Friday I turned 51. There was some reason that for this blog post, I will label a “current” or “gravitational pull” that prevented me from wanting to open my cards until tonight (one day later). I placed them on the mantel behind a fist sized copper cricket to prevent them from slipping off… and walked past them frequently, waiting until my gut told me the moment was right.
Birthday’s have never been a big thing for me. As the day approached I wondered how I would react. Some people party like a puppy with a new chew toy, some try and pretend it doesn’t happen… like biting into a casserole at a dinner party and wanting to spit it out.
This year, my birthday is unfolding in a quite subtle, introspective manner. This is the second birthday I have had since being diagnosed. One might think I would be the puppy this year. But no, I let nature steer on this one and just went with my feelings.
I wasn’t sure how others were going to react ether. Thinking that it’s been over a year and half since the cancer was confirmed to be drifting around in my marrow, and initially I updated friends and family regularly, I have backed off with the monthly reports… which have been great thank God but I feared friends might be tired or doubtful of just how much of a struggle this continues to be… the boy calling wolf.
Upon arriving at work Friday morning I was hit with a barrage of sincere, smiles accompanied well wishes, greetings and at one point my department even broke out into a unified recital of the song “happy birthday to you”… I was speechless, tearful and incredible humbled… wow… what a gift to be surrounded by so many that care.
Then (and I am not a big fan of social media, probably because I don’t get it yet… did I say I turned 51?) when I fired up my Mac… there was over 20 FaceBook greetings waiting for me to read !
The greatest gift (blessing actually) I have ever been given is my wife and two kids… they wanted to go see the opening of HP7 (Harry Potter 7) so Friday night, that’s what we did. Nothing makes me happier then seeing them happy, I know… pretty sappy stuff. But hey… they will only be young for a short time.
The movie was good but I put my head back and closed my eyes a few times just to take a rest in knowing that for a few hours, I was not responsible anything other then sharing the Ike & Mike’s… let “Dumpydorph and the Death Chewers” as my brother puts it, take over for a while.
After the flick we returned home to embark in some cake and gift opening. my wife got me the new James Taylor & Carole King live CD. The kid’s got me some other simple pleasure stuff like beef jerky.
Tonight as the evening wound down and the new music was playing, the moment hit me. It was time to open the cards. As I dantily grabbed the stack and sank into my favorite chair, I took a minute to study the envelopes and hand written addresses. I thought about all the effort and consideration that each individual who sent me one, put into the act. I mean, think about it… sorting through all those cards, reading a dozen or so, picking “that one”… it takes a lot of thought and is motivated by sincerity.
It struck me again how lucky I am to be so well supported. Just then, the song “You’ve Got a Friend” began to play from the new CD.
This would fall under what I would call a “God Moment.” Times in your life when your really not sure about what is going to happen next, and realize you cannot do it alone, and you ask for help when through some weird twist of fate, you get a signal that you’re not alone, and things will be alright.
I by no means want to sound like Sally Feilds but… Thank God, thank my family, thank my friends, thank my doctors… I truly am, the luckiest guy around and thrilled to be 51… I’m not a puppy any more but I do love casseroles.