I am at a place in my life right now where fortunately I have mostly good days, but among the loneliest days a parent endures, in my opinion, is the day when their child who has a birthday lives in another town.
When I think of this I realize it is very selfish of me to utter such sentiments.
I think of all the mothers who have lost sons and daughters to war, illness, accidents, etc., and my kind of loneliness on a birthday pales in comparison to what they must feel.
But when my child is out of town and it’s his or her birthday, it’s a pretty sad day for me.
We celebrate birthdays big time at our house. We hang banners, have flowers and candles and find cards that are carefully picked.
Everyone gets their own special cake and merriment abounds.
Three out of five of my family members have birthdays that fall in January and two of those fall two weeks after Christmas.
Sometimes, I remember to give my daughter Beth a gift mid-year that is unexpected, but sadly I don’t do that consistently.
And for my husband, Tommy, the other member whose birthday falls at that time, I try to and remember special times from years past but we’ve long gotten over giving gifts.
I’m surprised to be saying this, but if you’re on Facebook, one’s birthday makes for a really fun day.
On Facebook you’ll never believe how many wishes come from near and far. It’s a really, really fun place to see what a birthday brings.
And so, I’ll repeat it: son John had a birthday last week and we couldn’t be with him and it made for a pretty empty day.
John’s birthday used to mark the beginning of fall when bonfire hot dogs and S’mores were the order of the day — along with the dusty fleece.
His birthday always came when Tommy was at Guard Drill.
One year, knowing that, neighbor and friend Gary Middleton drove his riding mower cart full of twigs and stumps two doors down to start a bonfire before Tommy got home.
That bonfire and the subsequent hayrides were the beginning of a very fun tradition that we, and hopefully his friends, will always fondly remember when the seasons change.
On a different note, hubby Tommy and I have been on a trip recently.
I was determined to take photographs with my camera instead of my I Phone.
Although the iPhone takes good photographs, my model 5S loses battery power so dramatically that I try not to use it as my only tool.
After a couple of photogenic days, one night on our trip I was relaxing in a motel room editing pictures on the camera.
With the hope of deleting the bad ones, I inadvertently ouched a wrong button.
The next frame read: “Memory contains no images.”
OMG. It really didn’t mean “No images?” did it?
Please don’t tell me that with the touch of one single button I lost everything I took weeks to capture? In fact, I did.
I googled “how to retrieve photos deleted from my SanDisk “(my memory device) and found several online solutions.
Because they were so specific I decided to take the problem to a professional camera shop for help.
The camera shop I found (out of town) was familiar with this issue and offered no false promises.
They said it would cost either $19.99 (if results were negative) or $24.99 (for good news), took my phone number and said they’d call me back.
When I didn’t hear from them early the next day I was disillusioned. But later that day they called to say that they were able to retrieve 935 photos and put them on a disk for the cost of $24.99.
I have not had the time to look through the disk to see what photos were recaptured, but feel confident that many of them will be captured from our current trip.
I found surprisingly unexpected good news on a questionable day.
Good days, bad days?
“Hope springs eternal,” daddy used to say.
’Til next week.