Inspirational, Weekly Discourse Column

Birthday Silhouette

Today would have been Mom’s seventieth birthday; sadly, she never saw her sixty-sixth.

Today’s date, December third, 12/3, remains etched into my soul, even now that Mom has passed. It is a good birthdate, tucked safely between Thanksgiving and Christmas and exactly one month after mine.

Throughout Mom’s life, we celebrated many birthdays together – not always on this date, but close enough.

Mom's last birthday.Like 1986, when it was just me, my brothers and her having dinner at Abdow’s Big Boy restaurant. I was so excited for her that I ran down the aisle telling every table that, today, Mom turned thirty-nine.

She was mortified, but at six years old, I was still cute enough to pull it off.

I’ll never forget her sixtieth, which was a surprise party that also celebrated her nearing a year as cancer-free after a grueling fight with her first occurrence of pancreatic cancer.

This picture is from Mom’s last birthday, in 2012, at my apartment in Austin, Texas, where I lived with Jenny. It was the only time Mom was ever a guest under my roof. The circle of nurturing was complete.

I wanted to share something special for Mom’s seventieth birthday, so I modified a speech I first gave two years ago into a video titled “Choosing Hospice.”

Each time I’ve given this speech, it has helped someone who has gone (or is going) through a similar situation.

After I showed this video to my brothers, Mike put it best remarking that there is no more fitting tribute to Mom than of “still helping people, even in death.”

Jenny says I should add a trigger warning (typical millennial) that this is sad and may make you cry, but I was there and I find it inspirational.

Choosing Hospice


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