I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing I can do, any kindness I can show to any woman or man on earth, let me do it now. Let me not differ, let me not neglect it; for I shall never pass this way again.

An adaptation of Stephen Grellet’s Quote

I woke up to see many birthday messages, prayers and eulogies from family members, friends and loved ones.

First, I’d like to say a resounding aamiin to all your prayers. I pray God rewards your kindness and also bless you and your household too. Aamiin.

Second, I want to say thank you to you all for reaching out. The messages were indeed soul lifting and emotionally overwhelming. I hope these few letters would convey in the deepest sense, how thankful I am.

I have come to understand that with the joy ushered in by birthdays is also the morbid reality of time spent vs time left. So, whatever it is I must have been destined to spend on this stage called life, I have already done 40 years and embarking on my 41st; who knows where this leads?

This is an important lesson for me because it reminds me of the need to value time and number my days.

It serves as a reminder to start taking more chances and live life. To laugh more and love more. To be happy and positive. Above all, to leave my mark and impact humanity in the best ways possible as I can.

Of what use is my life if all I care about is me? Knowing fully well so many people gave in their all to see me thus far and appreciating that no amount of what I give back can match what life and the people I have met on this journey have given me.

I thank you all; for no matter how recent our path crossed, you have become a part of me; a part of the story that I hope to tell and a part of the account I would have to give.

Long ago, I made the decision to dedicate a greater part of my life to helping out in any way I can and this was never because I had or have so much but because it matters. Laughing alone does not mean much to me just as being happy alone counts for almost nothing. As much laughs and smiles as we can share or spread, the brighter life itself becomes.

My late dad also helped me understand what being generous is and why it is so important. I did not in any way, shape or form envisage where I am today and rather than get carried away by what looks like living the dream, I am quick to remind myself of what life was before now. The days I hustled and grinded the mill without any assurance of getting anything; but for hope and grace, this whole message would have painted a different picture.

My mother, till date, still exemplifies giving. This, she has also in many ways, passed down to us. I am grateful for this life lessons and I hope I can put it to good use.

To my friends and close associates, especially those who have been a little farther back into my life journey, you have my assurances as long as I live and able to, to be there for you when the needs arise. It is usually not always about money as I have now come to realize. On your good days, I will be with you, on the not so good ones, I will lend a shoulder and walk that path. When it all turns out green and good, I will be at the table to feast and dine to your success. WHen you want to talk, I will listen even if you just want to vent and reset. I will value this friendship and make it count. This, my friend, is a promise.

As I conclude this thank you note, I want to let you know how so special for me this day has been becase of you and words cannot convey my gratitude. A fun fact as I grow older is knowing that birthdays can be very well spent and enjoyed without cakes.

Oh Allah, there is none of your favours that I can deny. I humble myself before You that I may not be humiliated in this life and the next. I seek Your forgiveness for my careless and innocent sins. I seek Your protection against evil eyes and I seek Your guidance on the path of those You have guided. I pray that You preserve me on the path of goodness and faith. Aamiin.

Oh yes, I am 41 and it is feeling gooooooooooooooooood!

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