"For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday." - John Glenn
The above words are some of the ones printed on my birthday cards last week. I had a fabulous, blessed birthday, how lucky I am!
But I do hate birthdays…well mine anyway. And it’s not the growing older bit. It’s that I can’t share it with some special people anymore, and I know that’s a common by product of grief, like the empty envelopes from my birthday cards that are scattered around the house.
I do struggle on special days…it’s like on one shoulder I have a Negative Nancy, feeling sorry for myself and crying…..and on the other, Positive Polly, who sees how very very fortunate I am to even get to celebrate another birthday….they usually duke it out, Nancy and Polly …but Polly always wins, in the end. I think my Mum taught Polly how to box…..
On my birthday it rained non stop all day.
I sat rugged up, doing university assignments, while above me our roof sprung a leak…dripping drops of water on my head. And as I placed saucepans and dirty tea towels under the mess, I had to smile, it was like Mum was sprinkling the water on me, to wake me up and remind me to ‘Be Happy Darling!”
I did get spoilt. Peter bought me these magnificent blue topaz earrings which I’ve been eyeing off for 2 years now!
And flowers from my friend Trishie in Australia…they came with a box of delicious chocolates and a teddy bear attached…with a bright green bow, which of course Dempsey claimed!
I got phone calls and emails, texts, facebook messages and love…..from all corners of the globe….it brightened my day, even though outside was grey and gloomy, and, wet!
On Friday night, around our Back T, (our infamous table), my friends gathered, they came bearing gifts and smiles and hugs…my friend Mary made me a gooey chocolate cake and lit it up with so many candles we almost needed the fire brigade.(good thing one we had a fireman handy) :)
And as I looked around the table, really looked, at all my friends faces and the love and joy that was in the air, I felt so blessed, like the words on my cards –
Blessed – to have great friends
Sharing – thankful to be sharing my birthday with those that are here…right now
Special – how my friends made me feel
Fun – I had lots of it…thanks in part to the champagne my friend Ammar brought! :)
Wonderful – the memories, I got to create
Wishes – wishes that do come true, even if not all of them are possible
Happy – to be alive and enjoy these special moments
Love – overwhelming love, for Dempsey who was shining as brightly as the candles on my cake
Lucky – to have such richness in my life
Beauty – to see that amid all the gloom and doom sometimes, there is so much beauty in the world in the simple things in life
Yes, on my birthday, with the help of Demps, I did manage to blow out all the candles on my cake. I know I can’t blow out the bad stuff that happens or has happened.....however, I can look forward and remember all those words on my cards....and the more meaningful ones my friends had taken the time to write INSIDE the cards…
I've learnt, that unlike a wrapped present...where it's what on the outside thats important, the fancy wrapping with ribbons and sparkly paper…in life and on special days....it's whats on the inside that counts….that helps you survive the hard days and move forward to the next with hope.
I also learned, even though Savannah wasn’t here to throw her arms around me....and my Mum didn’t gush down the phone line "Happy Birthday Precious" ........or that Tarnia’s card wasn’t waiting in my letterbox….life is full of special moments if you look for them.
Or that sometimes, you get by with a little help from your friends….
You can’t underestimate the power of a hug…or a smile....or the simple joy a bunch of brightly lit candles can bring on your birthday….Happy Birthday to Me! :) x