But for real this time!!  My Wednesday message had a “Happy Friday” in it, too!  I mean, it was mostly wishful thinking though since it was my birthday, it felt like a Friday!!  Imagine that!  There were some years that I would celebrate my birthday for the whole month of July!  Many friends that I have also have birthdays this month … a few even on the same day as mine!  I have a friend who calls herself “Soul Star” whose birthday is July 13th!  Yet, there is another friend … former student and basketball player from White Plains High School Basketball Tigers, Steve Morgan!   His birthday is the same day, too!

On my birthday, I got hundreds of birthday wishes … So many that I haven’t been able to thank each and every one, which I always like to do!  It often takes a few days, to find the post wishing me a happy birthday on Facebook, and then replying to each one.  I am glad that so many people consider me a “friend” enough to take time to wish me a happy birthday … if only on Facebook.  Now two friends, Kevin Hall and Vetalle Fusilier, even called me to say Happy Birthday.  Needless to say, I felt special … good even!  A pure feeling of thankfulness came over me, which is why I try to thank each person individually.  Looking at what has occurred in France on Bastille Day, around 6 months after the terror that took place when the newspaper called “Charlie” was attacked and the explosions that took place both at a concert in Paris makes me appreciate my life!  Do we really know when our last day is?!?  Do we know when our friends last days are as well?!?  I think not!  That why it is so important for me to thank folks, often friends and foe alike, just to keep me feeling like I am sending out good vibrations to “humanity”!

Reach out … tell a friend that you wish them well.  Not only on their birthday, but any day!  Many of you reading this are friends from a long time.  Some of you have been a friend for “a reason” while others have been a friend for a “season”!  Yet, there is a group of “friends” that I cherish … those who I’ve known for a long time … maybe since prep school or college, maybe from the Winbrook Projects where I grew up … or maybe from a casual acquaintance that “just happened”!  Mrs. Nicole Mercado Valencia is a friend I met when working as a cashier at night for a service station in Pembroke Pines several years ago.  She is the one who makes it possible for me to do the talks I do for the Broward Sheriff’s Office Community Justice Program!!!  Imagine that!  Of course, I appreciate each and every one of you!  At my job, I have been able to make friends of some folks who also showed me much love on my birthday.  They got a cake, two girls in particular, put the number “62” on it and even sang “Happy Birthday”to me during our break!  How nice of them!  Enjoy your friends, be grateful for them … and cherish them!  Shucks … you can even be a friend for someone!


John I Cook, Director

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