Today is my Cousin Melanie Segal‘s birthday, and I want to acknowledge it here because hers is a birthday to celebrate for many reasons.
We’ve always enjoyed poking fun at Melanie because she likes to play the airhead. Or at least she used to. But I think that all along she’s been smarter than most of us. She’s always been the ray of sunshine in the family, always positive, always smiling.
She’ll tell me I’m wrong, but that’s always how I’ve seen her. All the way back to when she was a toddler.
We were students at Salem State College at the same time in the early 1990s, and I used to bum cigarettes and lunch money off her constantly. She would just laugh it off. Me being the parasite I was back then, I think I enjoyed it all the more because she laughed it off, which doesn’t speak well of the person I was back then. But what’s done is done.
I have never heard her complain or speak ill of others.
Now she’s suffering from diseased kidneys and other maladies, and I’m told she’s eventually going to need a kidney transplant. She’s a regular at the local dialysis center. Her liver is shot to hell, too.
And yet she still jokes and smiles. You never see her on Facebook complaining about her lot in life. In fact, I have seen her on there telling other family members to work harder at seeing the rainbows through the clouds.
You want to see courage?
Look her way.
And when you’re having a shitty day and feel like telling the world how much life sucks, think of her and you’ll realize just how stupid you can be.
Happy Birthday, cuz.