Another Year Younger

Happy Birthday to Me!

Funny, the calendar says that as of today I’m another year older. I don’t feel older. In fact, I feel younger.

Why is it that when we’re young, we want to be older; and when we finally are older, we want to be younger? I have no clue because I wasn’t raised that way. I was raised to be thankful for every birthday. And, when my Mom found out she had breast cancer, that thankfulness for every new day increased beyond measure. I had one friend back then who simply could not believe that Mom wanted for nothing I wonder if after all these years he finally understands?

When my 17th birthday rolled around in 1970, I was an exchange student in Lima, Peru. I had been offered the opportunity to join my fellow exchange students and their host siblings on a trip to Machu Picchu; but since my host sibling’s birthday was the day before mine, she did not want to go. I decided to stay “home” and celebrate our birthdays together instead. That was a fateful decision I will NEVER regret. The day after my birthday, my fellow exchange students (and their hosts and chaperones) boarded the plane to return to Lima. Moments after take-off the plane crashed into a hillside, killing all aboard except the student co-pilot plus two farmers on the ground. Peruvian TV did not leave out any of the gruesome details, so I was glad my family’s TV was a black-and-white one. It was horrible. And it left a permanent impression on my young mind. From that day forward, I was and remain grateful to God for every birthday I can celebrate. And I tell people my true age because of that thankfulness.

Don’t get me wrong — there are days when my body makes me feel several years older. Still, my mind refuses to age along with it. My soul enjoys life if for no other reason than the fact that it still has this body to reside in for another day. So….

Happy Birthday to Me. And may my friends and family enjoy my next 59 years along with me!

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