One of my favorite plays is Our Town by Thornton Wilder.
“We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being.
These words are stated by the Stage Manager character in the show. The lead female in the show is Emily. The powers that be, in the afterlife, allow Emily to go back to one day that was very special to her. Emily chooses the time of her twelfth birthday. She realizes how much time has passed and how much she did not notice. It is a very revealing and wonderful story.
Today, I am 57. Cinco de Mayo, is my birthday.
When I was growing up, I remember vividly one birthday party in my life. It was a gorgeous May 5th day and our picnic table was set up in the driveway. The breeze smelled sweetly of the blossoms off the many fruit trees we had in out back yard. There was a very colorful paper table-cloth with paper-plates, hats, and streamers all set up by a beautiful birthday cake.
Kids from the neighborhood were all present and Albert Giovanelli told me that his present was the best one because it was a “Slinky” (google it). I do not know if he was right or not, but out of all the gifts I received that day, his is the only one I remember 49 years later. So maybe Albert was correct.
I remember my mother wearing a dress; and all of the girls in dresses. Today it is very difficult to think of my mom being 20 years younger than I am now when she planned this party. It was such a peaceful and wonderful day.
I actually remember telling myself that it was very important for me ‘to remember this day’; and for so long I have. Where I put my keys yesterday, not so sure—but that birthday I will surely remember forever.
I have always found that it is best to remember the good. To hold on to the good. People have told me that I seem, by nature, to be a positive person. And I honestly believe that the reason for this is that ‘eternal-ness’ each human being has, which Thornton Wilder teaches us, is worth the time to get to know.
There are wonderful people in our lives. Truly wonderful people. And I am truly one of the most fortunate men on earth to know so many spectacular human beings who are as different as they are active, as strong as the are sensitive, as diverse as they are helpful, as strong-willed as they are conscious of others, as vocal as they are sensitive, and as helpful in my life as any man could ever hoped.
I am grateful for so many who are close, are colleagues, are partners in our battles, and for some incredibly silly reason have allowed me into their lives. I thank each of you for that, and for sharing yourself. It makes for a wonderful world.
Thanks for being my gift.
I am a diabetes dad.
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