“Your mom’s birthday tomorrow…How are you doing?” My cousin, Zubeen, texted from Toronto last night.

I had just come home from my own birthday dinner with my 3 kids and my husband. May has always been a month of celebrations with myself, my brother and my mom having birthdays within a handful of days. Mom’s last birthday was in 2008; Life has only given me more and more love each year since then, but I always look back fondly on how we used to celebrate together. And of course, there’s always that heavy feeling in my chest when I remember how special she made us feel on our birthdays.

When a loved one passes away, it’s always nice when someone else talks about them, brings them up in conversation, shares a memory, recognizes a special day. They never truly vanish when we keep them alive like that. Stories are so important, not just to reminisce with those who knew our loved ones, but also to pass down to the next generation who may not have had a chance to witness someone’s character or personality.

My mom was a giver. I don’t know anyone who could dispute that. She gave and gave, and then she gave some more. One of the things she liked to do was pay for the parking for the person behind her at the doctor’s office. “You never know what kind of news they got from the doctor.” This is so true.

My cousin, Zubeen, suggested we remember Mom today by doing a random act of kindness for a stranger in her honour. Kindness is a ‘given’ every day, of course, but her suggestion actually made me feel excited about today. Setting an intention to make someone else’s day a little brighter is always uplifting, but doing it in someone’s memory is another way of saying, “My mom existed. She once lived here with me.”

Being 3 hours ahead, Zubeen beat me to it 😉 I got her text first thing this morning sharing what she did for a stranger. It was a fun way to start the day!

Would you join us? If not for my mom, then for someone else you wish was still here with you?

You can tell us in the comments how you chose to spread kindness today – you never know who you will inspire. Plus, did you know that ‘witnessing’ an act of good increases the serotonin in your body? That’s Nature’s anti-depressant. The whole thing is a win-win situation!

Hope your day is full of love and joy, and celebration!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative birthdaymom