a lot. I am learning.
Today I will thank Clo for her kindness is loving me for 20 plus years, and try to thank her for her kindness in leaving me to learn more lessons my way. It is an interesting way to look at that Buddhist teaching. I might even begin to learn to like the concept.