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Happy Birthday to You, Me, Us and We….

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME,  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US,  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO WE.  (Birthday song for twins – Sung to trad. tune)                                                      

I am old enough not to get too excited about birthdays – after all it seems like they come just weeks apart.  And they tend to veer towards being festivals instead of days.  But there is still something special about that one day a year.  I was lucky enough to share a birthday with my sister for the first 58 years of my life.  And after she died it took a while for me to get used to having a birthday all to myself.  But now I’m starting to think of it as “my” birthday instead of “our” birthday.

One of the most poignant calls I ever heard left on an answering machine came into the Loaves & Fishes office more than 20 years ago.  It was a Monday morning and the message was from a young mother.  She had picked up food from Loaves & Fishes on Friday morning.  When she got home and went through the food she found a cake mix.  Her son’s birthday was the next day and if not for Loaves & Fishes he wouldn’t have had a cake to celebrate turning seven.  I know that made his 7th birthday seem official to him, regardless of the circumstances. 

I wonder how many people have used food provided by Loaves & Fishes to celebrate a birthday or other important day in their life?  We never know the full import of our deeds, good or bad, and we do well to remember that.  That little boy is in his late twenties by now.  Hope he is making a difference for someone who is following in his steps.