A birthday celebration mixed with gratitude for life and love

"Birthday Cake" by Will Clayton. From Flickr.com, used under Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Yesterday was my 68th birthday. It’s amazing that I have lived this long with this disability that is so devastating to my body. As I practiced my meditation yesterday morning I experienced my breath as though it was my first.

I can’t stop thinking about how precious and fragile this life is and how fortunate I am to be given this thing called life.

My daughter Debbie surprised me at dinner Monday evening. A surprise that Joan had arranged in advance. It was a wonderful evening filled with lots of laughs and love. But when she got home and called me the following day she was much more reflective: “hey dad, there’s something I wanted to say to you last night but never did…”

After several moments of silence during which I knew she was tearful, she said: “what I didn’t say this how grateful I am that you are here having a birthday.” We both cried together – tears of gratitude. And when we hung up, I told Joan how grateful I was to have conversations like that with Debbie.

Could we have done that if we didn’t live together knowing life was this fragile? Could I love Joan as deeply as I do without knowing how precious these things like love and compassion and laughter and life itself really are?

Quadriplegia carries many gifts and much adversity – just like life itself.

Please take care. Please enjoy.


2 Comments on A birthday celebration mixed with gratitude for life and love

  1. Dan, what a beautiful message, thank you for sharing. You teach all of us the importance of gratitude & thankfulness by sharing yourself and your deepest emotions with the world. I have and will continue to learn so much from you.You have made my life richer in so many ways. So thankful to call you my friend! Love you!

  2. Elizabeth Kane // June 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm // Reply

    Dr. Dan you are such an inspiration, have a happy belated birthday with many more love filled years to follow. Thank you for being you.

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