Today is my birthday. I am 48 years old. Which is actually quite hilarious if you think about it...since my mother is currently 39. Truth be told, though...she is...in my mind, anyway. How is that possible, you ask? Well, I believe this because she's been with me for 39 years after a breast cancer diagnosis in 1972 (thank you, Dr. Mac Dallas). I like thinking of the years I've had her since then as opposed to the age that her birth certificate says she is. Of course, those of you who know her...you also know that she is amazingly young at heart. Younger than I am, actually. Thirty-nine it is!
Today was a day like any other day for the most part. I got up, I poured my decaf coffee, and sat down at the computer to check in with the world. My world as I know it now as opposed to the world I knew in the pre-Facebook era. Before Facebook, I had slices of life with people who fit into nice little folders...growing up...junior high...Thomaston...Wesleyan...Troy...Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church...work. Life was linear...past...present...future.
There's nothing especially wrong with that, by the way. I just lost touch with so many people. Some of it was because I thought they'd think I was still the same person that I wasn't especially proud of. For others, it was due to geography, busyness, or just what happens when you get married, raise a family, and work full-time. Life gets ridiculous that way.
Today those neat little folders of the people I know and care for were all open. People who knew me as a child wished me "happy birthday!" today. Family from all around the country (and overseas) sent birthday greetings. Folks that saw me in junior high in braces and with those gosh-awful "wings" sent me "happy birthday!" wishes, too. People I see every day - or at least occasionally at Publix - were comingled with people who "knew me back in the day." The most amazing "birthday party" happened when everyone came together today on my Facebook Wall.
Thank you Mark Zuckerburg. This Facebook thing totally rocks.
Today is one of those days where I've been amazed at how wonderfully I've been blessed by the people who cared enough to send me good tidings. For folks who mailed a card, delivered a gorgeous orchid to my office, purchased flowers and arranged a beautiful bouquet, bought gifts and a Peggy McKinney peanut butter fudge cake. Who sang to me, tried to make me laugh, and left messages on my phone. And for those wonderful Facebook friends who took the time to check in.
And yes, I do know that it is hilarious that I was born on the Ides of March. At least I knew one question on the Julius Caesar test in high school English. That and the "et tu Brutus" thingy.
As I read the messages from people that I have spent time with and shared these 48 years with in some capacity or another made me smile. It seems like it has gone so fast. I can still remember my 12th birthday in St. Augustine, Florida as my Uncle David was getting ready to marry Aunt Molly. They have grandchildren now. Or my 23rd birthday with Big Dave photographed with a foam lobster on my head (yes, Red Lobster was tres chic for us). There was my 27th birthday that I spent cuddling my eight week old daughter or the 29th birthday that I spent waiting for my son to make his arrival that June. My 40th birthday that was spent at work in Prattville, Alabama with my coworkers...who didn't want to offend me by decorating my office in black balloons...so they chose pink instead. My birthdays with my parents sending me multiple cards because the dogs have to send me one too. The gorgeous flower arrangements that one of my friends does. The rendition of "happy birthday" that I can count on from another (who also makes me go to cantatas...but I love her anyway).
So, for those of you who stopped by because you always send good wishes to someone on your "friend" list...thank you just the same. For those of you who I've known since I was young and stupid...and who are relieved that I grew up to be somewhat normal...I appreciate and value you more than you know. For those who I am still interacting with regularly...know that you are incredibly special to me. And for those of you who have taken the time to encourage me...be you from my past or present...know that it is not going unnoticed...and will not be wasted, Lord willing.
Yes, today I am 48 years old. In the Chinese zodiac...it is the "Year of the Rabbit." I was also born in the "Year of the Rabbit." I don't know what that means exactly...but I like to think that this will be a special year. I mean special in a good way.
A very good way. If today is any indication...I'm off to a good start.