I’m finally, FINALLY sitting down to write a blog post. I know a gazillion of you out there have been wondering where I’ve been. I haven’t written a post since Phillip’s father died just two days before Thanksgiving. That was a tough time around here and I wanted to be present for him. I really didn’t think too much about anything else, just wanted to make sure he was going to be alright.
Things were going as well as they could. Emotionally he was becoming stable….then on December 21st he got a Facebook notification that it was his father’s birthday. (Damn social media. Incidentally, that’s how Phillip found out his mother died years ago. He got a notification on Facebook). Now just a few days shy of Christmas we were back in the same boat peddling backwards for a second. We had a few hiccups like that, but he’s doing so much better now. He’s doing beautifully better.
By the time New Year’s Eve arrived, we were in bed by 8pm. We just wanted to be done with 2021, like most people did. We didn’t bother to wait for it to ring in, we just wanted to crash and wake up some day later in the new year, all of that loss left behind us. We skipped the holidays this year, rushing towards the nearest exit out of 2021. No fanfare, no fuss. “Please, just get us the hell out of here. Thank you for the experience, but we’d really like to go now.”
We woke in 2022 with a yawn, a stretch of the arms, and a sigh of relief. Then Phillip handed me two boxes and said, “We still have one more holiday to celebrate. I was going to wait, but I think we should go ahead and start celebrating now. Happy Birthday.”
Oh, my. I had nearly forgotten that my birthday is tomorrow….and I get to take my first steps running around the sun for the 50th time. My eyes swelled with tears as a smile stretched the edges of my sad face. Mind you, my face wasn’t sad for any reason. It just had become fixed that way over the last six weeks. It really had no choice in the morning.
“After spending a lot of time mourning loss,” he said, “I thought we needed to go ahead and start celebrating life.”
I couldn’t have agreed more. Enough funerals, let’s have a birthday party. For an early birthday present Phillip gave me a new ball cap and a meerschaum pipe. (Quick tangent. Was so focused on myself that I didn’t notice Betty photo bomb me 🙂 )
“I love the idea of you looking like Popeye while you knit and embroider.” I couldn’t help but laugh as he continued. “I’ve taken Tuesday off, so what would you like to do for your birthday?”
I couldn’t wait to blurt, “Have some damn fun! Let’s play croquet on the lawn, maybe have some wine and nibbles, maybe grab some Stasio’s for dinner, then crash in front of the TV and binge, “Mrs. Browns Boys.” (We just discovered it Christmas Day and now we’re hunting down every episode we can find).
The weather tomorrow is going to be 75 and sunny. I don’t want to sit in front of this computer, I want to be outside with the warm rays of the sun replenishing me. I want to play loud music on the radio and dance at will. I want to wave at neighbors, as they walk by watching us play croquet, and ask if they’d like to take my shot for me. I want to walk into Stasio’s with this full heart knowing this woman is going to make me a home cooked Italian dinner made with love. I don’t just eat there on any random weekday, I eat there on special occasions, too. It’s home away from home on a plate. The plate that she gives me is the same plate she gives to her own family at the dinner table. Wow…..
I’m not going to turn on the news, won’t even read the headlines. The world may blow up tomorrow and I won’t have known it, because I’ll be too busy having fun on my birthday. I won’t be lured by the world to participate in anything negative, or to be told by the news who to bully today. I will be too busy celebrating what this whole experience of life is about: joy!!! Fun!!! We came here to play! To touch things, feel things, and explore things that make us feel good.
We may even step up to Sportstown and play air hockey and have a round of cider. We may even walk the Milk District’s Tasty Tuesday food trucks. We may spend a couple of dollars at “Five Below” buying….who knows? (We found a fun little kit there ((for less than $5 as the name persist)) to make a robot out of a beer can. It worked!)
We may do some of these things, we may do all of these things….but, we won’t just stop at my birthday, nor at Phillip’s nor at yours. We shouldn’t wait to celebrate the joys of life that we are given with every breath we take. We cannot wait for something to happen to make us feel better about life, we have to make those moments happen so that we can feel better about life now….Not later.
Happy Birthday to everyone who shares a birthday with me! I’ll be taking a shot for you while I play croquet!
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