Someone asked me last week “How are you celebrating your birthday?” I said “No special way. No one notices my date except a few close friends, my Sis, and my adult children.” As I reflected, I thought how important Mother made of Sis and my birthdays. She even had “Happy Unbirthdays” to celebrate with us. She loved giving us gifts like a bracelet, a book, or a new dress. She reminded us weekly, if not daily, how much she loved us. Throughout my growing years I wanted a cake baked by Mother to sit on the tiny footed cake plate she bought for me. It had to be decorated in pink letters made of sugar that said, "Happy Birthday Vivian." That plate is still as colorful as when the first cake sat there eighty years ago.
I married a man who rarely remembers dates of any kind. The few times he has and has produced a gift, I’ve been surprised. Early in our marriage I usually got a flower pot or something worth giving Goodwill. I decided I didn’t need any more flower pots so I insisted he not worry about my special date. Then he began taking me to dinner. That lasted three years. Here’s a man who, with each of three children born, gave the hospital nurse three different dates for my birthday. We had been married five, six and ten years at the time. The fact that he’s still living and talking to me every day is gift enough.
Sunday I’m turning 83 and I don’t care about a present. I need a hug and a vocal “Happy Birthday, love you”. I don’t mind if they add, “Old gal.” I’m excited to be my age and in decent good health. That is the best gift I could receive.