Today, July 25th I was born in Buffalo New York (at least that is what my birth certificate says). I mean I was there in the room but really not aware of what was going on. Similar to most nights when I am out with friends. The picture is of me and my mom (Sandra), we lived on Peach Tree in Cheektowaga and you can tell by my mother's hairstyle and my clothes it was the 70s.

Today I am over half of a century old, but this month is more than just me celebrating a birthday.  In July of 1989, I lost my grandfather Lee. This was the first close relative I lost. Then in 2002, my mother passed away, it was also the same week I moved into my own place and was hired to work here at the radio station. It was all a blur, and I always wished she could see me grow into this career, seeing as that she thought I should pursue a different career path. Don't misunderstand me, she always supported me but she always wanted the best for me, as all mothers do.

Today is also a day I shared a birthday with my cousin Jimmy. I emphasize shared because Jimmy passed away last year. Why am I sharing this with you? It definitely is not to bring you down, but hopefully, it will inspire you.

I have a younger brother who I was estranged from for years. Recently we reconnected and I must say It has changed my life for the better. I learned to drop all the baggage I was carrying about him. I was exhausted from holding on to all the ill will that happened in that past and it feels amazing. I felt like I was dragging a cinder block with me until one day I just let go of the chain.

If I have learned anything in my fifty-plus years living with myself and others is this. Be grateful for everything. Appreciate everyone, including yourself. Live in the now. Not the past and not the future. A great person who inspires me is an author and motivational speaker, Timber Hawkeye, who once said "Your ego is not your amigo" and I wear the shirt as a reminder. Martial artists, philosopher, and movie star Bruce Lee who passed away July 20, 1973, also inspires me with his quote: 

Be Water, My Friend.
Empty your mind.
Be formless, shapeless, like water.
You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.
You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle.
You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Now water can flow or it can crash.
Be water, my friend.

Every day I wake up trying to be a better version of myself, not just for me but for family, friends, and everyone else I come into contact with. I always close my show out by saying what my grandfather always told me: "Be good, behave and be safe" I added 'be kind' because of all the things we can be, being kind is easy.

I will leave you with one of the best quotes about birthdays from comedian Jerry Seinfeld:

Well, birthdays are merely symbolic of how another year's gone by and how little we've grown. No matter how desperate we are that someday a better self will emerge, with each flicker of the candles on the cake we know it's not to be. That for the rest of our sad, wretched, pathetic lives, this is who we are to the bitter end. Inevitably, irrevocably. Happy birthday? No such thing.


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