Today is my niece’s 10th birthday.
Everyone will be smiling and celebrating the milestone of her Double Digits.
Unfortunately, now that we live in Florida, we will be unable to attend the party- but my kids will Skype or FaceTime and we will all send our love and hugs and kisses.
I have no doubt that my sister in law – a multi-tasking Working SuperMom like myself – will manage to find time in her 1000 hour work week to schedule a Great party with balloons and cake and the typical birthday fare including friends and family to join in the celebration.
My niece will undoubtedly have the BIGGEST SMILE on her face…she ALWAYS does.
This celebration of a decade of her life is MORE than a typical birthday party with ice cream and pin the tail on the donkey (do kids even play that anymore??)…..it’s a celebration of a decade of ENDURANCE, POWER and STRENGTH – and more importantly, the WILL TO LIVE.
You see, my niece has Special Needs.
She INSPIRES me everyday – as she is THE STRONGEST person I know when it comes to determination to LIVE each and every day the BEST she can.
She was diagnosed with a “cluster” of problems and given a SHORT LIFE EXPECTANCY.
My niece was born with a myriad of complicated issues and spent the first half of her life undergoing numerous life threatening and invasive surgeries. When she catches a cold that is referred to as “Common” to the rest of us- SHE ends up in the hospital for 3 weeks. YET she she defeats the lingering suggestion of death that is looming through the intensive care halls and puts up a FIGHT that would make any professional Boxer envious. SHE IS one DETERMINED little girl and she always makes me PROUD!!
Although she is bound to a wheelchair, fed by a tube, and can only express her feelings and thoughts with gestures and sounds, she has the uncanny ability to LIGHT UP A ROOM.
Of course it goes without saying that I am her favorite Aunt, but that’s only because we share a special body language ….STRENGTH AND SURVIVORSHIP.
I THANK her each day for reminding ME that LIFE is a GIFT and should not EVER be taken for GRANTED.
I THANK her for reminding ME that there are NO EXCUSES for not being the BEST we can be.
Just like my niece lives each and every day: NEVER EVER take your life , your family, your health, your body and your abilities for granted.
Never give up.
Each and every one of us CAN and SHOULD make the CHOICE to MAKE THE MOST out of every single day we are given.
Now go out for a run or a walk or a take a swing on the swing set or slide down that slide….just GO AND LIVE !!
Happy Birthday Nettie!