Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Happy Birthday to You!

Me-Stew by Shel Silverstein.  

I have nothing to put in my stew, you see,
 Not a bone or and bean or a
black-eyed pea,
So I’ll just climb in the pot to see If I can make a stew out of me.
I’ll put in some pepper and salt
and I’ll sit In the bubbling water—I won’t
scream a bit.
I’ll sing while I simmer, I’ll smile while I’m stewing,
I’ll taste myself often to see how
I’m doing.
I’ll stir me around with this big
wooden spoon
 And serve myself up at a quarter
to noon.
So bring out your stew bowls,
You gobblers and snackers.
Farewell—and I hope you enjoy

me with crackers. 

Why do we love to celebrate birthdays so much?  Why do most of us look forward to birthdays and love to have people remember our birthdays and tell us "Happy Birthday" on that special day?  Why are birthdays days to have parties and get gifts?  Why do we set aside that one day to think and remember and reminisce with friends and relatives?  

Birthdays are days to remember how special one person is in our lives.  That person had his or her origin or beginning on that day so we set aside that day annually to think about why they are special.  We CAN do that every day and should always be telling people how special they are and how much they mean to us but especially on the day of their birth should we recognize that specialness in unique ways.  

Last week Doris and I were driving home from our vacation in Arkansas and we went through Oklahoma on the way home.  We were having lunch in McAlester, which is in eastern Oklahoma and looked at the map and found out that if we went 50 miles out of our way to the town of Ada we could visit with my Aunt Tootsie who is the widow to my Uncle Shorty who died 27 years ago.  Aunt Tootsie remarried and her second husband died a few years ago and now she resides in a retirement home.  She is a very young 82, an accomplished artist, and a very loving and friendly person.  We visited with her for about an hour and a half and could have stayed longer if we did not have had to be in Dallas that night.  As we were leaving her, we all hugged each other and said we loved each other and then she told me, "I am so proud of you."  That meant a lot to me.  She has always been very affirming but she is my favorite aunt and she told me that day that I was always her favorite nephew.  The affirmation I felt that day brightened my day and has stayed with me.  

Affirming each other is something we should do daily but if we can only think about doing it on a special day such as a birthday at least we do it one day a year.  Birthdays are celebrated in many ways, sometimes due to personal preference of the celebrant ("I don't want any fuss made over me") or because of cultural traditions such as having barbeques or picnics on birthdays.  Some have huge gatherings with many invited and some prefer small intimate get-togethers.  The point of a birthday is to remember how special the one being celebrated is and to tell them that fact on that day.  

This Sunday is the birthday of the Church, the Christian Church, the holy catholic church, the universal church that includes all persons who claim the name "Christian" due to their baptism and place in the Church.  This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday that celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the world and the giving of the mission of spreading Christianity to the the Church.  This Sunday we say Happy Birthday to the Church and since we are the Church we say it to ourselves too.  Celebrate and rejoice and be happy and get to work.  There is a lot to do!  

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