Patrick would be 42 today — it’s always a bittersweet day, to say the least. But even though he’s no longer with us, I like to celebrate his memory on his birthday. Like the Day of the Dead when we decorate graves with flowers and take our dead relatives their favorite foods and drinks as a way of reminding them, and ourselves, that although we’ve been separated, we never really do lose on another.
So tonight we’re all having dinner tonight at our friend Jim’s restaurant. We had Patrick’s last birthday there — it was a fun and festive evening — and at one point my darling brother, wearing a kid’s blue cone-shaped birthday hat, looked up from the end of the table to make a toast. “Despite some setbacks,” he said. “This has been one of the happiest years of my life. Thank you for being such great friends and for welcoming us into your lives.”
And so, in memory of Patrick, a guy who had to start over more times than anyone should have had to, and who was nonetheless someone who managed to keep looking for the positive in every situation, here’s a great post at zen habits called “Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy.”