Birthday Surprise

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For my birthday my friend Vandi took the initiative to secretly invite my friends and extended family to wish me a happy birthday in a YouTube video. I was very touched by their thoughtfulness and also for the effort that my immediate family made to make it special day for me. It’s difficult for me to travel long distances and so it was fun for me to be able to see friends and relatives again, in the birthday video, who live a significant distance from me now.

I was born on my mother’s birthday who died of breast cancer in 2003.  My mom was always one of my closest friends and did so much to help me during my life. She was a very selfless person who put a lot of effort into making my birthdays enjoyable and memorable for me. It seemed like she gained more satisfaction from providing me with wonderful birthday experiences than she did from celebrating her own birthday. The Spring can be a difficult time for me because my mom died in March. Then with my birthday, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day  it seems like I’m constantly being reminded that she’s died.

So I appreciated the reminder that the YouTube video gave me of the positive aspects of my life and that I still have several people in my life that care about me. It also made my birthday more enjoyable to be able to spend time with my sister and brother-in-law as they found out the gender of their next baby girl and to see my oldest niece in the birthday video. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be an uncle and to hopefully  have a positive influence in the lives of my nieces.

I’m also grateful for the hope that my religious beliefs give me to know that God wants me to have happiness in my life and that He cares about me. I’ve received compliments on how well I supposedly handle my disability and some people wonder how I maintain a positive attitude. I’m very thankful to have had the support of my parents, my sister and my friends whose kindness continues to make my life so much easier for me. My stepmom has also been supportive of me pursuing the goals that I’ve had for my life.

I’ve been fortunate to have the support of so many people in my life which I feel has significantly contributed to any success that I’ve been able to enjoy. My close friends especially have done countless small acts of kindness that have gone a long way toward helping me to make it through the most difficult times in my life.  It’s been such a blessing for me to have the opportunity to get back in touch with my friends in recent years. I’m certainly grateful for all of the effort that my friends and family put into making this past birthday the best birthday that I’ve had.

I’ve always tried to be a genuinely good person. So it made me very pleased for my friends to tell me that I’ve influenced their life a positive way and I’ve always respected the incredible people that they are. The YouTube birthday video meant quite a bit to me mainly because I felt like it gave my mom some recognition for the good person that she was and showed how her great example of kindness has positively influenced how I’ve tried to treat people throughout my life.