I didn't want to put this on FB, because I didn't want to draw too much attention to it, so I just put it on my blog, which is only a little less narcissistic.
I tried to tell my host family that my birthday was coming up, not because I want some crazy suphra, but I didn't want them finding out later and being mad that I didn't tell them. So in my attempt at telling them, they tell me we are all going to a funeral on Tuesday (my family still doesn't really know how to ask me things, instead just choosing to tell me I'm doing something; lost in translation type of thing). Apparently one of Lasha's cousins died in an accident (not really sure about the details), and the procession is today. I didn't know how to tell them that going to a funeral on my birthday isn't my ideal way to celebrate, so I just said okay and am now trying to find something dark to wear.
But it got me thinking about how I spent my last birthday, watching my Grandmother Carol pass away after a pro-longed bout with dementia. Most people's reaction to that story was, oh, that's so sad you had to spend your birthday like that. But in fact, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and definitely the best birthday of my life. I got to spend it with the most important people in my life (sorry friends, though I probably like you more, you are not as significant to me as family), and it culminated a week in which I got to spend the first significant time with my entire father's side of the family in all I can remember.
Do you know how terrible I would feel if all I could say was that on my 24th birthday, I was getting drunk at a bar in Charleston while my Grandmother took her last breaths over 800 miles away? The past year I've been incredibly thankful I will never have to say that.
So no matter how depressing we can make our birthdays out to be, there is always a silver-lining; something out there that makes you remember how lucky we are to be here (wherever here may be).
Today I get to celebrate life by respecting life and realizing how precious and fragile it can be. Plus I get to see something that I may have never experienced had I not come to Georgia. Shvidobisa.