Today is a special day. It marks the day that my agency supervisor-aka my Jja Jja [grandfather]-aka Festus, almost died exactly one year ago. When he told me at dinner last night about the significance of today, I couldn’t help but think, “Hmm, well that seems morbid…but perhaps it is a cultural thing.”
When I saw him this morning I said, “I am happy you are alive and well today Jja Jja!” From the moment I said that until we arrived at school he sang, Oh Happy Day! over and over and over.
Then a young woman who he sponsored in school through University came to his office and brought him a cake that said, “For my Jja Jja!” It was a celebratory cake for something very special—his life.
While I was conducting a group meeting with the secondary students this afternoon, I had them stand in front of the class and list at least three things that make them special. Most of the children listed, “I am special because my parents are still alive” as one of their items.
I am used to celebrating my life on my birthday. I am also used to partially celebrating the life and health of my friends and family on Thanksgiving. Perhaps having a day to celebrate the fact that we are still alive, one year, two years, or even a decade after a near death experience is a brilliant way to take a moment of thanks for the lives we have.
I will be providing Jja Jja with a Coke this evening, because I think his life is very special [and every time he drinks a Coke he treasures every single sip and rants about how it is a party because we have Coke!] I hope you may find you have a special life worth celebrating today too!