Birthdays and Death Days

My best birthday present of all time!

The last week of December always means a time for extra reflection on the past, the present and the future. With the New Year approaching, I join with millions across the globe to make resolutions to improve. But, the week carries a little extra importance for me. My oldest daughter and I celebrate our birthday’s this week. She was my birthday present 21 years ago today. (That’s more than a little crazy to think about!) How could that many years fly by so quickly? I certainly don’t think of myself as “old”, but, I’m certainly not in the  “young” category anymore. Birthday’s are such funny things. When we are young, it’s a huge delight planning the parties, celebrating the big day, and counting “how many fingers” we are now. And, there’s so much eagerness to keep adding to the number! Then somewhere along the line, (for me, it was the big 3-0) we realize that all the numbers are flying by at an alarming rate of speed like a train off it’s track – hurtling down the hill toward the inevitable last page of our “book of days”!

Isn’t it weird how much we avoid thinking about dying? After all, death is definitely a part of life. The two are a “package deal” from the moment we take our first breath. Easy to say. Hard to conceptualize.

"I am the Resurrection, and the Life"

The most awesome promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that although this life always ends, it is not “The End“. That is probably the most joyful and peace-giving concept in the whole world to me. Knowing that there is a plan and a purpose to all of this living stuff is a solid anchor. Knowing that you and I will get to see and hug and kiss once again the people we have loved and lost. . . Priceless!

I personally believe that the ones we cannot see right now can still see us, and they are watching our journey and rooting for our progress and happiness.

So, where do we go from here? Forward, of course! We will be receiving the gift of a new fresh year in a couple of days. Another opportunity to re-evaluate, set goals and make resolutions. The possibilities are endless. But, time itself is something we cannot hold, store, or stop. The only choice we have is to use our time wisely while it lasts.

“we who tarry here have a few precious moments remaining “to prepare to meet God.” (Alma 34:32.) Unfinished business is our worst business. Perpetual procrastination must yield to perceptive preparation. Today we have a little more time to bless others—time to be kinder, more compassionate, quicker to thank and slower to scold, more generous in sharing, more gracious in caring.” – Russell M. Nelson, Doors of Death, 1992

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