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A Special Day

Seventy-six years ago, a little girl was born into the ravaging final stage of WWII. Three months later, her father died in a massive bombing attack, and then after a few weeks, the house burned down in another assault by allied bombers, burying her under the rubble. Her mother dug her out and tried to save the baby’s eyes using her breast milk since no water was available. A rough beginning indeed, and that little girl was me.

It has been a long and diversified journey since then. I experienced incredible spiritual encounters, painful losses, stressful family situations, two immigrations, a successful career, exotic travel, and a more even and exciting life with my husband for the last 38 years.

Looking back at my life and considering the serious health condition I am dealing with, my birthday this year felt like the closing of a circle. I felt compelled to ponder where I stood in my life at this time and came to the conclusion that I am in peace. Most of my life lessons have been absorbed, and I can honestly say that I am ready to accept whatever is waiting for me. Not everything has been solved to my satisfaction, but I cannot change people. The only thing I can do is love them from far away and hope that someday they will open up enough to feel my love.

I have been blessed with many loving and caring friends, and my life is filled with happiness. Please do not think that this is a goodbye note, I still have some living to do, but my birthday this year brought clarity to me which I wanted to share.

Life is a gift, and being close to the end of mine, I am filled with appreciation. I know that some of the struggles and challenges made me grow to the person I have become. I am grateful for the opportunities and will keep on with my efforts to become a better and more fulfilled person. My birthday has always been connected to a painful loss in my younger years, and I understand loss so much better since I have lived it myself. We all feel in different ways, and I am not so presumptuous to think that I am an expert about loss and know how others think and feel. I am talking about the hole and the void loss creates and the resulting experience we carry with us throughout our whole life. This is true for most of our emotions, and the more I can feel, the humbler I become.

My birthday this year was a special day. I’ll travel this memory lane often and it will give me strength and joy during the coming year.

Enjoy every day to the fullest and be happy.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

Happy Birthday, Romeo!

And many, many returns. We wish you a healthy life filled with joy, love, fun and lots and lots of toys. Oh, how he loves his toys! Romeo never gets tired of playing and fetching. He is the happiest little guy, and my heart fills with love just watching him. Sometimes I imagine how it would feel to live like him, enjoying every moment to the fullest, always being in the present and loving unconditionally. I am striving towards this dream, life just gets into the way sometimes.

He enjoyed his second birthday on January 6th to the fullest. A new toy, a special gourmet dish prepared for him by his mummy, and a nice, exciting outing. Life is good! We love him so much, and I am sure his siblings joined him spiritually in his celebration. He doesn’t know that another birthday gift is waiting for him. A new haircut! He will go to the groomer for the first time to get a new look. I am sure he’ll love it. He is so rambunctious that all that hair gets in his way. I cannot wait! Just in case you don’t remember how he looked as a puppy, I added a photo of him at about 4 months old.

He is an exceptionally curious and inquisitive little dog. When we brought him home as a little puppy, he was intrigued by labels. Any label! Do you know that chairs generally have labels under the seat? Well, I never paid attention to it, but our little Romeo made it his job to remove them. We have quite a few chairs, and most of the labels are gone. It doesn’t hurt anything, and it was amusing to watch. He is still fascinated by labels, but now we have to be careful not to leave anything laying around with a label because he immediately goes to work!

Romeo is a lover and lives up to his name. If you love him, he will love you, and he will shower you with kisses. He is our first boy, and I wouldn’t miss this time with him for anything. The moment I saw him at 6 weeks old, I knew he was our boy, and I cannot imagine my life without him.

I love you, little sweetie!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

Romeo, our Birthday Boy

Romeo First BirthdayFrom the tiny 10week old puppy to the strapping and handsome one-year-old Yorkie, it has been pure joy watching and raising him. He is such a sweet little creature, and he certainly deserves his name. Romeo is a lover, and at the same time he is “all boy”. I watch him with awe since our other Yorkies were all girls. I had no idea that there was such a difference between the sexes, and have to admit I didn’t give it much thought. I was more focused on paper training a boy, but when I met Romeo, I fell in love and the rest of my concerns flew out the window.

So I am learning and adapting and loving every minute of it. Romeo was so excited on his birthday, not that he knew what it meant, but there were all these packages to open, a plate with his favorite foods and a candle! I don’t know what wish he made when his dad blew the candle out for him, but I am sure it was something exciting and fun. Because that’s who Romeo is! A happy little Yorkie, living in the moment and seeing the joy and fun in everything.

Words cannot express how much his presence in my life touches me constantly. His beautiful face, loving nature, and entertaining personality make me forget my personal health issue and I can only smile when he is with me or I think about him. He shows me how to make the best of every moment and not to regret the past or worry about the future. For example, his favorite squeaky toy doesn’t squeak any longer, and Romeo is a master in squeaking his toys. But he is not sad or disappointed, he just decides that the toy has outlived that facet of his play and now he will chew and ultimately destroy it. Both are fun for him and he is happy and content in the moment.

I am learning so much from him, and I am deeply grateful. I wasn’t sure if there would be another furry companion in my life when my health didn’t improve. But it was certainly the right decision for me. I surround him with my love, and he returns it many times over. We all need a Romeo in our lives offering unconditional love and unlimited potential for joy and happiness. You are my hero, Romeo, and I love you with all my heart!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

Many Candles …

 

Many CandlesSeptember is always an interesting month for me because we celebrate both our birthdays and our anniversary within the first half of the month. This year it is one of the milestone birthdays, and there will be many candles on my birthday cake. I hear people say, that because they are getting older, they will not celebrate their birthdays any longer, and I wonder why.

Birthdays are special; they are the annual celebration of our life. When a little baby is born it brings joy and happiness. This day of one’s birth is filled with love, promises and lots of hope for the infant. It is the beginning of a life’s journey. There are milestone birthdays like starting school, sweet 16, 18 comes with some responsibilities and privileges, and then 21 gives full freedom and marks the start of adulthood. Many more milestone birthdays will follow, like 30, 40, 50 and beyond. It seems that the years get shorter the older we get and life goes racing by. My first milestone birthday was at the age of 4. My mother had promised me that I could go to Kindergarten for my 4th birthday. I always will remember how happy I was, it was a Kindergarten run by nuns and I was allowed to choose who could sit at my little table. I was offered a tiny little coffee cup set – it was pink, I still remember – and I chose a little boy to be my companion. It was so very special and I felt so grown up.

Every birthday, no matter what age, is the celebration of one’s life. It can be a day of revisiting the past, making decisions for the future, or just enjoying the present. But it is a special day and should be celebrated as such. I am not talking about parties, although they can be a lot of fun. I am talking about celebrating ourselves, the person we have become, who we are proud of, and who we love. It is a special day at every age, a day for celebration.

This year my birthday cake will have many candles, and although I don’t feel any different than I did years ago, I know that I have earned each one of them. Each candle represents a period in my life filled with memories, some better than others. But they all brought me to this moment and when I’ll look at this year’s brightly lit cake, I’ll remember that all these shining flames symbolize my life, the years I have lived, and the people who have shared my journey. When I make my wish while blowing them out (can I handle this large number???) I will feel grateful for all my blessings.

When your birthday comes around and you don’t feel like celebrating, or think there is no one to celebrate with, please remember, you deserve the celebration. It is about you, the life you have lived and the things you have achieved. Don’t let the day go by without making it special for you. Be kind to yourself and know that you have earned every candle on your cake!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
author and founder of www.NotJustCooking.com

 

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