My birthday doesn't mean that much to me any more.
That may not look like a startling statement, but I assure you, denizens, it is. I am known for celebrating my Birthday Month; what else is there to do in February in the winter in cold climes? Lunch and music and breakfasts and hikes fit easily into the 28 days allotted to my celebration; all my friends and relatives could be accommodated with ease.
The sun always shines on my birthday, just as it is now. I could make plans without fear of weather interfering with the festivities. The world knew that this day was different, and Mother Nature never rained on my parade. She knew, too.
I celebrated for 365 days the year I turned 50. I had t-shirts created commemorating the wonderfulness of it all. They were distributed to everyone with whom I shared an adventure that year. It's much more fun to distribute the love than to be the only one on the receiving end of the present train.
The first birthday after I was shot marked the beginning of my change in attitude. The Golden Gopher and Babs, his wife, drove down from Phoenix to spend the weekend. We tried to do something other than obsess about the fact that I was there, on the couch, marking another birthday. We really tried. We failed... miserably.... completely.... totally.
We sat in the living room and cried. We remembered other years, parties we'd created and attended over the decades, and we cried. They'd not heard the story of January 8th first hand so we began with the robo-call and ended with the Sheriff's Deputy,a first responder eleven days before, greeting me in my driveway as I came home from the hospital. We cried.
That was the day it really hit me: I almost didn't have this birthday.
I am the luckiest woman you know. I have no ostomies, no paralysis, no brain damage. I am here, on this earth, to complain about my aches and pains. I limp.... for now.... and if it's forever then it's a forever that I am here to share. I'm not dead.
Somehow, that statement makes the actual anniversary of my entry into this world seem vaguely irrelevant. I was given a second chance at life that morning in the ICU at UMC. I was pulled back from the brink. I could celebrate that as my birthday, but I won't.
I've come to see that Rocky is a very wise woman. She raised her children with this adage: The only thing you really can control is your attitude. Sure, I'd like to be racing up Blackett's Ridge with Miss Vicki, or pushing Mr 9 in the Testarosa cart Daddooooo created for the Cuters, or walking across the gym floor without pain. But, as I respond when asked how I'm doing, I am here to complain about it.
The sun came up and I was here to see it. By definition, it's a good day.... kind of like a birthday everyday.