Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bittersweet Day

One week ago I celebrated my birthday, the fourth one since I became a "cancer survivor." And each birthday makes me realize how I need to celebrate each day of my life, not just the special ones. For all of our days are special, all are meaningful, and all are blessings.

For some reason, however, April 15th was one of the most difficult days I'd had in quite some time. It was the first birthday I'd celebrated without my father present, and my heart mourned. I missed him. A bittersweet day, for sure. I don't think that my family quite understood. I tried to smile, to laugh and pretend like nothing was wrong.

The next day while out for a nice run, I happened upon a neighbor who was also jogging. She had lost her mother around the same time that my dad died. We both stopped running, smiled and gave one another a hug. She asked how I was doing, and before I knew it or could stop myself, I said, "I'm fine, but you know, I just had a birthday yesterday, and Ann, it was a very difficult time for me."

Her eyes got huge and she said, "My birthday was on April 8th, and it was one of the hardest days of my life!" We both shared our feelings and before we knew it, a few tears fell. But it was a good cry, as they say. And we both needed to do it.

In a way, even the bad days are special, because they force me to pause, take a deep breath, and look upward instead of focusing on my immediate circumstance. The difficult times continually remind me that God's hand is in all of my days, and He will keep me going, through the good and bad, no matter what.

God's always present, each and every day. He's there, even in the midst of our bittersweet ones.


ce_squared said...

Wishing you belated Happy Birthday, my friend -- even though it was a difficult one.

Sending you huge virtual hugs,

Kelly said...

Belated birthday wishes to you!

In the space of a week a little over a month from now, my father will have been gone 40 years and my mother 36 years. I still have times in my life that my heart aches for them. I'm thankful that I can state with confidence that we'll one day be reunited again!

Debby said...

Happy Birthday Karen. I can see that God is in the midst of things here. Hard times are hard times, but I know that God is working. I just need to repeat that to myself every few minutes...

Kerry ABOUT ME said...


Isn't it great that you both ran into each other just when you each needed it most? Wonderful. God is definately working in your life. Blessings,