Every year the reminders come… it’s her birthday… send flowers.  Every year they go unheeded… not because I don’t want to but because I can’t.  I don’t have an earthly address for her anymore… and I don’t think FTD has figured out a way to deliver flowers to heaven.

But, if I could Mom, I would send you something pink and full of life.  Like you.  I would search high and low until I found the perfect card that captures how much  you mean to me.   I would call  you from my cell phone, in traffic, as I always seemed to do and you always called me out on. I would savor in the sound of your voice… a voice I no longer hear and breathe in the warmth of your embrace.

And I would tell you … you were right. Hard to believe huh?  I didn’t appreciate you enough while you were on this earth.   I thought that there was always more time until there wasn’t.  I believed that we had more moments instead of wisely spending the immediate moments with you.

But know this.. my heart was always with you.  It still is.  Where else could it be?  Through illness, bad relationships, uncertainty, you were always there for me.  You had my back and I had yours.  No matter how crazy we made each other, you were the one constant in my life.  My rock.  You showed me a quiet strength tempered with amazing love.  That strength lives on in me.  The love?  I keep it close to my heart.

Happy birthday Mom.



He was perfect in his imperfections … and he had only one question.  Are you enjoying life?  Because he sure was.   I met him when I was setting up to teach a class that Thursday afternoon by the pool.  He was swimming that day with other individuals who were developmentally challenged.  With  eyes that sparkled and a contagious smile, he introduced himself to me and asked the question that lit up my day.  Are you enjoying life? If the answer wasn’t enthusiastic enough for him, well, he would tell you.  For him, life was just one big adventure.. a never-ending party.   And he wanted EVERYONE to enjoy the party.

The lifeguard told me about his other side with a smile.  He was also their “informant.”  But he wasn’t a snitch.  He was a broadcaster of only good news about the people he knew.  He shined a light on their “awesomeness” and, in so doing, lifted us all up.

And so it was with me.   My day was infinitely better by this chance encounter with an individual who reminded me how much I have to be grateful for.   He showed me our limitations don’t define us.  We define ourselves.  He called upon me to release the shackles of  inadequacy, fear, and regret.    He exhorted me to seek out and eagerly broadcast the good in people.  He inspired me to ditch mere existence for a life fully lived and to love without abandon.

But mostly.. he reminded me that that beauty is imperfect and that we all are perfect in our imperfections.