Birthday Wish Among the Ashes

Today is my 44th birthday and I just finished writing a eulogy for a friend who lost her battle with cancer on Thanksgiving. I am to deliver it tomorrow during the funeral.

It’s also Small Business Saturday. This is my first year marketing…well, anything.  Preparing a retail store for the Christmas-shopping season feels like a Big Deal. It’s like the finish line of my year-long, marketing-learning marathon. Will we finish strong?

Then death happened…forcing me to stop. God has a way of doing that to me. Writing about and speaking-in-front-of-a-whole-bunch-of people about the life of a friend–what their life meant to you–you have to stop and change gears. I have had just over 24 hours to prepare–to summarize the life of this beautiful woman as I knew her to be in less than five minutes. What a great honor and privilege I have been given. Slow down, Melissa. Breathe deeply.

The last time that I spoke at a funeral, it was for my little brother. Another one who died Too Young and Too Full-of-Life. Andy gave me a lot of fuel. We had a lifetime of funny stories and inside jokes! Through the process of preparing that speech and sharing his testimony, even in the heart-break, I found Joy. That was three years ago.

Death grabs our attention, doesn’t it? It forces us to pause the busyness and reflect on the beauty of life. It reminds us that we only get one shot at this thing. How are we going to use our days…how are we going to use EACH day?

How can I love bigger? How can I serve better? How can I be a better Me? How can I walk closer with God–learning his will for my life? How can I lean in a little deeper? God, I ask You to order my steps today.

I am thankful for this opportunity to reflect, not only on Michele’s life, but on my own. Even in her death, Michele stretches me to be a better version of myself.

Y’all, I think I just found my Birthday Wish.

multicolor balloons


3 Comments on “Birthday Wish Among the Ashes

  1. Thank you. In the midst of your “growing” and loving and reflecting, you have reminded me to stop, access, and take inventory. To reflect myself on where I have been and who leads me.


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