That is my date of birth.
That makes today my fifty-eighth birthday.
I have always loved my birthday. People wonder what it is like to have a birthday so close to Christmas and wonder if I feel somehow cheated. I have no idea what it is like to have a birthday any other time of the year and love the fact that the whole world gets all decked out in lights, tinsel, and shiny things for my birthday. Sometimes being incredibly self-centered does work for me!
There was a harmonic convergence of events that sort of threw me into a tail spin in the last 48 or so hours. Let's see: Ron's horrible memorial service. Take home point from that for me: I am so grateful that when I die, I will have a funeral mass with readings from the Bible instead of people talking about ME!
Yesterday was my assistant's last day on the job - after 28 years. In the massive lay offs, her job was abolished. I got to do her final evaluation - and when I said the word "final" to her, she burst into tears. I got to take her and a couple of other women out for lunch. It was so sad. I also got to thank her. Because when I was new there, she was someone who was so friendly and helpful to me. And I ended up being the one to tell her she lost her job and being the one to walk her out the door, collect her name badge and keys. Nice.
My sober daughter came over last night and we made some pizzelles. She cannot stay off the phone for more than 30 seconds at a stretch, so it is a challenge to do anything with her. But she is sober. And it is a long way from last year when I don't think I even knew where she was. With her, I always have to remind myself of how very crazy I was when I was newly sober and how very merciful God was and is. If I had to do this thing "right" to stay sober, I would have been screwed, and I would venture to say you would be too.
So, today... I believe my niece is still in labor - after 24 hours. I believe I will have a great nephew born on my birthday. There was a great niece born on this date a few years back - named Mary. I lit a candle for my niece at church last night. I pray all is well. I have not had an update since last night.
I will work today. My children are taking me out for dinner tonight. All three of them. Then they are going to assemble my treadmill, which has been sitting in a very huge box in my garage since last Wednesday.
And I pray that I will get over this feeling of dread. All is well. Celebrating another natal birthday sober. My 26th. Imagine that. The Grace of God. Amid my morning readings was this....
"I am reminded here of a rabbinical tale recorded by Elie Wiesel. He tells of Jehel, a little boy, who comes running into the room of his grandfather, the famous Rabbi Baruch. Big tears are rolling down his cheeks. And he cries, 'My friend has totally given up on me. He is very unfair and very mean to me.' 'Well, could you explain this a little more?' asks the master. 'Okay' responds the little boy. 'We were playing hide and seek. I was hiding so well that he could not find me. But then he simply gave up and went home. Isn't that mean?' The most exciting hiding place has lost its excitement because the other stops playing. The master caresses the boy's face. He himself now has tears in his eyes. And he says, 'Yes this is not nice. But look, it is the same way with God. He is in hiding, and we do not seek him. Just imagine! God is hiding, and we people do not even look for him.' In this little story a Christian is able to find the key to the ancient mystery of Christmas. God is in hiding. He waits for his creation to set out toward him, he waits for a new and willing Yes to come about, for love to arise as a new reality out of his creation. He waits for man." -- Benedictus, Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI, p. 378 (December 15)