Birthday Thoughts Years after a Death
Today, you would be 83, beloved Bubbele.
It seems strange to hold you in my heart , on yet another birthday
Even though you left the earth those seven years ago.
I’m still so happy you were born.
I learned and changed so much.
You opened doors, your love still felt by many.
You are still my teacher, as I learn from you how a life, though ended,
Echoes forward down the ages,
How love continues on its way, as people you have loved
Give of that love to neighbors, friends, and family –
And they pass it along to others , who send it out to yet a thousand more,
An energetic ripple that gains power over time,
No longer named “Ellen,” but simply “Love.”
My beloved Ellen (Ellen Scheiner, MD,) died in November, 2008. Today is the 83rd anniversary of her birth in Brooklyn, NY. She always used to say as a birthday greeting, “I’m so glad you were born!” — brilliantly shifting the focus of the birthday celebration to the beauty of life rather than the grim progression of years. I’m realizing, as I think of her today, how the world’s gladness that a person was born continues to ripple out even after that person has left the physical plane, and how the good that we do in life is eternal, even if it is no longer linked with our name. I’ve sometimes wondered if I would really leave a legacy. Today, I’m appreciating, for the first time, that the energy I’ve put forth in service and kindness will be my eternal legacy, as Ellen’s love and generosity are hers, echoing down the ages where she is remembered and — more and more — where she is not. Ellen, I’m so glad you were born — more and more as the years pass.