A BIRTHDAY by Christina Rossetti
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
Today is my birthday. 37 years old. Not much to say, at first, about turning 37.
Some people may think that this might be a hard birthday. You know - we live in Southern California. We are surrounded by gorgeous 25 year olds with great bodies every day. And yes, I may have been thinking a month ago that this might be a tough birthday. My butt is not as firm as it used to be and I certainly hardly ever have time to go to the gym these days. OK - the treadmill in the corner of this room (in my home office) has only been used twice (a gift last Nov 25th from my hubby on my 36th birthday). But recent events have forced me to reconsider. This is not a bad birthday.
About 3 weeks ago I learned that one of my closest friends from high school had been hospitalized with metastatic breast cancer. She had been diagnosed about a year earlier and had done everything (bilateral mastectomies, chemo and radiation). This is one of those long time, forever friends of mine. Paula dated Dave in high school. I have been friends with both of them since then. They've dated on and off - you know, one of those crazy on and off type love affairs. They had two children who are now 12 and 14. Our lives had taken us in different directions - we would go years without talking and then jump right back in to where we left off. Last time I spoke with Paula she was doing great. Dave and her were on one of their "on" periods. This was over 2 years ago. I did not even know that Paula had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Paula passed away 10 days ago. I did have the opportunity to visit her in the hospital before she passed. But this has been a hard time. Of course I miss that I will not have my friend and regret that I had not been a much, much better friend. We all love Paula. Mostly though I am saddened that her 2 kids will be without her. My heart is still breaking for this family.
Paula would have had her 37th birthday on December 22nd. Her funeral was a week ago today. She will be greatly, greatly missed. I will always hold this great memory of Paula, huge smile on her face, throwing up her arms over her head and yelling "Woo-hoo!" I don't remember what this was over but she was celebrating something with me. That was Paula. This is what I will remember.
So today I am not going to be anything but completely thankful for my 37th birthday. I am blessed beyond belief to be healthy and happy with great friends and family. I have a great husband and 2 fantastic boys. Max and Keirnan are 4 and 2 and both got yelled at this morning for "bad additudes!" OK, Keirnan also got in trouble for spitting at grandma (just a rasberry but still!)
I have only great things to be happy for today. And yes, hubby has something planned for us tonight. I am a very, very lucky girl. And even though I am not super religious, it is at times like this that I must stop and say "thank you" - to God, to Buddha, to whatever you believe in. I am truly blessed.
So, what do I want for my birthday? Everyone is asking... I really can think of nothing except another year (at least) of health and happiness for all of us. What can you all get me? Just each of you please contact one of your long lost friends, one of your "Paula" friends - just call or email and see how they are. Be a better friend if you can and enjoy every single second that you've got.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL OF US!
MISS YOU PAULA XOXO