A GREAT Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was one of my more memorable ones.

The highlight was watching two of my daughters, Rebekah and Ruth, graduate with High Distinction from Riverland Community College, receiving their AA degrees. They are the third and fourth of our children to take advantage of Minnesota’s Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program, which enables industrious high school juniors and seniors to take college classes for simultaneous high school credit. Like Rachel and Jake before them, these two graduated from the community college before they graduated from high school (Rebekah’s Austin High graduation is in a couple of weeks.) Here’s a picture of our recent graduates with their proud parents:


Lisa, Rebekah, Me and Ruth
Lisa, Rebekah, Me and Ruth

I also was extremely pleased to receive birthday greetings from my granddaughter in Grand Rapids, MI, via her parents’ blog:


Evelyn Grace Borg wishing Grandpa Happy Birthday
Evelyn Grace Borg wishing Grandpa Happy Birthday

I got a nice call from my son Jake, too. He lives in La Crosse, WI.

From a work perspective, it was a milestone day, as well. The video embedded below, which will be the subject of a future case study, cracked the 1 million mark in total views on YouTube. When I embedded it on our Sharing Mayo Clinic blog on April 7, it had been viewed 1,005 times over the preceding six months. As of this writing it’s at 1,108,201 views (and also was featured on the front page of msn.com yesterday, where it has been seen more than 133,000 times.)


It’s an interesting story that will, as I said, become a future case study…but I have a feeling it’s not done yet. But meanwhile you can get a bit of the back story through this great post on Sharing Mayo Clinic by Jodi Hume, who uploaded the video of the Cowans after her mother, Sharon Turner, a Mayo Clinic patient, shot it. I’ve never been associate with a “viral” video before, so it’s been fun watching the traffic for this one continue to grow.

We also have been delighted to have company for the last three days, as Rick and April Kelley and their children Christian, Gabe, Jake, Elijah, Grace, Ryle and Micah visited us from Louisville. Ruthie and Christian are “exclusive friends,” which is the motivation for the 700+ mile trip, but our families have become close, too.

The many Happy Birthday wishes I received on Facebook and Twitter were touching, too. It’s amazing how these social platforms can bring people together.

Lisa and I are so thankful to God for our many blessings. And if I’ve had a better birthday, I don’t remember it. This is one I won’t be forgetting.

Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 15. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. Emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic. Founder of HELPcare and Administrator for HELPcare Clinic.

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