Continuing to Thrive at 55 on Good Friday 2013
Happy Birthday to me! Yes, today, 3/29, is my 55th birthday.
I’ve been battling a bit of melancholy today. I don’t know that it’s so much my age, as all the changes over the past few years that struck me with their finality, such as my parents no longer being around (my Dad also had a March birthday – 3/15 – and we used to celebrate together), and being separated by so many miles from my kids, granddaughter, and other family and friends.
BUT… I got dozens of birthday greetings on my Facebook wall and have heard from 3 of my 4 kids (so far).
My hubby, Dave, took me out to LongHorn Steakhouse and we enjoyed a nice steak dinner – and had to bring home half of the “Chocolate Stampede” dessert! Then we went by his shop for a “show and tell” of the machines he’s learned to operate and other tools and parts he’s been working on. Now I have a better understanding of all the things he’s been telling me about!
Then, on the way home, Dave mentioned a line in a particular song that he says always makes him think of me from when we first met – such a romantic gesture!
On my birthday each year, I also reflect on the fact that I nearly didn’t live to see my 27th birthday. As I mentioned in my previous post about Angels Among the Flames, I fell out the second-story window and landed on my head first, and immediately entered unconsciousness.
I nearly died that day and was unconscious/semi-conscious for about three days. I had lacerated my scalp and lost massive amounts of blood; sustained a skull fracture and broken neck (fractured C7); and suffered multiple bruises, lacerations, and muscular and internal damage. This fire happened on a Monday and I regained consciousness on Thursday that week, with no idea what had happened. I just knew I was in excruciating pain all over my body and I couldn’t figure out where I was or why I hurt so much!
When nurses realized I was “back” – they notified my husband – and little by little, I started remembering at least some of what happened – but I was sure the children were dead. They had to bring them to me, so I could see that they were really alive and well!
That year, 1985, I celebrated my 27th birthday in the hospital — a birthday I nearly didn’t live to see. Yet, by the grace of God, I walked (well, limped, gingerly) out of the hospital about a week after the fire. I eventually recovered from my injuries, after about three months in that SOMI brace you see in the photo (SOMI: Sternal-Occipital-Mandibular Immobilizer), followed by a soft cervical collar for another couple months. I was even blessed with two more children in the four years after that near tragedy.
Now, 28 years later, I am continuing to thrive at 55, with no significant residual effects. My birthday has fallen on Easter only 3 of those 55 years; today–Good Friday–is the first time in many years my birthday has been this close to Easter, or as I prefer to call it, the Resurrection Sunday.
How about you? Any other March birthday folks? How do you handle birthdays as you approach or pass middle age? Have you ever wondered if you would live to see your next birthday?
If you celebrate this holiday, I hope you have a blessed 2013 Easter (the Resurrection) Sunday – and for everyone else, have a nice weekend!