Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Birthday Blessing From a Special Six Year Old Friend

A few weeks ago on Saturday, October 8th, I turned 31.  It seems so unreal and would have never in a million years guessed I would be taking time off work and school to be on a feeding tube and deal with a serious medical condition.  However, anyone who spends any time with me knows I have a pretty positive attitude and for the most part hide any pain or frustrations.    The reality is, however, everyday, hour and sometimes  moments feel challenging.  Some days I don't answer the phone or see anyone because the thought of trying to be "normal" is overwhelming.  Don't get me wrong, there are enough good moments, hours, even days to be thankful for.  And this year, my birthday, though challenging, shone through with the voice of a special young girl named Kaia.

A birthday is a good time to reflect on our lives and what we might have accomplished, learned and overcome the previous year.  I thought back to last year at this time and the delicious coconut cake my friend Gina made me.  It was so good I was actually eating it for breakfast before a long but exciting day of classes.  This year, with the absence of a big birthday cake I, yes 31 years old, had a meltdown.  After my amazing husband spent the day spoiling me with massage, shopping and preparing dinner with friends (including yummy and special portions for me), I peeked in the fridge and my heart melted when I saw it.  It, being the apple crisp that I wouldn't be able to eat.  I stomped into the other room, crying angrily at my stomach for denying me simple pleasures.  When the guests arrived I quickly pulled myself together and greeted them with a smile on my face. As the evening progressed I completely forgot about any cake and enjoyed time with good friends, friends who have been around for years through thick and thin.
After dinner my friend Stephanie, her 6 year old daughter Kaia and I were chatting in the kitchen when Kaia asked the dreaded question, "When are we going to have birthday cake?".   The crisp never made its way to the oven and I explained to Kaia how sorry I was for being so selfish and not letting everyone else enjoy desert.  And this is what made my day..."It's OK Aunt Stephanie, we don't need any desert to make us happy, we have each other."  What?!  I couldn't believe what I just heard and immediately felt tears in my eyes.  She is so right!  Life is so much more than what we are denied.  It is about what we are given.
Of course, moments later she opens my cupboard and asked if I had any cookies!  Instead she pulls out a favorite snack we both love and enjoy, candied ginger.
This year on my birthday, Kaia gave me the gift of being satisfied with simple pleasures like great friends and candy ginger!


  1. Well said my friend! I am glad that our daughter was able to bring you so much comfort and happiness especially on a day that you were brought into the world (and needed it most!).
    You have blessed our family with love and friendship! I am glad that our Kaia has such an amazing soul and knowledge beyond her years! Thank you for being you, for posting this and for your incredible friendship!I love you so much!

  2. Well written. It is amazing the simplicity and honesty youths posses. We as adults often make life too complicated and often need reminders such as these to take a step back from life as we know it.