It's my birthday! Bring out the balloons and the red velvet cake coated with cream cheese. Light the candles and sing Happy Birthday. Yes, celebrate this age-old tradition. Celebrate life. It's a very special day. New life has been brought into the world. Life has not been denied. Let the world be better for it.
A bit of history. Ancient Greeks are credited with baking round cakes to honor the goddess of the moon. They often decorated the cakes with a lit candle to represent the glow of the moon.
The first birthday cake as we know it is believed to have originated in Germany in the Middle Ages. A candle would be placed on the cake to represent "the light of life."
Many traditions today likewise place candles on cakes. Usually the number of candles is representative of the age being celebrated.
To make the day complete, celebrants enjoy gifts and birthday cards with messages of warmth and friendship.
Today is my birthday. Thank you, Lord. This day is holy, and I offer it to you. Of all the celebration, I cherish the gift of your love the most. It remains closest to my heart. You breathed precious life into my soul and chose me to live, to journey with you. On this life's journey there are happy days, joy and laughter and also difficult times, but I know that you are there with your love and support. I ask today that you continue to walk with me. Lead me home where we shall celebrate life eternally.
Leone Juszczyk, S.S.J., lives in Stevens Point.