Today another birthday stares me squarely in the face. It is an event that is unavoidable short of death and I am ambivalent about it. Those of you who know me, know my humor is dry and I am a literal thinker. I look at my birthday less as the anniversary of my birth than I do the anniversary of a very hard and painful, albeit brief labor that my mother experienced to expel me into the world. She helps remind me of this often.
It is not the time I have spent in this life, but what I have done with the time. I do not seek fame and I prefer to work in the background, but I would like to leave a legacy of value, if not by action, at least by example.
I remember many of my birthdays but there is one that is engrained and the one I remember most. I was four years old and at my grandmother’s home in very rural…very cold Ontario, Canada. It had snowed all day to epic proportions and the drifts had covered the windows. The power went out in the house, but that was okay. There were no such things as computers, video games, cell phones, and frankly color television was a couple of years away and we never watched it anyway. The home was heated by the wood burning stove that Grandma cooked on; so all we were missing was electricity. My Grandmother placed a plate on the table that had 4 cupcakes each with a candle in it and kissed me on the forehead. My Grandfather presented me with a sled that he had made by hand as my present. I blew out the candles after making my wish and lamented, “It snowed all day and now I can’t even go outside to play with my sled.”
My Grandfather looked at me and smiled. He said, “Well, tomorrow the sun will shine and when you take your sled outside I hope you look around and appreciate how much work God went to; to offer you an unlimited landscape with which to enjoy your present.”
I’m just saying.