I've done my birthday to death now.
This one is not about me.
One year when I was working at the school,
I happened to hear that one of our volunteers
was having a birthday.
She was a sweet old gal who
brought to mind Edith Bunker.
On a whim,
I put a candle in a hostess cupcake
and presented her with it.
She burst into tears!
Leave it to me to make Edith Bunker cry.
She explained that she and her husband and never had
children and all her own siblings were gone.
She had not had a birthday cake or card
since her husband had died three years prior.
Blew me away.
I think about my own dad...
who once said to me
"Birthdays are like any other day.
when I handed him my card.
I knew that they had been special when I was a kid
and we had family parties.
I knew they were special all the way up
until my mother passed away.
Then it wasn't the same anymore.
But he still had me and my kids living in the same town
and my brother and sisters
who came up every few years to spend a few days celebrating with him.
It wasn't the same, but there were people who loved him
Obviously I love birthdays and holidays...
I celebrate my day for a whole week until it arrives.
I hope I never lose that.
I think that I have begun to understand that let down.
Cards are mailed early to make sure they arrive on time.
They are opened and read and put on the mantle.
When you are alone,
it must be bitter sweet to be remembered from afar.
By the time your day or holiday arrives,
the celebration is pretty much over.
For those older people who have living family who
don't live near, but care...
there are phone calls.
But I think the end result must be that same bitter sweetness.
Once the calls end,
they are still alone.
I'm sure the cards and being remembered are good things.
But I wish there was something more.
Something that lasts longer.
I guess that's where church groups
or other senior groups come in handy.
The in-laws belong to a camping club.
I will be attending their culb's
Thanksgiving get together this Saturday.
Its a great group!
Many have joined with their spouses
and the spouse passes away...
but they still have their camp buddies who
make a point of having celebrations for everyone in the group
who is alone.
But I know there are people out there,
like my Edith Bunker,
who are just plain alone.
I know a man named Jack.
He was the man that I had considered working for...
as his housekeeper before the man and I committed to each other
and I agreed to move in here.
I don't know Jack's birthday.
Since he cannot leave his home...
I think the day after Thanksgiving that
I should take him a plate of goodies...
and share some laughs.