My birthday is this week.
Birthdays were always peak experiences and life passages in our family. We saved all year for their homespun extravagance. We brought all the 5 senses to the birthday. Willed my children, who are all grown up now, “Remember the fire hydrant party, the bee party, the unicorn party, the sky writer party, the chocolate party, the Goddess party, the Harley Davidson party and all the rest?” Will they delight in their wisdom and the marinating of their lives on their own birthdays?
I often wonder how my children will celebrate my birth once I am gone. Will they set an empty plate for me at their dinner table where I would have sat? Will they serve my favorite food? Will they play my favorite songs in the background? Will my daughters wear my favorite jewelry? Will they say my name throughout the day, loud for everyone to hear; “My Mother, Aviva, always said… That reminds me of something my Mother, Aviva, did…”
Will they remember that they called me Mommykins? Will they remember our ‘Mommy Mondays?’ Will they remember the rants on a soapbox about my philosophy of life as I held them captive in seat belts as I drove them to school? I am certain one of them rolled her eyes and the other one probably got a few more winks of sleep while I went on and on and on, hoping to imprint wisdom into their young minds? There may be something to be said about sleep learning after all.
Will they remember the smiles and words of encouragement, the under the radar sacrifices that made everything look easy and possible? Will they remember how to go deeper under the trappings of the shiny and the superficial? Will they remember that their character and their reputation are always within their control, but that they inevitably will have no control over what weathers their choices and drives them forward as life pushes on them? Life just is. Will they remember that consequences and the downsides are part of life and go hand in hand with the upside? It is the grace and the courage to take those consequences that make strong soul fibers?
Will they remember what my Mother taught me and I carried forward: “To thine own self be true, and they can be false to no man?” Will they remember to discern very carefully just what energies they want to come into their sphere be it relationships, food, environmental factors or information and be forever vigilant to have their will as the bouncer of what and who goes in or out of the door to their mind, heart and body?
Will they remember that if they are not making mistakes that they are not living big enough?
Will they remember, as my Father taught me? That “the meaning of the sentence of life needs spaces between the words” so not to fill all their senses and life so full with things and experiences so that God can fill the void they leave?
Will they remember to believe in miracles, because we have experienced them in full bloom in our family? Will they remember to roll with the punches because where there was a down there will be an up, just like my Mother said, “This too shall pass”?
Will they remember to dab one of the tears that falls off their eyelash into their mouth as a remedy from the collective sadness, from the oceans that purify all, to help them heal themselves? They know I have always told them that, as the great herbalist, Dr. Yudin said, “The answer is always in 25 miles of the problem.”
The healing nature of a taste of their own tears will allow them to click the ruby red slippers of their lives with the answer already there waiting for recognition from them.
Will they laugh? Will they create? Will they have fun? Will they be unsatiated in curiosity, especially about things they think they already know, and insist on looking again?
Will they appreciate the lepers, cast-offs and misunderstood in the world, and look within themselves at those parts of themselves they cast off? Will they stop yearning to be understood by others, and instead understand self first?
I hope they remember me for more than my public face of being named, “The Doris Day of Death”. I hope they remember me for the name my own Mother gave me, Aviva, “Breath of Spring”, and breathe ‘GO’ fearlessly into their lives. And by doing so, they will have remembered my name, my legacy, my expression, and me. And I will be smiling through the ethers in bodiless form. The love I have for them will bombard their heart. And they will feel me, and I them, forever and a day.
And on this birthday as I am still in the process of creating the dash between my birth and my death, and it is a long dash, for the wish on my birthday cake candles, I want to have birth and death be bookends of light, hope and connection now and with all the soul bonds I have connected.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ME. Today I thank my Mother and Father for the light and breath of my birth.
This was a story about the tears that become healing homeopathic remedies when you taste them on your cheek. I wrote this at 25 yrs. old. A gift to my children:
By Aviva Boxer, 25 years old
A raindrop once lost its way upon my tear-laden cheeks. It dripped itself right into the pool of tears. The tears huddled in a whisper, “A new breed to join our ranks of sadness?” Not this aqua-bulb, as similar as it looked. Side by side they looked the same, raindrop and tear, and sounded the same as they dripped to the floor. But up close and with further investigation the cold, fresh raindrop held a ray of sunshine inside of it and had the metamorphosizing ingredients of a colorful prism of a rainbow. It had, the capability to wash away the ill thoughts and deeds with forgiveness and compassion, hope and transformation, as rainbow always do. Raindrops come from heaven, a smile from the Sun divine. Tears on the other hand stem from man’s earthly fears, self-pity, guilt and regret. Rainbows bloom from each raindrop as rain-buds producing an arc of colorful vibrancy.
So the raindrop appearing on my puffy cheek started to mingle and wildly kiss my tears laden so heavy and full. The tears swelled. They danced. They spread from their flowing stream. Then somehow my tears seemed sweetened, more opaque, more movable, and less dense. This errant raindrop, like an alien spaceship, had landed and was using the smile of sunshine from the heavens to heal the wounds and give breath back to my life. It dribbled into my mouth. I felt the corners of my lips curling into a smile, my lashes raised so my downcast eyes could look upward. I smiled. I breathed. Now my soul could join the world again.