In our family, we have always celebrated birthdays in a big way with fun get-togethers, presents, cards, food, and the guest being “king/queen” for the day. For us, it wasn’t so much the lavishing, as it was our way of saying that we are glad you are born; we are glad to know you; you are loved by us, and we are glad we share our lives with you.
I know people who are “29 and holding.” I know people who really dread having a birthday. I know people who fear or really dislike getting older; maybe it’s because our outward beauty changes, or maybe it’s because as a generality, we Americans do not treat our older population with as much dignity and respect as other cultures do. Maybe it’s because the only perspective an individual has is a negative one. Whatever their reasoning, I don’t feel this way. I, for one, love birthdays! I love wishing people “Happy Birthday;” I love hearing strangers wished a “Happy Birthday;” I love seeing folks sung to by crazy restaurant wait-staff. I love reading “Happy Birthday” cards in the grocery stores or whenever I have to wait—some can be really funny and cheap entertainment with loud, raucous laughter occurring on my end, but hearing/reading “Happy Birthday” for me is particularly special! Did you know that Google creates a special Happy Birthday image for people on their birthday, and you don’t do anything but open the Google search engine, and there it is?
Birthdays are sincerely special to me, because I have had 18 of them since beating cancer. I have done A LOT in those 18 years. Some of the more memorable moments this past 18 years are: holding two people in my hands just moments after they were born. That is a pretty spectacular event. Really! How many people can you say that about—“I held you just after you were born, and I have known you literally all your life?” Unless you are a midwife or the Duggars, there are not many people I know who can say that about five people. Remember, I do not have children nor will I ever. I watched my brother, whom I adore, get married to a pretty spectacular person who was going to love him like we love him—forever, just like us, his first family. That’s not an everyday occurrence, either. I met a great man, who became my best friend, and I married him. Yes, weddings are big business, and
My life of 47 orbits around the sun, as Cody would say, has been a fantastic one! I'm so looking forward to many more orbits, too. You, taking time out of your day, regardless the amount of time it took, to wish me Happy Birthday--on a card, on facebook, in an e-mail, with a phone call--is truly meaningful and special to me in so many ways that you may not understand. Thank you, and I appreciate your well wishes, because...