I like to celebrate life as much as possible. I try to be wild and crazy while really being boring and dorky. I count down the days to my birthdays even though I am over the age of 25 probably because of how I was raised and my grandmother. Birthdays are a big deal in my family. We do huge parties for everyone which really should put a strain on my grandmother who cooks for all the parties. She never minds though. She is 73 years old and one of the best people in the whole world. Even though I have like 30 cousins, she makes every party feel special. She is the type of person who adopts everyone and cooks dinner every Sunday for the entire family and whatever friends they drag along.
We almost lost her in 2008 and again in 2009. It was a very bad year for us. We lost my nephew Levi 3 months after he was born in April. We lost my great-uncle a month or so after that. My Uncle Lam commited suicide the weekend after Thanksgiving and that next week I found out I had HPV and possibly cervical cancer. The day after I got my awful news, I went with my grandmother to her follow-up appt after an irregular mammogram. We found out she had breast cancer as well as having something else in her system which would pretty much make sure the cancer would spread to her lympnodes. She was given a lumpectomy the next week and started chemo. Three times during her chemo process she almost died and spent weeks in the hospital. It was so scary. My grandmother is strong though. She pulled through, completed two years of chemo and has been cancer free ever since.
So I say that every birthday is important because every year that I get to watch my grandmother blow out the candles on her cake is another year that she is beating cancer.