Having just celebrated another birthday, it becomes even more evident to me that it's not the gifts that make the day special, it's the people you surround yourself with. This was my first birthday without my mother, and somehow, it seemed as if she was with me while I spent the evening with my husband, son and sister. We had a wonderful dinner, complete with a slice of cake that we all shared (2 spoonfuls each, less guilt that way!). I opened cards with heartfelt messages inside, and received lovely gifts from all. However earlier in the evening, I felt that pang, the kind you feel when your heart experiences loss. I missed my mother's presence, her laugh, her smile.
But it wasn't long before a sense of calm came over me. All of a sudden, a voice inside me said. “Don't worry, you're going to be all right.” It was my mother's voice. And what she was telling me was true. Having my family around me would sustain me. I was grateful to be loved and happy to love back. That, of course, would be the best birthday gift of all.
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