Birthdays can be celebrated, ignored, forgotten and endured. My birthday this year was embraced and celebrated. I have the unique excitement of sharing my birth day with my husband and my youngest daughter. It was odd enough to marry a man who wakes up on November 30 with the same knowledge that another year has been added to our journey. It was painful to wake up in labor on my special day, knowing that a child would join this unique partnership of ours and celebrate this day. The good news about sharing this day with two other people in my life is that it lessens the probability that I will be completely forgotten on this day.
This year my husband and I wanted to have a simple birthday. No big gifts, no grand celebrations. We are old enough to acknowledge the date with each other and buy a special gift for the child that shares this date with us. But it is always the unexpected gifts you receive when you least expect it and when it was a gift you didn't even know you wanted.
I moved a piece of furniture that housed all the blankets my mother made before she passed away. They haven't been exposed for a long time because the furniture was being used as a resting spot for the cable box and DVD player. But when I pulled them out, I could smell the perfume my mother wore. And if I buried my face deep in the crafted, colored yarn that spoke of hours of sitting and feeding her soul with the joy of making things for others, I could sense her. The smell of her perfume and the softness of the yarn made me long for the warmth and strength of her hugs and the sound of the way she said my name. The way a mother says your name. With the full knowledge of who you were as a child all the way through adulthood. The way it caresses your head when you have a fever and ache all over and the way it soothes a heart when it's been hurt. I could not hear my name, but I felt her love and remembered how much she loved me. Even 12 years after her leaving I still miss her. But today, on the day she gave birth to me so many years ago she reached out from where she is and wished my a Happy Birthday.
Then later, my father called to tell me Happy Birthday. With his deep and resonating voice, he laughed outloud and wondered how he had a child this old!! I wondered too. I was remembering how I wanted to hear my mother say my name. So I asked him how I came by that name. He chuckled and said "Debbie"? Well, he said, I liked the name Deborah. At the time, there was a beautiful Hollywood actress and I liked her name. So, there it was. I was named after Deborah Reynolds. I proceeded to ask all kinds of questions about that time period when they were expecting me and got some great answers. What an unexpected gift. What a wonderful gift.
So I got unexpected gifts from both of my parents. Both welcome ones for sure. And who doesn't need that at 50 +?