Sunday, May 3, 2009

I've always loved my birthday

So today I am 32 years old. I've always loved my birthday. Not because I got presents or because people noticed me more that day, but because I share this day with my dad's father, my Grandpa Al. Today he is 91 years old too. I've always thought it was pretty special to share a birthday him and I'm happy this year to actually be celebrating it with him. I think in my lifetime I've only actually seen him on our day maybe 3 times before today. He now lives here in Florida just down the road from me and we're going to my parents' house for dinner. This makes me happy.

So birthdays are supposed to be a celebration of life. And today I want to do that by remembering people who are no longer with us. Today I want to celebrate a little piece of their lives because each of them has touched my life somehow and made it better. Forgive me for the long post everyone but it's my birthday and I'll write if I want to.

My darling Noah. You are my son that never breathed life outside of me. But your heart beat, and that has strengthened mine. Your arms danced and your legs kicked, and we still love you. We look at your twin brother Brandon everyday and we remember you. I miss you.

Grandpa Bruce - I remember the smell of your pipe as you sat on the sun porch and listed to the police radio while Kristin and I watched cartoons all cozy in the nest of blankets you tucked us in to. I remember you giving me a quarter and a piece of paper with your phone number on it and telling me to call you if I got lost in NYC. I was 7 and going to the circus with my Mom. You worried but you were prepared. And you taught me about patience and always made me feel loved. I miss you.

Grandma Jeanne - I miss your laugh and staying up late watching Johnny Carson with you on the weekends. You liked creamer in your tea, just like me, and to this day I will not buy Cling peaches in a can because they are not as good as Freestone. I appreciate every meal you made just for me because it was what I wanted and I sometimes kiss my boys on the back of their necks and call them "my darlings" because you did that for me. I'm sorry I didn't like that you put sour cream in your cranberry jello-mold though. I still think of you when I sing "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" to my boys and when I sit down to play your piano at Mom's house. I will never vacuum and sing without laughing either.

Grandma Dot - I remember every loving stitch or piece of material you put in to the crafts you made us. You taught me to crochet. Every summer for 8 years I'd anxiously wait at the mailbox to watch for your's and Grandpa Al's RV Motor home coming up the road. I thought it was so cool that your house was in my driveway for a month. I'm not sure as an adult that I'd feel the same! I remember playing Scrabble in that RV and looking at all the photos from every place in the US you traveled to. You made me iced tea and we watched Judge Wapner. You got to meet all 8 of your great grandchildren. I love how proud you were of your family and I hope to be as sharp as you were at 91 before you died. We do miss you.

Grandmom Dottie - I can't imagine a nicer Grandma-in-law. You welcomed me to the family with open arms and I am so happy you met your first great-grandson before you left us. I will always remember your gentle spirit and homemade strawberry jam. That stuff was so good!

Noel - You, my friend, ended your own life and once told me you thought no one would remember you. To spite you I send blonde jokes to our mutual friends on your birthday every year just so your spirit knows how wrong you were. I still have my orange and your blue car magnets (from our sales tracking board at work) on my refridgerator. Brandon knows they are Mommy's cars and are not for him. I think everyone should learn to say "humuhumunukunukuapua."

Jim Thrift - My old soul friend. Whenever you fell you jumped back up. You were a natural leader with charisma and wisdom. I will always try to spiral up the mountain instead of forging straight for the top. In the end it'll still be the same place but I'll have better vistas burned in to my memory.

Jon Hack - You were so kind. That seems like such a small thing to say to remember you but it carries so much weight. I am happy you are at least with Caleb and my heart breaks for Andrea when I think of you.

Master Mary - Your spirit glowed with fiery passion that burned me more than once. But I know how much you cared and learned so much from you. I am thankful you were so happy in the end and I will never sell "Mary's Car" in a garage sale even after our kids outgrow playing with it. I think I'll always carry a few bruises from the mat work but they'll be second to the pride I have from working with one of the best.

O'Sensei - You are probably the person who has influenced me the most in my life outside of my family and close friends. Your vision and dreams changed my life for the better and I am still amazed at the depth of your mind. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with the rest of us.

Jake - Little child born and gone too soon. You taught me how strong and brave your parents are, and how lucky we are to have their friendship despite our differences.

Josephine - I think of you nearly every day. You look out at me from photos with such soulful eyes I sometimes think you see right through me. How do you do that little girl, little daughter of my dear friend? How could one little girl carry the soul of a thousand years in her heart?

Maddie - There are few leaders who could unite people as you did and continue to do. You opened my eyes to a community I knew existed but didn't share in until now. Your beautiful blond curls and shining eyes will forever remind me of the goodness of people. I hope your family knows how powerful your grace is.

So today I celebrate these lives that have reached me. You all deserve to be remembered. I also celebrate my family and my friends. Without you I can not be me and I love you all.


Maria Melee May 4, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

So moving. What a beautiful tribute to those you love.

averygoodyear May 4, 2009 at 4:54 PM  

Really, really touching. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous May 4, 2009 at 4:55 PM  


JB3 May 22, 2009 at 9:22 PM  

Thanks, Colleen. You remind how good it is to have good friends and just how rare they are.