9/07/2012

My 61st Birthday







Another year, another birthday.  That's about the best way I viewed my birthday yesterday.  I look upon my birthdays with dread now.  It probably shouldn't be that way.  You are only as old as you feel, right?  If that is the case, I'm about 110 years old.  When you are a kid, you look forward to your birthdays.  The main reason for that, of course, are presents, cake and ice cream.  But, I always dreaded my birthday because it always meant I had to go back to school after a long summer vacation.  Of course, I looked forward to the above reasons for birthdays also.  The cake and ice cream were a rare treat for me when I was a kid.  We were poor, but just didn't know it.  Birthdays as a child were magical and whimsical all at once.  Of course, with two sisters and a brother, there were too many birthdays in our home.  Sometimes a cake was all we would get and that would be it. 

Yesterday, I pretty much just got a cake and that was it.  I only really celebrate birthdays that end in 0 now.  They come far too quickly.  I should feel blessed that I am still celebrating birthdays considering all that I have endured in my life.  I am grateful to still be alive.  But, with each birthday, you know you are closing on an inevitable date with death.  My beloved barber, Cathy, had her last birthday this year.  She lost her fight with cancer on August 30th of this year.  She was 58.  We both teased each other about our getting old.  I won't have her to tease about that any longer.  That's something else you experience with advancing age, the fact that family and friends, people you have known most or all of your life, are dying away.  But, that is part of life and I accept it.  I know this 61st birthday observation may be turning morbid.  But, I have always believed in being realistic about life.  That's all I'm doing now.  Death is part of life.  Cathy knew that better than anyone.  Maybe her passing is why I feel sad today on my 61st birthday. 


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