Wednesday, October 17, 2007

31 for 21: Birthdays past and present

Today I get to start saying I'm 34 instead of 33. Other than that, birthdays aren't that exciting anymore. It's nice to have a day that those around you kind of allow to be all yours, but in a way it makes me uncomfortable. I think it's partially because days to mark anniversaries of various kinds (dates, weddings, new job, births, new dog) by their nature suggest a time of reminiscing. This is not a good thing for me to do, generally, at least lately. I mean, I love to reminisce, as a rule, but things can happen that change your perspective on everything. Reminiscing can then become tainted and difficult. It makes the time of your life before the world changed seem fake or like it is someone elses's that you just have heard about, not something that you've lived.

**Let me say before anyone should misunderstand...Braska is not part of this. She is in no way an unhappy part of life. This has nothing to do with her or Down syndrome or health issues...those are manageable. The sad things began when she was only a wiggly dot on an ultrasound. I just want to be clear. This is not about her.**

It's not that there aren't good things to remember...there are lots of them. Unfortunately, though, my memory isn't picky about what it clings to, and it holds on to unhappy along with the happy. And sometimes the happiness of the happy memories makes the hurt of the unhappy even more torturous. Looking back can then become painful even when the event remembered was so very happy at the time. My therapist (yup I see one regularly, never fear) encourages me to journal through these memories--good and bad, but I'll spare you that fun.

So for this birthday, I thought I'd find some old pics of some good birthdays past.
This is from 2003, my 30th birthday. My small group came and dressed up the back window on our car for me before I left for work that morning. Then my parents and three of five siblings came by to say hello that day too. They were on their way to or from home in Missouri. It was pretty funny to see how many honks I got that day...



This is from 2005. For a few years, maybe 3 or 4, we got together on my birthday to carve pumpkins with Mindy and Tim, Cory and Mary. It was pretty impressive what these guys could come up with. Now Cory and Mary are in Oregon and Tim and Mindy are in Belgium. We miss you guys.




I've blocked out alot of the last two years, and I guess some of that must be last year's birthday, because I can't remember a stitch about it. My mind was most definitely elsewhere at the time, and a part of that was preparing for Braska's arrival. Little did we know how life would be once again changed in 5 weeks.



The good things about this past year are all Braska-related. She's the best birthday present ever, even if she came in the wrong month. This morning she has smiled and laughed and babbled about whatever is in her little happy mind. That's what I look forward to for birthdays to come...


Here's what I wish for my birthday today... consider this your gift to me.
~I wish that those of you who have spouses who love you faithfully and support you completely pause today and realize you are blessed.
~I wish that those of you who have children who make you smile and brighten your day no matter how difficult they may sometimes be hug them today and thank God that he gave them to you.
~I wish that those of you who have endured trials this year and can look back to see how far you've come can hold onto that for the next trial that will inevitably show up.


Make today a great day, wherever you are!

14 comments:

  1. I will do the three things you wish for today (except I will pet the guinea pig instead of hugging my kids). I wish for you a year that is better than the last and with fewer trials.

    I remember those pumpkins and being really impressed with Mindy's wolf howling at the moon. I see Cory's Meatwad, but I can't remember which one I carved...We miss you guys, too. Happy Birthday.

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  2. Happy Birthday! I miss you and our talks. Give me a call.. I have a lot to tell you! I love you.

    Cousin Lindsay

    --Give Braska a kiss for me.

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  3. Happy Birthday!

    Your three things are right on. Although I think you forgot #4...cake!

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  4. Happy Birthday! I have the same tendency on my birthdays.

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  5. Happy Birthday...hope you had a great day!

    And those are VERY cool pumpkins, by the way.

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  6. Happy Birthday, my special firstborn!
    Dwell on the good of the past and the promise of a better future. God is good ALL the time, and you have a large family that loves you dearly.

    Hugs from THE MOM

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  7. Hey that was pretty neat! I had forgotten that we got to come by old apt. on your 30th!!!!!

    I heard Danee' Dobson on her dad's radio show today and NOW I THINK YOU ARE A BETTER WRITER! WELL DONE!

    Love and Happy (El Toro) B'day!

    Pa Beagle

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  8. The pumpkins were always a blast. Mary, thanks for the props on the wolf. I only succeeded in that I had a pattern that I traced onto my pumpkin :) I do miss those times.

    I so wish I could be closer to be there as you walk through some obviously rough times.

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  9. Happy Birthday! We wish you lots of happiness that you deserve! Lots of hugs to you!
    Love,
    Nico

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  10. I am a day late. So your wishes are being spread over time. Thank you. This made me cry. Happy Birthday to you. You are a brave and special woman!

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  11. Sorry to send you a late bday wish. I did think of you and hope you are doing well. We are in Kansas City and enjoying a break in the schedule to catch up on email and check out your blog. We love you and hope you know how much we care! Your mom has good advice (don't they always)! Love ya!
    Jennifer & Livy

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  12. A late happy birthday to you, RK - hope to see you soon :)

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Make it a great day!!