Birthday Blessings

Yesterday was my birthday and it was a great day!

My day started with a very early wakeup call wishing me a happy birthday. After some more resting, my husband and son prepared breakfast in bed for me and we enjoyed that.  What a wonderful way to start the day.

Then I read notes on Facebook from many dear friends wishing me a happy birthday.  Some of these dear people I haven’t seen in years yet they remain very dear and precious to me. Isn’t it amazing that with some people, you can be apart for a while but when you are together, it is like no time has passed? And, you can get right back into the rhythm of your friendship?  I hope that you have people in your life like that.

One friend I have known since elementary school. She mentioned a time that we got in trouble in a class which for the two of us was rare — really it was.  The funny thing is that right before Thanksgiving I saw the teacher at the grocery store. This was the teacher who had us go to the coat closet as punishment (where we continued to talk). It was great to see this man who’d been so important in my younger days. This friend and I have always liked to laugh and continue to do so! A few years ago we had a great time at the beach with our children and hope to get together again!

I heard from another friend who I’ve also known since elementary school. She mentioned making Christmas ornaments at one of my birthday parties and that she still had the ornament and had put it on her tree.  That really made my day! What a fun memory.

Thanks to them and all of my friends and family who gave me such wonderful birthday wishes and songs and kindness. All of you mean so much to me and it was so nice to hear from you!

After we had lunch, the three of us watched the movie Hello Dolly starring Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau. This was another trip down memory lane and stirred up a lot of memories for me.  I was in the musical  production of Hello Dolly at our community playhouse in the summer of 1984.

It meant a lot to be in this show since a few months before I had been injured in an accident. Another friend and I were run over by a car and a third friend was bumped by this same car and flew through the air. After the accident, I was home from school for three weeks because of injuries all over my body – including having my braces come out (thank the Lord for those or I would have lost the top row of my teeth).

While watching this movie, I thought back to that time and the fact I was so glad to dance in a show after having been hurt just a short time before. I remembered some of the lines word for word and a few of the songs as well.  I mainly was thanking God for me and my friends and the fact that none of us was badly hurt. What a miracle! And watching my son enjoy the music and costumes and dancing and the actors ride on a train added something very special. Needless to say, happy tears were shed!

After that the three of us met my parents for dinner at a Japanese restaurant – some of my favorite food. That was really nice and a fun evening. Then another member of our family joined us and we then came back to our house and had cake and opened presents. Yesterday wasn’t the first time I had celebrated.  A few weeks ago, my cousin and I had a joint birthday party where I received some other very nice gifts and had wonderful times with family. And since then, my son Ian has been singing for me and wishing mommy a happy pre-birthday!

Ian helped me blow out my birthday candles after singing Happy Birthday dear Mommy, happy birthday to you. That on top of the rest of my day was the (pardon the pun) icing on the cake. I am so blessed and so thankful for all of these wonderful people who I know. You all rock!

I am in my mid-40s now and truly appreciate and understand the importance of friends, family and the time I spend with special people in my life. Each day is precious and a real gift.

Thank you Lord for another amazing trip around the sun and another great year full of life, love, loss, and much happiness. I wonder what new adventures await me between now and my next birthday.

“Tickling Brings Out My Happy”

A few days ago, my 4-year-old son said, “tickling brings out my happy.” 

My husband and I both laughed and thought what a great comment.  And, when I later thought of it, I realized, that is quite profound for someone so young. Our son often will say, “Daddy, please tickle me.”  You see, he loves to be happy and loves to laugh.  He is truly a gem in our lives!!

I too love to laugh and be happy. When I was young, my sister and two of our closest friends had a club dedicated to giggling and having fun. We had a special name for ourselves and a special quote that we always shared. I will have to check with them to see if I can share it. But, needless to say, these were fun times that I will always remember.  We are all still friends and still enjoy being happy together.

But since I have been an adult, some days it’s harder to be happy and to be able to laugh.  Sometimes sad and terrible things happen or stress can overwhelm you, or you may deal with a health crisis or a serious loss. Sometimes all you can do is try to make it through the day, much less even consider laughing. But I do honestly believe that with time and faith in the Lord, that each day can get easier.  Even after a great loss, you eventually will stop having so much pain and can remember the good and fun times that you have shared with the special people in your life.  As the song goes, One day at a time, sweet Jesus!

I have several things that make me laugh and truly happy: the laughter of a child which seems contagious to me — especially my own son; a funny story from a friend or relative; the inside joke with a close confidant; the jokes that my cousin tells; movies such as Airplane, and Mel Brooks movies; tv shows like The Cosby Show, Designing Women, and The Golden Girls (yes I am a child of the 80s); and current shows Psych and Hot In Cleveland

And, I have to say one of the funniest people who I have ever seen is Carol Burnett. I really enjoyed her variety show and thought she, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, and Lyle Waggoner were some of the funniest people ever on television. Do you remember the Gone With The Wind sketch? Carol Burnett has said that sketch had the longest laughter response of any they did. And, I can understand why – every detail is hilarious. Let me know if you haven’t seen it and I will explain. Even thinking about it now makes me laugh and seeing it, I laugh until I cry.

In the movie, Steel Magnolias, a great line is “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” I have laughed so hard that I started crying. I don’t remember the reason that led to that, but I do remember what fun it was.  Another quote I have heard for many years is, laughter is the best medicine. Do you agree? 

I hope that you too can laugh and truly enjoy each day you are blessed with. 

And, I will close this blog with a final thought, I wonder if despite what may happen in our lives we can still find our happy. I hope that we can!