August 14, 2013: It’s An Inch Worm Birthday

~by Susi Pittman

My sister Debby turned 60-years-old this week. So, my younger sister, Bev, and I surprised her with a fun lunch at one of our favorite Italian eateries. We brought along lots of home-made “funny” cards, a craft-fully embellished queenly tiara and scepter proclaiming her ancient years and some family pictures sure to make her smile.

Bev and I had to laugh as she met us at the table smiling and crying at the same time. That is Debby’s way. Knowing her as we did, it meant that she was really happy with the surprise, though an onlooker may have thought otherwise.

The luncheon was a walk down memory lane. We remembered the day of her birth, the funny moments of growing up, the blessings of faith, family and good health. It certainly is a ritual that is done millions of times a year among families and one well-worth the effort in keeping connected to the roots that make us relish our family heritage.

Usually, a 60th birthday designates a special gift of remembrance or commendation for the longevity of time now reached. There are many humorous gifts, extravagant silver-plated frames and jewelry items available to consider.

They weren’t my idea of the message I really wanted to send my younger sister. Having surpassed 60 a few years back, I wanted her to know that something remarkable and wonderful awaited this rite of passage. Something that was far more spiritually valuable and important than worldly things.

I stood before a shelf featuring lovely nature statues and wild animals, and there it was, the lowly inch worm. My mind reflected upon the life of this little creature and how quickly it lives, fully engaging life and then passing into flight. That was my message to my sister. I purchased the inch worm and wrapped it with the following note tucked away next to it:

The inch worm has a slow, but steady gait. She does not look back, she is always moving forward and she takes time to smell the rose on her way as she voraciously embraces her environment at this point of her life. Debby, the good life has just begun! One day we will pass into flight.

Happy Birthday, Debby and to all who have passed their 60th birthday! May you move forward in the  faith, hope and love of Christ that sets each and every one of our moments to teach us more about ourselves and His great love for us through His creatures.


Susi Pittman is founder of and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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