In a couple of days I will be celebrating 61 years of life. It really won’t be much of a celebration in the traditional sense. There will be no cake aglow with candles and no crowd of friends gathered around to sing Happy Birthday. I imagine there will be a few cards arriving in the mail. I have already received one from my sister who is two years and one week older than me. I can count on a card from my daughter. With my son it can be hit or miss, still I know that he wishes me well. Of course my husband Don likely has a small gift stashed away and maybe even a card. A couple we have become close with since moving to Maine nine years ago will come over to our house this weekend to share a simple, home cooked meal. But let’s face it, when you reach a certain age, birthdays take on a different feel and significance. In spite of a history of longevity in my family, I most certainly have more birthdays in my past than in my future.
I am beyond grateful for every new year of healthy, happy life with which I am blessed. Life has certainly taught me that those things are not guarenteed and that circumstances can change in a flash. A good friend passed away just over a week after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and my cousin after a battle with brain cancer less than two years ago when both were in their early 60s. Just a couple of weeks ago, Don slipped on a patch of black ice on the stairs and broke a rib that has greatly reduced his mobility, not to mention comfort, for at least a month. With every passing year I am learning that having a huge celebration to mark the day I came into this world isn’t nearly as important as taking some time to appreciate all the good things in my life every day. Like a husband who shows his love for me in countless ways every day, children that have become responsible, loving adults who are good about calling or visiting when they can, and friends old and new that brighten my world.
It would be nice to get a few more cards, calls, or even Facebook postings to commeorate the day. But I will be happy just to wake up on my birthday knowing that I have made it through another year and am still happy, healthy and loved. And I will look forward to doing that for as many more years as the good Lord gives me …birthday party or not.