I usually write about my silly adventures or about my perspective on current events...but this morning I decided to get a little more personal. You see...my birthday is this Thursday. I'm a big fan of my birthday. As a child, it was a very important occurrence. If you could show love in Barbie dolls...I was loved more than any other child on the planet. And Mom, I'm sorry for cutting their hair and giving them head transplants. I was an unappreciative brat-child (which was more than likely your and Dad's fault *wink*).
My tenth birthday was the best. It was 1985...my cousin, Patricia and I had a joint birthday party. She's two years younger than me and her birthday is one week after mine. I got a Cabbage Patch Doll and a life-size baby doll that could pass for an actual infant; those were the two things I wanted more than anything in the world...until the next day, when our very sick grandma died. I remember sitting at home with my dad. My mom was at the hospital. Dad and I were watching The Wizard of Oz, the phone rang, I answered it...it was my mom; even at age ten, I knew what had happened. She asked to speak to my dad, their conversation was short...Soon after he hung up the phone, Dad told me that Grandma Katherine was gone, I turned off the movie and went up to my room and cried. He brought me up some ice cream cake from the day before; I passed on the treat and told him that I just felt like crying.
Fast-forward 14 years...its 1999. My birthday week is approaching...I'm excitedly living my early twenties...mistakes have been made, lessons learned. Life is good...I'm married...the husband's career is taking off. Its late June...I have been to baseball games in Kansas City, Chicago and Baltimore (and I got Brady Anderson's autograph...twice). I love baseball and Brady Anderson! Things are great, except for one thing...my father is sick...but he's doing better...I saw him two weeks ago, he was spirited and seemed optimistic. I have spoken with my mom about every other day. Thinking back, I'm sure at this point she knew that my dad was losing his fight with Lymphoma, he was weak and had recently been given a permanent Dilaudid IV to 'be more comfortable'... The July 4th weekend was coming up (along with my birthday). I made plans to go back home to see him the week following The Fourth. My brother, who never calls me, did on the afternoon of June 30, 1999, he told me to come home. I was on a plane that evening...my dad died on The 4th of July...his Independence Day from Cancer...whenever I see or hear fireworks...I think of him and after a few tears I laugh, because although he loved The Fourth, he hated the hoopla that comes with it...oh the irony.
It is a very good thing that I am not a superstitious person or else I would have a serious complex about this year's birthday. My life has never been better. I have it all...almost...yeah...I *do* live in Iowa, which kinda sucks. If any of my loved ones drops dead next week...I will develop a birthday neurosis which will have nothing to do with getting older. *fingers crossed* Please. don't. die.