May 16, 1956—Today

When it’s your birthday and you’re 67…

Don’t need a party.

Don’t need presents.

Don’t need to go out to dinner.

Don’t even need to book a massage. 

Because everything I need and want, I have. I get to look at the ocean every single day. I have a laptop and journal and art materials and can document whatever inspires me. I get to dive deep or glide superficially. I have my amigos who love me, my three grown kids, their partners, four beloved grandchildren, my much-loved nieces and nephews, my dear friends, my Monet, my adored vehicles, my health, books, and music. Life really IZ Good these days. 

Every single day is my birth day, a new beginning, a chance to renew, change course, see the world with new spectacles 

Such a blessing today is, to be loved and cherished from the beginning which, my mother reminded me every birthday while she was alive, was an unnaturally hot day in Lawndale, California. I was born a post War II, 1956 wanted daughter. My parents’ glistening eyes prove it. Cradled in the sink by my exhausted, but effervescent L&M-smoking, permed-hair mother, was big-smile, rosy-cheeked me. Chubby, vibrant, and happy, so I was told. I loved to entertain, dance, sing, make-believe, invite everyone to the party. All the strays. All the wounded, and the popular kids too. 

My beginning was magic.

Trees to climb (and fall down from).

Quinn’s Dairy milk deliveries. Helms Bakery chocolate doughnuts.

Gutters to sail Barbie dolls down.

A metallic blue Sears bike that turned into a galloping horse.

A PV-stone embellished playhouse built by my carpenter dad.

Giant goldfish. Our calico, Miss Penny. Frog-pets. A pond. A tiki patio.

The rotisserie barbecue.

Swanson foil TV dinners and those gold-flecked, rose-stenciled fold-up trays from the Blue Chip Stamp store.

The green screen black-and-white Philco TV console.

Silver tinsel Christmas tree and all-blue lights. Modern. American.

My entire world. It was a good one, for me, a little pig-tailed, freckled nose rascal. 

My sister was born when I was three. My cousin, three years older than me, would visit for weeks at a time during the summer and school holidays. Best buddies. Then, and now. We’re full–time roomies, hanging out in the apartment-by-the-sea. They share the one bedroom; Princess Bevie has the queen bed, my sister’s on the air mattress at the foot of the bed, and I sleep on the floor in the living room next to Monet. It’s a sweet life. Not the one any one of us imagined, but absolutely kind of cool and different and perfect. 

I’m still in my pajamas and it just turned noon. See what I mean?

The sun decided to peek through the clouds in time for me to go for a birthday swim before picking up grandson-friendly goodies the boys will nosh on while the grownups slurp my homemade potato soup, kale salad, bread, cheese and, of course, some wine. What is the birthday girl’s favorite foods? The meal I just described: simple, healthy, and made with love.

When it’s your birthday and you turn 67, what you want most in life is for those you love, both near and afar, to cherish the day because it’s beautiful and hopeful and a gift.

Birthdays ARE special no matter how old we get. Birthdays are a day to say, “Thank you,” and feel the origins of love. 

My birthday gift this, and every year, is YOU. Your radiance. Your imagination. Your kindness, intelligence, humor, creativity, and patience. Your toughness, your tenderness, combined with your inner and outer beauty, brings light to the world.

You are such a gift to me and others. You have NO IDEA how much hope and strength you have gifted me throughout the years. You have given me courage. To start anew. To take an unexpected path. To show up. To be there. Always. You. YOU. You are my birthday blessing, today and always.

I can’t begin to tell you how much love, gratitude and admiration I have for you as you forge your own path, making the world better.

Thank you Xs 67 years.

Love, The Birthday Girl.

One Comment on “May 16, 1956—Today

  1. What a great birthday present to all of us! I loved reading it–and recalling my own journey from 1943 up to today. I’m grateful you chose to keep it positive–which sends me a challenge (my 80th is in November)! Happy (belated) birthday!


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