Happy Birthday Wishes And Reflections!
It was a fun weekend for Happy Birthday celebrations and reflections! My father was born April 27, 1914, he would have been 99 years old on Saturday! Happy Birthday, Dad! My dad believed his birthday was just another great day to enjoy life! Even on his last birthday, April 27, 2002, just a few days before he died, dad’s calm demeanor and sense of humor were intact. By this time, my father’s vision had deteriorated significantly over the past few years from macular degeneration, a hereditary condition that affects the retina. My dad couldn’t read unless it was magnified into very large print. Knowing that his birthdays were being cut short with his recent leukemia diagnosis, dad reflected a bit that birthday afternoon as I visited with him; we both chuckled when he said, “Maybe I’ll get a new pair of eyes in this deal!” My father added to his birthday wish list by saying that he hoped there would be some well stocked book shelves in heaven with a soft leather chair nearby!
“We are all a reflection of those who came before us!”
My father’s life was indeed a reflection of the wonderful upbringing his parents had given him. In turn, as I celebrate more birthdays, I hope my life reflects the amazing example set by my parents!
The caption under this picture in my father’s autobiography states that it was taken right after his ringlets were cut off! My dad always had a full head of thick wavy hair, he didn’t even start turning gray until he was 80 years old!
Growing up, my mom had us make our birthday cards for family member’s birthdays. I came across one I’d done in some mementos my mom had saved. The coloring is smudged and my handwriting indicates I was grade school age–the real image is too faded to show, but here is the gist of my birthday card…
This picture of me and my dad was taken by my mom in an attempt to get us back on task after we were caught horsing around during a homework break where we nearly upended the lamp and flowers on the end table. As you can see, we’re doing our best to look contrite and apologetic!? ( I would imagine that the lamp and sofa pictured would go for a pretty penny at a vintage store today!)
If I adapted the Happy Birthday sentiment of “father” today, it would read more like this:
Faithful Articulate Tireless Hopeful Endearing Rare
My dad wrote this recollection on one of the last pages of his history:
“I have never had a day since my birth that I have not been blessed in countless ways!”
He obviously had the foresight to be aware of the “countless ways” his life was blessed and make note of them! Again, Happy Birthday wishes to you, Dad! It was a beautiful day to celebrate your birthday! Meanwhile, I hope you are enjoying a good book!
We also enjoyed a happy birthday celebration for my oldest daughter, Malia, and her darling family this weekend. I remember when I was expecting Malia, (and in those days, you rarely knew whether you were going to have a boy or a girl before your baby was born) I told my dad that I hoped my baby would be his birthday present that year. With a knowing grin, my father said that my baby deserved her own special birthday! My cute, little baby girl, Malia, with her thick mass of dark hair and round, kiss-able cheeks was born early on the morning of April 28, 1981. In keeping up with the tradition I started on my dad’s birthday card many years ago, I’ll write a few Happy Birthday sentiments for Malia now too!
Loves her family
Interested in others
A beautiful daughter
What I’m learning now is…
I once heard it said that, “Your past is the landscape of your life.” What I’m learning now is that when each birthday rolls around, (as they inevitably do…) it might be a good chance for us to reflect on our lives and enhance that landscape…as well as recommit to making it one that all our loved ones will have the opportunity to enjoy for many years to come!
Take the opportunity to spell out your loved ones names on a paper and consider the fun words you’d write to pay tribute to the unique impact they’ve had on your life. Surprise them with your thoughts for their next birthday!