Begin to look within, which starts by being grateful that you are alive today and maybe you will be able to celebrate another birthday.” ~ Debbie Centeno
A few years ago, on September 8, I attended two events. The first one during the day was a memorial service/celebration of life. The second one during the evening was a birthday celebration. I’m sure you probably think the memorial service was an older person, while the birthday was for a younger one. That’s okay because it is natural to feel this way.
But let me clarify. The memorial service/celebration of life was for a 12-year-old child. A sweet boy who didn’t have a chance at living a normal life because of a devastating condition he suffered. A child that we all expect to run around, play sports, enjoy the many activities and attractions for children. To grow into a young man, fulfill his childhood dreams, become a good citizen and have a family of his own.
The birthday party we attended was for a 70-year-old woman. She is a healthy person who raised three exceptional children. They surprised her with a birthday celebration, with Mariachis and all. A very well deserved celebration for a fine lady. Even though there have been some struggles, as we all have struggled in our lives, but it’s a blessing for her to reach the age of 70. I wish her many more years of health and happiness. So, what’s your point?—you might ask.
See the Irony?
As I mentioned above, some might imagine an elderly’s memorial service; it’s just natural. From a very young age, we learn that when we grow old, we will die. We don’t think about dying at a young age—especially being a child. We are not mentally prepared to even contemplate a child dying. So it always comes as a shock. However, when it’s an adult person, especially the elderly, it seems okay.
Never Take Life for Granted
We are here today and don’t know about tomorrow. We should be grateful for all we have. I have heard so many times how people complain about not having enough money; not having the latest fashion; not having the new technological gadget they so much want; how someone made them lose their temper, and so on. Every day I hear more complaints than gratefulness.
I’m not talking about my family environment; I’m talking about anywhere and everywhere. If you turn on the news, it’s 95% bad (and I think I’m modest here); the same goes for social media. While driving to work in the morning, I see it on the streets. People in a rush to get to their destiny, some blocking others from going into their lane. Others are driving too close to vehicles in a menacing way. Then there are the ones we interact with daily either while shopping, eating out, work and even socializing! Do they realize they have another day to live? Maybe they should take one-minute a day to be grateful for the gift of life. This action will emanate positive energy into the world, which will bring positive things into their lives.
My Point Is
We must focus on living the life given with gratefulness, thus enjoying what time we have on Earth. Everyone has struggled. There are good times and bad times. Learn to look for the good in the critical moments and life will be more enjoyable. Some might think, “Well, you haven’t gone through any struggles!” My response? Yes, I have. Just like any other human, I’ve struggled. My biggest heartbreak was the loss of my oldest son. But I did not let it define me. I learned how fragile life is, and I learned to be grateful. I learned to take a negative situation and turn it around by looking for the positive in it, thus making me a happier person.
Happiness Begins Within Ourselves
I urge you to reflect on this and make a better life for yourself. Happiness begins within ourselves. No one can make us happy. Look within, which starts by being grateful that you are alive today and maybe you will celebrate another birthday.
Many blessings to all, may you live a long, healthy, and abundant life.
by Debbie Centeno
Ten years of journaling my grief, anger, sadness, and joys now available in Kindle version and paperback on Amazon. (Based on a true story)