Tag Archives: birthday

Birthday: A Day of Memory & Hope

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My mother’s birthday was on the fifteenth of September. It was the ninth year that I “celebrated” her birthday without her.

My mother died nine years ago, in 2008. In the beginning it was hard. I was especially close with my mom. I told her everything, or as much as any teenage girl told their mom anyway. Even when I went off to college to live in the dorms, I used to stay up late talking to her on the phone.

It’s been nine years since my mother died. I still think about her everyday. Lately, I’ve been thinking about her more, since the birth of my daughter. I wish that my mom could have lived to see my daughter.

But things happen and you can’t change the past. You can only go forward in life.

Every year, I think of my mom on her birthday. I think of how she died. I think of the memories that we shared when I was a child, a teenager, and a college student. Her birthday is not just another day. It is a day to remember the woman who gave birth to me. It is a day to remember the influence that she had on me. And finally, it is a day to remember and then pass the memories on to my child.

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How She Came Into My Life

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When I was twelve years old, I came home from school to watch an episode of Boy Meets World. By then, I enjoyed watching the late afternoon & early evening shows on the Disney channel.

The episode that I watched on that particular day resonated with me. It was one of the season one episodes called, “Teacher’s Bet.” The episode discussed the concept of racism and prejudice from both the modern-day and historical. It directly examined how one incidence of prejudice affected a minor character and then we see how each of the main cast are affected by it. In the classroom, the kids learned about Anne Frank and how she was killed simply for being Jewish.

I remember being intrigued. By that point, I was a lover of books and was constantly on the quest for a good book to read. The very next day, I headed to the local public library and checked out Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Thus began my relationship with Anne Frank.

I resolved to learn as much as I could about Anne and that terrible, terrible period. I went back to the library and checked out all the books on the Holocaust and Anne Frank that I could carry. Over the next few weeks, I devoured those books. I was fascinated. How could this have happened? How could someone with so much potential have died simply because she was Jewish?

In Anne, I saw myself. Anne Frank was a German Jewish girl who hid out in an Amsterdam attic from the Nazis. But she was more than that. She was a writer. She was in essence a teenage girl and all the many attributes that come with that. She often wrote in her Diary that her parents didn’t understand her. She enjoyed being the center of attention. She liked to entertain & make people laugh. She was crazy about boys, as many teenage girls are. In short, she was relatable. Many people often asked me why I liked Anne Frank so much and that is my answer: I could relate to her. Through the pages of her Diary, she was like a confidant, a friend, someone I greatly admired.

I’m writing this on June 12th, the anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth. Every year, on June 12th, I think of Anne and the positive impact that she has had on my life.

Oh… and by the way, today five years ago, I joined WordPress.