Birthdays roll around so quickly now and it seems as though as soon as I blow out the candles, put my head on the pillow and fall asleep, I wake up and it’s Happy Birthday time again.
My relationship to my birthday has changed over time. I am no longer excited to be able to add a higher number to my years although I am grateful for the gift of aging. I chuckle at the young girl me who added a half to my age the minute six months after my birthday had passed. I’m 10-1/2, I’m 15-1/2, I’m 20-1/2.
I squeeze out every drop of the last age until the clock declares midnight on my birthday. Only then do I acknowledge the new number that now attaches to me.
My birthday, coming just days before the anniversary of my mother’s and my Golden Retriever Sophie’s deaths, and also my mother’s birthday, is more than a time of celebration for me – it is a time I reflect on the promise of a new year of my life and the many ways those who are gone continue to impact my daily decisions.
I no longer need gifts to unwrap because the greatest presents in my life are my wonderful husband and countless friends who have loved me for most of the many decades of my life.