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?
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.
More by this Author
A true story of a remarkable Buddhist king, and especially of his remarkable Christian granddaughter. This chapter sets the scene for both.
This is the continuation of Part I of this story of a Laotian girl becoming a young woman raised in the royal palace of her grandfather and in a time of wars and change.
Counting candles on the cake? There are other things about aging that count even more in the long run!