Celebrating Life

Celebrating Life

My mother had a strange ritual that she would perform. If she happened to be looking up and see that the clock said 3:21, she began to sing “Happy Birthday” in a low tone with her clear, wonderful soprano.  She passed along her strange ritual to my father who, if the clock happened to say 7:31 when he saw it, he would sing a chorus of “Happy Birthday” in his deep bass voice. They would sing it almost under their breath, but still loud enough so that people could hear it.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”right”]So, in this season when we recognize a different kind of birthday with the “rebirth” of God’s son, we all have something to celebrate.  [/pullquote]I thought they were both nuts. When I was an snarky teenager who was mortified at just how cute a couple they were, I asked them why they did that. My mother told me that was the time of day that reflected their respective birthdays and so, in that minute, for as long as that minute, it was time to celebrate.

Yes, I thought they were nuts then. Now that I’m older, I see a little more clearly how stopping to celebrate yourself at some point in the day makes sense.  Their song is almost is the same exercise that I’m doing for myself this year as I embrace my word of the year, “joy.” I take time at the end of the day to think about what gave me joy that particular day.  I now understand that stopping to celebrate yourself was their reflection on their gratitude in being alive, and bearing witness to existing in that moment.

So, in this season when we recognize a different kind of birthday with the “rebirth” of God’s son, we all have something to celebrate.  Their crazy little ritual has not passed on to me as of yet.  I have the worst luck with catching the clock in that minute and remembering to sing “Happy Birthday” in a low and soft tone to myself.  But I’ll catch on. Some family traditions are too nutty, and too precious, to be given up.

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Piper Huguley
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Piper Huguley

Named in 2015 as a top ten historical romance novelist in Publisher's Weekly, Piper Huguley is the author of the Reconstruction era "Home to Milford College" series. She is a 2013 & 2014 Golden Heart finalist for two novels in the "Migrations of the Heart" series about the Bledsoe sisters and set in the early twentieth century.
Piper Huguley
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4 thoughts on “Celebrating Life

  1. Rebecca Preston

    What a sweet memory, and a lovely way to bring joy into moments of the day! Thank you for sharing, Piper.

    By the way, I know another Piper. An uncommon name, yet I now have 2 friends with that name!

    Reply

  2. Gretchen

    This is great, Piper. I guess I have a new job to do at 6:37 pm. 🙂 Thank you, Jesus, for my very life. Every moment.

    Reply

  3. Tara

    How many everyday joy moments do we miss simply because we don’t take time to be still and notice them?
    Thanks for the reminder Piper.

    Reply

  4. Jen

    Loved this. Like I told you, I blurt out, “Hey, it’s my birthday!” every time the clock says 11:19. It’s good to know I’m not alone. 🙂

    Reply

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