“Evolving is like sounding the notes of a scale” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Jill Pawlak by © Lori Maloney

“This effervescent beauty has an incredible story of resilience, which led me, a few years ago, to ask if she would consider sharing her portrait & story with my Bella Forza audience…she said ‘Yes!’  Alas, we hadn’t yet made it happen (both of us with young kids & busy lives); but that changed when Jill saw that her birthdate was available & signed up for The Project!  We FINALLY got together recently to shoot for both The Project & Bella Forza! (Watch for a blog post at www.bellaforzaportraits.wordpress.com soon.)  There are people who effortlessly remind you to count your blessings, to keep smiling, and to share your love & good energy with the world – meet JILL!  I am so moved by your story of Strength.Beauty.Grace., Jill, and so appreciative that you would share your portrait & story of kicking Cancer’s A$$ with the world!  Thank you!  Life is beautiful!” – Lori M

Image © Lori Maloney

An Interview with Jill

Q. What is the best memory you have from a previous birthday?

A. I have so many good birthday memories from when I was younger. My mom would always go out of her way to make sure I had a special day and that I had really fun birthday parties. I try and do the same with my kids in hopes that they will have the same memories.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. Other than being on a plane, flying home from a trip ON my birthday, I can’t think of a bad birthday that I’ve had.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that surprised you most?

A. I have had a few surprise parties for my birthday and I remember they were so much fun! My husband does his best to make me feel special on my birthday and that is the best gift.

Q. Is there a food or dish that you insist on eating on your birthday?

A. I like to indulge on my birthday! Maybe a big bowl of pasta and some birthday cake. Calories don’t count on your birthday, right?

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. Be grateful for each year that you’re able to celebrate your birthday. I feel that embracing the process (but not always acting your age!) is also important.

Q. Do you have any traditions or thing you always do to celebrate a birthday? What is it?

A. My dad’s birthday, my mom’s birthday and mine are all fairly close together, so we try and get together as a family and celebrate. I always look forward to celebrating with them!