American Cancer Society: The Official Sponsor of Birthdays ♥
It’s funny, I have been contributing to this cause for years now. I have donated money and time and I have participated in Relay for Life for quite a few times. And yet, the message has never hit me as hard as this advertisement up above has. I think it’s because the meaning behind a “birthday” has diminished as we have grown older. How many people have said “Ugh, it’s my birthday, I’m another year older”. I mean, even Bella in the series, Twilight, forbids any celebration of her birthday due to her wariness of growing older. But have we ever stopped to think, “Thank god, I am fortunate to have another year under my belt”? We are so caught up with the passing of our youth that we don’t stop to realize that the fact we made it through our youth is worth celebrating for.
Everyone has a different opinion on how a birthday should be celebrated. A giant gala. Or a day filled with friends and fun. Or a quiet, private dinner with the family. But in reality, a birthday should be just as much as YOUR celebration as everyone else’s.
I think this advertisement has hit me hard because I have a friend who’s mother passed away two years ago. One day during dinner, her grandmother called her and told her how it would be her mother’s 50th birthday if she were still alive. And all of a sudden, I saw my strong, independent friend, break down into tears.
It’s not fair that an oncologist, who was doing so much for the world and really knew what a birthday meant, was ripped from this world by a disease other than old age. It’s not fair that there are people in this world who find the term cancer as another guilt trip for more money. It’s not fair that while there are more and more survivors every year, the death toll for cancer is still up there.
But you know what’s fair? Your birthday. There is no shame in celebrating it and there should be no guilt for enjoying it. A birthday is more than adding a candle to the cake. It’s the acknowledgment that another year of cherished memories was made possible.