During the time when I was a young mother with a large family of small children we were relatively poor.  There was no way that there was money for fancy parties or trips to restaurants to celebrate family events.  None the less I have always felt that it is important to celebrate life events as they occur for those who are closest to you and that you love the very most.  So we always celebrated things like birthdays with a small at home children's party and a family celebration as well.  For the family event the person being celebrated could select anything they wanted for their dinner choice and I would prepare it for them.  Since my children had never been exposed to fancy meals I was always sure they would select something within my budget constraints.  I also could not afford store bought decorated cakes - so there were many hours of baking and painstaking decoration done to provide the desired dessert.  There are family photos of many a pirate treasure chest cake, the baseball mitt with balls cake, the lady bug cakes, etc.  Fun just to remember these simpler times.

To this day, even though they are much older and they don't all live as close as I would like, I still carry on this tradition.  The menus have changed and the circle of people has been enlarged due to marriages and grandchildren now in the mix.  For me this tradition has never been about the food or the party, but always as an expression of the heart.  A way of honoring and caring for a dearly loved one by giving a gift of of the heart.  In our busy lives, it is also the way of bringing family back together and allowing us the time to catch up and enjoy each others company - something our fast paced lives doesn't always allow time for.  This tradition is important to me as it brings those that I love the very most closer together.

We are having such a celebration this weekend which has given cause to think about how long we have been doing these celebrations and how much I value our time together when we do.  This one is a milestone birthday for one of my children and one that will be celebrated well.

I also got news today that an old friend has stage four pancreatic cancer and is going through treatments in the attempt to reverse the disease.  I am reminded how important it is for each of us to make those important heart gestures to those we love as we never know how long we will have them with us.  As we go through life it is important to remember that people may not remember what you said, they may not remember what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel special and loved.

It has been suggested that it might be prudent to scale back the frequency of our celebrations, but for me it would be loosing an opportunity to let others know how special and important they are to me.  So I expect that I will continue this tradition as long as my aging body will allow.

If there are people in your life that you love and have not celebrated them in a while, now is the best time to start.  As life is uncertain, it is always best to act in the moment.  Giving meaningful expressions of the heart is always as valuable to the receiver as it is to the giver.

In peace..........Margie