Absent For A Birthday, Again.

Cheering You On

Don't forget to wish!

The candles now light the room.

Lung power is needed.

Aren't photos great?

The two of us when our mother was still alive. This year's birthday will not be the same. We too are aging and apart.
The two of us when our mother was still alive. This year's birthday will not be the same. We too are aging and apart. | Source

When it comes to Mary's birthday....

Mary has had lots of birthdays before this one, and I have had six more than she has had.

On so many of her birthdays I was absent. I will be absent again this year.

Most of her birthdays have been spent in New England, a few in Virginia and a couple in Illinois.

She has missed some of mine, too. I was a world wanderer, and this time I am out west with my family scattered from coast to coast, content where they are with only three of mine close enough to Mary to share the celebration.

When we were younger it seemed that most birthdays might be shared, hers and mine. But living took us down different paths, and here we are again separated by the miles, limited by finances, gardens that need watering due to the July heat that blankets the nation, and getting to "the afternoon naps" stage of our lives.

If I was there this year, my energy would not be as high, but my smile would still be a good broad one, as I reflected on the years that are past, the birthdays I recall, and the memory of the two loving parents we were fortunate enough to have.

Our dad was a professional safety engineer, a gardener, hunter, outdoors man, and loved to fish. He loved us both equally and differently at the same time....the daddy-daughter thing I guess. He enjoyed life into his early 90's coping resignedly with his health limitations, one of which finally took its course.

Our mother was a generational mother. She was home to greet us after school, to counsel us when important decisions seemed major enough to need her wise counsel, and she was outgoing enough to feel that what she taught us about making a difference in our world applied to her, too. She never met a public service project she couldn't identify with and often lead.

Mom was well provided for and enjoyed life and family another decade plus after the lasting love of her life went on before her and she settled in to accept her own physical limitations and succumb to cells the Energizer Bunny no longer recognized, spending only a few brief weeks bed-bound at half past 105.

Mary took on the role of caregiver and performed heroically, giving back love that a loving mother and father had once given selflessly to her. Three daughters and a granddaughter added to her joys and challenges of motherhood.

Now here we are, senior citizens, and the birthdays come around again, seemingly faster than ever.

Our birthdays will come and go again, separated by 2,300 miles. Neither one of us really lacks for anything except the closeness we once had. A card and nominal gift from me, a card and birthday wishes from her will see another summer end with beach walks for her along the Atlantic seaboard, and the resumption of college sports here in the Rocky Mountains for me.

The childhood birthdays were the best.

____________

© 2016 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


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Comments 12 comments

PAINTDRIPS profile image

PAINTDRIPS 4 months ago from Fresno CA

Great memories and glimpses into the future for all of us accepting physical limitations. It was a very sweet-bitter sweet read.

Blessings,

Denise


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 months ago

You and Mary were very fortunate. At least you have good times to cherish.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 4 months ago from New Delhi, India

Beautiful and emotional write!

How lovely are the childhood days--once gone they never return! You reminded me of my own joyous birthdays and togetherness with my siblings. Over the years priorities change. We get busy with our family and lives. The love is still there but birthdays are never the same. Just a mere Happy birthday wish on the telephone or exchange of some gifts by courier.

Thanks for sharing this touching hub!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

PAINTDRIPS - Blessings to you, also. Do you have that new degree now?

I'm glad this may have brought back birthday memories, as it did for some readers. Keep in touch. Demas


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

MizBejabbers Mary and I have indeed been fortunate to have had loving parents, good times, educations, children and grandchildren, and a life in the land of the free and the home of the brave. It doesn't get much better than that.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

ChitrangadaSharan - Perhaps we will try to duplicate those childhood experiences in the next life? Sadly, some would not want to. See my last comment though, for I would be happy to.

Thanks for commenting.

We have the heat here too, 103 F. but it is compensated for my our low 17% humidity. It still takes a lot of water for the gardens to stay alive. Cheers!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

I bet it would mean the world to her to take a walk down memory lane (in writing or via Skype or phone). You're a good sibling.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

FlourishAnyway - I did a tape of such memories for my Dad that did just that. One of these days I will set aside some time to do one for her. One of her daughters has "inherited" their shared computer, so these days I get short responses from Mary's cell phone.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 months ago

You are so good to remember birthdays in this way. I only wish I could be with my children on each birthday.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

teaches12345 - Remembering birthdays of the 17 grandchildren is a bigger challenge!


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I grew up without siblings, so I can only imagine what you must feel. It must be wonderful to have shared your entire life with someone. This is a wonderful story.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

It was wonderful and I hope it can continue to be. Sharing is an important part of life. May God bless you with such opportunities.

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