Today is Beth's birthday. A day for celebration and joy, yet marred this year with an unmitigated natural disaster that tore apart - and continues to do so, days after the first tremor - families and friends.
Amid a sea of well wishes and prayers, there was just one post that stood out above the rest. It wasn't from a family member - at least not biological - and it wasn't from a long lost friend. No, this was a special post that Beth was tagged in and that was so easy to get lost among the dozens of other birthday wishes.
Happy Birthday, Aunt Beth. I posted it elsewhere too, and I said a few kind words about how much good your organization does and how proud I am of you, but my words will never compare to those above...nor should they. There is not one person who can question how much you inspire these kids, these families, to help others and to be incredible humans, incredible global citizens.
To be honest, I don't think you really need another 'happy birthday' today. I've seen your Facebook - you've got plenty. And you might not need these next words, but you certainly deserve them - Thank You. Thank you for doing what so few others do, thank you for being who you are, thank you for not giving up on one single person.
I have no doubt in my mind that there are plenty of others who would say the same thing the man above said - one of her dubbed 'boys,' as she so lovingly refers to them - and that knowledge alone makes me, and every other member of our family, member of our lives, proud.
So thank you. I hope you never stop giving others the courage to do good things. And I know you'll never stop inspiring others to be selfless.
"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."