Friday, March 17, 2017

Thank You from a Humbled Birthday Boy

I have the benefit of two extra hours in which to celebrate my birthday this year. Flying to Phoenix from Minneapolis bestowed this blessing upon me. Fittingly, I have decided to use the extra time to try to thank all of you who took time today to bestow your own blessings on me and our relationship.

"Wow" is the word the keeps coming to mind as I try to find a way to express how overwhelmed with gratitude I have been all day seeing greetings from friends all over the world.

It started this morning as I teared up reading what lifelong friend, Dr. David Ketroser, posted on our high school class' daily birthday greeting page. Then I chuckled when I read P.R. Genius Blois Olson's birthday listings in today's Morning Take newsletter and found myself described as "attorney and connector".

But nothing prepared me for the flood of well-wishing that arrived on my Facebook timeline, in my email inbox and as voicemail messages throughout the day.

Each greeting was precious, from the simplest "HBD" to Les Harris' annual birthday artwork. The humorous, like Susan Cushman's reference to being the 5,000th Facebook friend to convey greetings, the insightful, like Peter Dansky's invoking my Italian mentee, the loving, like references to "Uncle Sam" from several young adults I've known since their birth, the spectacular, like Wayne Klayman's obituary quality commentary, and everything in between, communicated the existence of connections that I'd best not take for granted.

As Dean Martin asked in the original Ocean's 11, how lucky can one guy be? This guy just tries to treat people with the dignity and respect they deserve. This guy expects nothing in return. Nevertheless, you persisted in demonstrating your appreciation for whatever binds us through your well-wishing. In doing so, you made me want to continue to convey, through words and actions,  how much each and every one of you sustain me and guide me to be an even better friend worthy of your time 365 days a year.

As I said, "wow". And thank you for each and every birthday greeting.