Today is my birthday. It makes me think back to all the birthdays, (so many, many birthdays) I’ve had in the past. I’ve always loved birthdays, because no matter the number of times I have one, or which number it is, the day usually involves being around people I love and who love me and getting a lot of very cool presents. What’s not to like?
My birthday is in the summer, too, so it stretches a long time. In my school days, I would start getting presents in late May and end up having birthday “events” all summer long. Not a bad deal, in my opinion.
There was only one birthday that was memorable for bad reasons. Every summer until I was 12, we spent summers either in our cabin in Pennsylvania or in Texas. My dad and grandfather built the cabin the year I was born. (Let me digress to say that this cabin was a two-story, 4-bedroom brick and block structure that had indoor plumbing, a fireplace, and a furnace). It was situated on a big lake and 4+ acres of woodland. I loved that place. The year I turned 11, we had moved in April from Pennsylvania to Ohio and hadn’t been to the cabin that year. We planned a couple of weeks’ stay and arrived late on the night of my birthday. Vandals had been inside the cabin, knifing couches and chairs, throwing eggs and ketchup at the walls, and breaking dishes and pictures. I spent my birthday helping clean up and wondering if the cabin would ever be the same for me again.
It wasn’t. But mostly my birthdays – at the cabin and everywhere else I’ve been – have been wonderful.
Today is my birthday. Amidst the background of a worldwide pandemic that is turning America on its ear and the peaceful, but impactful protests of Black Lives Matter, I am celebrating another year of age. It won’t be without fanfare, but it won’t be typical by any means. I won’t have a big party or have the whole family gather to swim and eat and laugh. I won’t go to restaurants with friends and eat too many chips and salsa. I won’t see a movie at a theatre, or go to a play, or go to the Fraze as I have in years gone by. I will be praying for many near and dear who are ill, or recovering, or who have lost loved ones recently. I’ll be working to help others in smaller and less visible ways, and hoping that we all help people get through these turbulent times. I’ll be celebrating with my husband and my son and eating fried chicken – a treat I’ve not had in six months (but this dieting thing is working!). And I’ll be so grateful for family and friends who are well, for the people who love me, and for my health.
Today is my birthday, and I’m looking forward to many more in my future. My goal is to reach a healthy and mentally intact three-figure age, so hopefully these future days will include people I love, activities of fun and laughter, and less stress about health and politics. Whatever these birthdays bring, good or bad, I am hoping they come a bit more slowly.
In any event, I’ve been blessed to share my journey with so many kind, smart, thoughtful, and selfless people. They make every day a birthday of joy and love.
I hope today is your birthday, too.