Birthdays come around once a year, just like clockwork.
In our younger days, time moved slowly and we couldn’t wait to be six or 21.
As we get older, birthdays come around too soon.
Birthdays were once celebrated with ice cream, cake with candles, a few friends, a few gifts – simple affairs.
Children today celebrate in more elaborate ways – with theme parties or trips to Chucky Cheese and the like.
I cannot recall either of those types of celebrations for me.
Mine were family affairs at home.
A special dinner, ice cream and my favorite coconut cake that Mom made from scratch, topped with candles with which to make a wish.
I still feel the love that went into each of my early birthdays.
During my three years in nursing school, I was not able to travel home, so my parents brought the celebrations to me.
My classmates in the dorm fried chicken – not prepackaged nor Colonel Sanders’ – but fixed the old-fashioned way.
Remember that process?
Recently, I heard the song, “It Is No Secret What God Can do.”
It triggered a memory from my 21st birthday.
February 15 was a stormy, snowy day and I thought it would be impossible for my parents to make the trip to visit on my birthday.
My classmates, who were close friends, said to come on down the hall. Lee would sing and play the guitar. I agreed, and when it was time to sing, I was the only one singing “It Is No Secret,” the others were singing Happy Birthday.
My parents had made the trip earlier and left “my birthday” with the house I also was to go on a date that evening with a young “Fly Boy” – our name for the Air Force.
He called just prior to the surprise party and canceled our date.
I was feeling pretty low, but my “Fly Boy” Roy sent me a dozen red roses – my very first – and set up a date for the next day.
When I think back to that time, I recall my most embarrassing moment. Roy asked me to marry him.
I liked him but was not in love with him. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I told him I could never move so far from home. He was from Chicago.
Well, as it turned out, I moved much further away from home when I came to West Virginia.
Getting back to my “embarrassing moment,” my husband, Herb, and I lived in Chicago for two years while he went to school on the GI bill.
One Sunday, we attended a Red Sox game, and guess who I ran into.
Yep. Roy the “Fly Boy.”
Of course, I had to introduce him to my husband.
Life is full of events and emotions – surprises, celebrations and embarrassments.