Today is my birthday. As I have gotten older, I appear nonchalant about this day, not much ado, just another day. Secretly, inside my heart and mind I want someone to remember, to call, to drop off an unexpected gift, to remember. All of this changed six years ago.
My birthday is October 16, Jim my husband died on October 17. Well there is a heck of a marker for this time of the year. It took two years after my 60th birthday to celebrate my 60 years. How could I choose to remember a milestone when Jim’s death was a much larger milestone and has over shadowed this time of the year. Sometimes I look at October as a month to get through. This year is a bit different and it feels like I might be returning to honoring myself on this day, at least a little bit of me is shining through.
I always had to be careful what I wished for when Jim was around. If I wasn’t careful those wishes would show up on or around my birthday.
- A four hour horseback ride in the mountains. Please don’t even ask about the trick riding that ensued.
- Soaring in a Sky Plane above Warner Springs. It was good while I was upright. When they turned it 90 degrees to the ground, I broke out in cold sweats and told the pilot to turn it back up or I was going to throw up all over the his back. Jim didn’t go on this one.
He had a thing about heights. When I landed he put his had on my back and said “your back is wet”. After I told him the above story I think he was doubly glad that he had not gone up.
- Water Color lessons. Jim bought me my first five lessons and supplies. I studied with Hannah for over a year. This small gift became a move into something I loved doing until Jim died. I believe I lost my muse.
- Diamond Earrings. I used to tease him about not having a diamond engagement ring. Several years later the earrings showed up.
- Massages for both of us at Esalen Instiute on the Big Sur Coast. What could be better than sitting in a hot tub looking out over the Pacific while waiting for our massages?
- We both celebrated our birthdays rafting down the Grand Canyon with AZRaft. The river guides baked me a delicious carrot cake in a dutch oven.
I assume you get the idea. How do I find my own way back, to celebrate this time of the year? Does it matter? Wow there is a loaded question. I believe it matters because I have now lived a full 66 years. In a human life span, I believe that this is worth noting. Not everyone makes it that far. Jim didn’t.
Continuing with the theme of feeling better around small groups of people, I am going to a movie with a friend of mine later today.
Currently I am sitting on the sun porch enjoying a leisurely breakfast, looking out over the pool. As I look down, here is Miss Elsie the Cat sitting by my leg and watching all the back yard activity. This house is huge, she could be anywhere, yet there she is hanging by my leg. I like to think we are both enjoying a moment of companionship. This alone is a very good birthday moment. I am glad for this little cat who has adapted to a nomadic life.
Today I am finding my way back to being grateful to be alive. Today I am thankful for Miss Elsie the Cat. Today I am thankful for all my friends and social media friends who have taken a moment out of their day to wish me a happy day today. Today I am thankful that I am still here. Today I am thankful.