Birthday Blessings

I just read about some New York bigshot who spent $5 million on his one birthday party. Um, what? Is he an independent nation now and celebrating by spending the equivalent of his GNP?

Today is my birthday – 50+, yes. In the past, we ignored birthdays, anniversaries, any secular celebration. Our religious holidays were really low-key, as well. And they still are, but we have upped the celebration level of personal milestones. It is the $20 celebration for us, with take-away store pizza, a cake and ice cream. But special prayers are said, a candle is lit, and we have a modest toast.

Because every birthday and anniversary, for us,is a celebration of life together. Since Nicholas had the stroke, and almost died in the resulting fall, injury, blood loss and massive infection, we have become more aware of each day we have together. He doesn’t remember that first month after the stroke, so for him, it’s emotionally and mentally like coming back from the grave. He passed through the valley of the shadow of death. His vague memories of his fall and consequent rush to the emergency ward are very much about feeling like he was sliding away from life, with everyone’s voics getting distant and weak, and the light fading around him. He never lost consciousness, but after seeing me for a few minutes in the ER, and being wisked away for surgery, his memory stops for weeks. He has one certain memory of hearing pigeons outside his hospital room, and worrying that they were cold and dying. Some of his other memories are really memories of either dreams or fever hallucinations. His memory doesn’t pick up again until he was in stroke rehabilitation.

So every day is a new day for us. Every year is a triumph and a milestone. There is a strong likelihood that an underlying medical issue will take his life young. I watch constantly for signs of its progression. But even though his memory is hit and miss, my own is good. The most likely scenario is that I will live for decades after he is gone, and I don’t want to waste a moment, or neglect to celebrate the gracious gift of joy and life God has given us.

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11 thoughts on “Birthday Blessings

  1. I hate celebrating my birthday but this year I had a simple party with some cake and some other tasty little things. The reason is to get used to celebrating as my next is my 30th and I cannot escape celebrating that. I have no problem with getting older though and I am thankful for each year I get to enjoy but I don’t like being the center of attention the way you are on your birthday.

    Today I celebrated a friend’s 27th and it was great to spend some time with friends, laughing and having some coffee. Other people’s birthdays are great, just not my own.

    Congratulations to you on your birthday!

  2. That is such a touching post sister. Brought tears to my eyes and what a gentle reminder to treasure and celebrate each minute we have with our loved ones. Everyday is special.

  3. Happy Birthday! Celebration is good for the soul. When I turned 50 one of my children told me I no longer have to worry that I will die young. HA! Let’s see how she feels about that when she turns 50.

    Blessings to you both!

  4. Magdalena,

    Happy Birthday! may you and Nicholas be richly and wonderfully blessed in the coming year. I pray that our Heavenly father continues to unfold His will for you both. It is my prayer that our Lord holds you in the hollow of His hand, enfolding you in His rich mercy moment by moment, day by day.

    Blessings,

    Sarah.

  5. A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I don’t know where my mind was yesterday. We had a chaotic weekend here – very difficult and stressful ( Patrick was in a stupor and we finally figured out what was wrong and he is soo much better). We had broken washers, car work, and mid weekend we heard water pouring onto the floor in the basement which turned out to be a backed up sewer. Our poor green beans, are just sitting in the garden waiting for someone to be able to pick and can them.

    I understand the being so grateful for Nicholas and your time together. I never ever have stopped being grateful for Bruce even 19 yrs after he emerged from that valley ( staying in it for the better part of 63 days). I hope you enjoyed your celebration immensely!! I hope you have a wonderful birthday week. I say that because I just had mine on the 6th and it was AWFUL – bad stuff happening all around. I was in tears at the end and Patrick got up the next day and said Happy Birthday Mom – I have decided we need to make your birthday today since yesterday was so bad. It was a lovely day.
    Joanie

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