Do you remember what that most recent birthday greeting you sent or received said or even looked like?
My mother was the type of person that loved receiving greeting cards, from me or anyone for that matter. I think for her it meant that if you took the time to send a greeting card, it meant that you cared the most.
So like many people, I would go through the same routine, year after year of driving to a card shop, scanning through the racks of mundane, cookie cutter birthday greetings and then picking one out that sounded nice or funny. Now I’m not one to write personal messages in cards, so I just signed it as I did every time before.
“love Anthony, xoxo“
And if it brought a smile to her face, like it usually did, then mission accomplished. But I can tell you this. It always felt a little empty to me.
My mother battled cancer for about 7 years so a few years before she passed, I really wanted a birthday greeting that was different, one that was more personal, and one that actually meant something, not just for her, but for me too. So I went to a beach and made a happy birthday message in the sand out of some organic materials that I could find at the shoreline. After I was done I made a video of that happy birthday message.
I was with her when she got my email link to that birthday message in the sand video. The reaction from her this time was different, much different for her, as well as me. This time I could clearly see the authenticity of her smile and happiness of receiving my birthday greeting, and she didn’t even know till later that I physically made that message in the sand.
As the next year’s birthday approached, I was suddenly stuck because I couldn’t just fall back into the same routine from years prior. So, I searched the internet for people making entertainment type videos that I could get them to personalize for me.
The video below is that original happy birthday message in the sand and the next birthday greetings that I sent her.