Seventy years ago, today, April 9, the world was blessed with a bouncing baby boy…me. Said with a big grin, “I remember it well; it was a clear and crisp Easter Sunday”…I actually don’t remember anything about it.
If family stories are to be believed, my father went to bed on April the eighth moaning about an early morning Sunrise Service he really didn’t want to attend. Ernest got up earlier than he intended. I got my mother up quite early. I was weeks ahead of my arrival date.
True to form, I have little patience, but I did make them wait until I was ready to emerge and conquer the world. I understand it was a long day, especially for my mother. I was worth it, I’m sure, but I am still waiting to conquer the world and time is running out.
Freaking seventy? Where did the time go? Wasn’t it just yesterday I was standing to wait for the bus to take me to my first day of school? When it comes to birthdays, time flies whether you are having fun or not…I’m having fun right now, I’m just having it slowly.
As I sit typing away, I don’t feel seventy…until I get up maybe. The fibrous materials holding these old bones together will protest the rapid movement associated with standing and walking but compared to many of my peers I’m doing okay. I’ll run (eye roll) and walk three and a half miles as the sun creeps above the horizon. I’m pretty proud of that but in the back of my mind, I hope I survive the day.
The mirror tells no lies. I look at peers and wonder, “Why do I look so much younger than they do?” Then I’ll look in the mirror and wonder, “Who is that guy?” Maybe it’s the harsh light…of reality. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was the good-looking kid with the crewcut? Now I’m the old balding guy with the big nose and ears.
Did you know the only body parts that continue to grow as you age are your ears and nose? If I live long enough, I’ll resemble Dumbo the Elephant. A little boy points, his voice shrills with fear, “Look, look Mom! The old man just tripped over his ears?”
I expect I might trip the light fandango through the memories of previous years. I try to be forward-thinking and there are plenty of warm and fuzzies but I’m thinking about family and friends I have lost over the years. They flash across the face of my mind. Snatches of people, some in black and white. The problem is as you get older, the list grows longer.
No! I’m not lamenting my birthday. The alternative is not good. My memories are all happy ones, a young boy surrounded by family, blowing out the candles on his cake.
I am lamenting the quarantine. It’s been six weeks since I’ve seen my daughter’s family except in pictures. I remember the last time I saw the grandbabies. I can feel their arms wrapping around my legs…maybe I shouldn’t go there.
So, it’s my birthday. One of those momentous ones. Born in a year ending in zero it’s too easy to keep up with them. I’ve heard all the trite sayings about age being just a number, I’m not old I’m a classic, etc., but the fact is the road ahead is much shorter than the road behind. The Bible says I am living on borrowed time so once more I’m going to try and make this trip around the sun a bit more momentous…I’m not going to jump out of any airplanes.
Happy Birthday to me and a bit of Jimmy Buffett.
“Trip Around the Sun” is a song by American country music artists Jimmy Buffett and Martina McBride in August 2004 as the second single from Buffett’s album License to Chill.