It has already been a wonderful day, and it hasn't even started yet!! It brings me to reminisce about past birthdays....
I'm not sure how old I was, but mom and dad were having the usual wonderful birthday party for me. We were clowning around, and I climbed a tree. Moments later, I fell out of said tree. I'm sure I was crying, but my next memory of that moment was that I was lying on the sofa in the living room. My smarty pants cousin reminds me that I was asked, "What did you hit?" (Meaning "what body part is hurting?") I replied, "THE GROUND!" I have never lived that one down.
At another party, or maybe it was the same one, I had a see-saw that I loved. My cousin, who is a year older than me, was a little bigger than me at the time. We were rocking that thing hard when suddenly she hit her end really hard, and I flew through the air and landed across the bar between us. Ouch. Another lovely birthday memory.
Okay, one more. I was 16. We gathered up I'm not even sure how many people and headed to my Grandma's house. Many things are memorable about that day, because it really was loads of fun, but I did hobble around on a sprained ankle all day.
There are three things that really stand out to me about my birthday, other than the painful memories. I ALWAYS had great birthday parties. Mom and Dad were always sure to honor me in some way, and most of the time it involved lots of friends and family. They always, no matter our financial situation, were sure to get me something great for my birthday. They really made me love my birthday.
Another thing is that my Grandmother Birdie always called me on my birthday and sang to me. She had one of those voices that most people would qualify as making a joyful noise, but I'd give anything to hear that voice sing again. When I grew up and had children, Grandmother would call me around 11:00 a.m. because she knew that was a good time for me. The year that she passed away, it was only weeks before my birthday. On my birthday, my phone rang at 11:00 a.m. There was no one on the other end. I held on to that phone for the longest time, just longing to hear her voice one more time. I'm not sure why my phone rang that day, but I sure did feel like it was God's way of saying that Grandmother was thinking of me on my birthday.
Finally, I was born on Mammaw's birthday. This is my Grandmother Ghent. She said the day I was born, my grandfather went out and bought her a beautiful gold wedding band. She has told me that she will give that to me someday. While that will be so special, I sure hope it's a long time before I get that ring. The saddest thing to me today is that I can't see her. You see, she lives in another town and I'm working. I know all of that is hard to avoid, but it just doesn't seem fair. If it were really up to me, I would have dropped my girls off at school, stopped to buy some beautiful flowers, and headed straight to her house to take her out to lunch. My birthday wish would be to spend the day with her. My fear is that we will run out of those birthdays together one day, and I'm going to wish I took that day to do just what I said. I'll call her, and I'll hear her voice, and we will have to spend time together another day.
Anyway, happy birthday to me, and happy birthday to Mammaw. And God, if you want to make my phone ring at 11:00 a.m., that sure would be cool.