Well today is my birthday. I have never really been one to make much fuss about my birthday and can actually say that the total number of birthday parties I have had over my lifetime is in the low single digits. It was by my own choice and I was not neglected nor deprived, it’s just that I never really favored all that pomp and circumstance merely because another 365 days has passed me by.
My best birthdays were back in the years when my mother was alive. I used the day to celebrate her. After all, wasn’t it she who did all the work? It was fun to send her gifts for my birthday and call her up at exactly 8:05 in the morning to say Happy Birthday to Us! It was one of those things that made her feel special and she was always so proud to tell the story to her friends.
Today I turned 55… Double Nickels! It seems like only yesterday I turned 18 and as I remember, at that time it felt as though it took a century to get there. Then something happened between 18 and now… In the blink of an eye, a lifetime transpired! My lil’ nephew Matt just got out of the Marine Corp, two nieces are in college and the others are growing like weeds! My favorite music is now considered classic oldies, and mega-star entertainers from my youth are now unknowns to anyone under the age of 30.
Where have all the years gone? I guess if I truly took the time to look back and recall my life, I would understand that it indeed took 55 years to have had all of the experiences [both good & bad] that have filled my life.
I’ve watched my sisters grow into beautiful women and start families of their own. Maureen is a grandmother to the world’s most delightful little girl. I’ve spent 18 years working side-by-side with my dad selling Coca-Cola downtown Brooklyn – which I still consider the best [and most enjoyable] job I have ever had, in spite of the hard work involved. I have been reunited with long lost family and lucky enough to cheat death to come back even stronger; at least in spirit.
In my lifetime, I have lived in both a tenement building AND a Park Avenue Apartment in New York City. I was blessed with wonderful friends that I love like family and met my soul mate, James who has filled the past 22 years with fun, excitement, interest, and most of all, love. Together we have traveled the country, been to the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada and journeyed throughout Italy.
Now at this late stage of my life, I am pursuing a writing career and have just had my first children’s book published.
Of course into every life some rain must fall, but I choose to recall only the good and consider the sad or the bad times as life lessons and opportunity to grow.
So today I look 55 in the eye and say “thank you.” Thank you for the good, the bad, the laughter and the tears. Thank you for the beautiful memories and for the endless possibilities of things to come! Thank you quite simply for my wonderful life. And mom if you’re up there seeing this, Happy Birthday to Us!
Until next time,