Do you want to read the story of my life? Read what what I’ve written. That does not tell you what I did, or what happened to me. What I’ve written tells you what I have thought, That’s more important than what I did.

The one date everyone wants to know while you are alive is the day you were born. For me that’s November 23, 1954. No one can take away your birthday. Not while you’re alive, anyway.

Don’t you think it’s interesting we don’t celebrate deathdays? We ought to bring out a cake with candles to tell everyone in the room how many years since you died. We could have deathday parties with ice cream and party favors. We’d bring out pictures and other mementos, to remember the person’s life and celebrate their happy journey. Instead you get one a one-off send-off, your funeral, and that’s it. The future belongs to the young and the quick.

So enjoy your birthday while you have it. After you die, no one celebrates your birthday, or your deathday. Too bad for you, and too bad for them. Card sellers and florists could do a brisk trade if we bought stuff for every deathday in the family. Whom would we give it to, though? Some cultures take more care to remember ancestors than we do in the West. I have a feeling family remembrance in the East does not involve Hallmark cards.

Flowers brighten up the family room. Tell stories that celebrate the good things we did. We would all love to be worshipped, and remembered, after we’re gone.

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