Today is my cousin Tim’s birthday.
“Happy Birthday!” I tell him, smile across my face. A bottle of cerveza raised is all he needs on this important day, his birthday. Today honors the birth of a very humble and joyous soul. Facebook wants me to give him a Starbucks gift card of anywhere between 5 and 50 dollars. I’d buy him the card but he’d just end up taking me out for coffee with it anyway. Tim was born in 1982. He would have been 32… he would have been.
Tim was hit and killed in a tragic bus accident in New York City in May of 2011 and never lived to see his 30th birthday. I guess that makes him forever 29. A much better age to be stuck at for the rest of time than those fashion stores that clothe you under the illusion you can stay 21. Who would want that anyway? 21-year olds get terrible car insurance rates.
Tim, however, was happy with whatever age he sat upon. It was just one more year to make memorable. One more year to shine the light within him. Age is a funny thing. Tim had a stroke when he was 18 and lost a lot of his cerebral functions, as well as much of his memory. He had to re-learn a lot of things. It was like God pressed the reset button on his mind.
Before the stroke Tim loved to travel and experience life to its fullest. Some would think that after losing much of their memory, their drive for such things might wane as well… but not Tim. Tim’s love of life was inherent. This is not the case with everyone.
After Tim’s funeral, my brother gave me a wristband that was black on one side, and pink plaid on the other. It was a remembrance band, he told me. We would wear it to remind us of Tim’s love for us and his love for life, so that we may never forget to have either. I still wear that band, and although the band might one day snap and the pink plaid has most certainly faded, Tim hasn’t. Not one bit.
So, today is my cousin Tim’s birthday… Happy Birthday, Tim.