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It was her day, and she was granted her one big wish, a flight back to our home town of Michigan to be with many missed and much loved family and friends. But it was our day too, our day to love her, to celebrate her, to make her truly feel the depth of gratitude for that special moment seven years ago that she came into our lives and changed them forever. And so before her morning flight she woke to a party in her room, a party of balloons and colors, love and laughs… oh, and our annual birthday breakfast of pancakes with candles and sprinkles, but this time daddy made them in the shape of a big number seven.

With her birthday just one day before the moment our nation, and all of our lives, were changed on 9/11, I’m always reminded of how fragile life is when it comes time to celebrate our beauty. Why is it that we wait until a birthday to let someone know just how amazing it is that they’re born and in our lives? Why do I get myself going in ten directions at once, and the thing I put on the back burner is, “Mom, will you play with me?” or, “Mom, can I tell you a story?”

Our girl woke to a party of balloons in her room, and yes it was her birthday, but I don’t want to wait while a whole year goes by before I cherish her birth, and her life. What if we don’t all have another year, or what it if we do… but we spend too much of it on things less frivolous than life and love.

So this year, I’m going to spend my days, not only forgiving myself for not being perfect, but I’m going to find something new in them to cherish. And maybe, we’ll have a random balloon party or two, just because.

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What is it that you can celebrate or cherish this coming week?