we wish you many happy returns…

15 01 2009

img_3814Right now it is -11º.   Add to that 11 mph winds and it feels like -31º.  That is the kind of cold where they tell you not to go out unless absolutely necessary. I hesitated to even attempt to make the trek today. Every county along the Lake (and that makes up about 75% of the trip) had lake effect snows slated to receive about seven inches.  I decided to just take it very easy on those snow covered slick roads and the normal two hour trip took an extra hour. I never even told her I was coming because that would just be stupid.   An important lesson – don’t tell toddlers or old people what you MIGHT be doing…

But I’m here and it’s her 82nd birthday and tomorrow would have been their 61st wedding anniversary.  These aren’t dates that she should be alone.  At least not for the first time around.  And after tomorrow…we will have passed all the important dates just five months after Billy left us.  

Billy’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, her birthday followed the next day by their anniversary…the first ones “alone” are now history. Mile markers on the path whether it is a path we would have chosen or not.  Sort of like the candles on a cake – whether we like how many are there or not – each stands for a year’s worth of life lessons that are there for us to celebrate.

So after I sang to her – I launched right into:

We wish you many happy returns on this the day of your birth,

 may sunshine and gladness be given, 

may God in his mercy prepare you on earth

for a beautiful birthday in heaven. 

“and I’ll be with Bill!”, she added through a teary smile.