Today is Esther Earl Day. If you're unfamiliar with Esther's story you can read about it here. To boil down the day though, today would have been Esther's birthday and last year she asked that people who wanted to celebrate her birthday make it a point to tell someone "I love you." She asked that you pick someone who you love, but don't generally say the words "I love you" to, not a crush but a friend or a relative. Someone who means something HUGE, someone who is a gigantic part of your life, someone who impacts your life and makes it better every single day. So today is a day when you celebrate the love you have for others in honor of a girl who did everything possible to show love to everyone around her.
Although I was not friends with Esther, she impacted my life in a very real way. I wasn't her friend on facebook, I didn't follow her on twitter, I didn't watch her videos on YouTube, and in fact I only heard about her in the few months before her death. However, I was impacted by the impact she made on the lives of people that I respect and admire. Listening to John Green and Lauren Fairweather talk about how they were inspired by Esther's life and affected by her death was a humbling experience. Realizing that this girl was affected by a disease, but refusing to succumb to the disease and instead fighting to make the world a better place made ME want to face each day with dignity and grace. It is so easy to complain. Finding the bad things in life is easy. It is so easy to list negative things. I'm not sure why. I can come home from work and spend hours talking about how crappy my day was. It is difficult to find good things. Since Esther's passing I've tried to be better. I've tried to think positively and spread love to others. I don't always succeed. In fact, I fail a lot of the time. But I think that making the effort counts for a lot. I positively impact the lives of people around me. I can say without a doubt that each day I get up and go to work that I make someones life better. They may not realize it right now, but one day they will be able to see how I helped them.
In keeping with Esther Day tradition I made it a point to tell someone that I love them. I am an affectionate person and I express myself well. I tell my family I love them, I tell my friends that I love them. I make it a point to let the people I care about know how much they mean to me. But there are times I drop the ball. I decided today that I was going to tell Doda that I love him. It's hard to explain the relationship I have with Doda, I was thirteen when he was born and his mom was my idol. I wanted to be with her all the time. And I generally WAS with her. I have loved him since the moment I laid eyes on him. I have so many warm and fuzzy memories of him. I cried this year when he graduated middle school. I'm talking buckets of tears. I had to leave the room until he left for school. And he KNOWS that I love him. All of the cousins do. But whereas I have no problem telling the other three that I love them, Doda tends to be uncomfortable with displays of affection. Generally if I tell him that I love him it is slipped into a conversation after he tells me something silly he has done. I rarely look at him and say "for serious, I love you." But today I did. And he looked at me like I was crazy, and said "okay," and went back to helping me do dishes for our grandmother. It was exactly the response I expected, and it was the only response I needed. He confirmed that he knows I love him, for keeps. And it is an amazing feeling to tell someone that you love them.
So, even though it is late I would encourage you all to take part in Esther Day and tell someone that you love them!