Friday, February 20, 2009

Birthdays, Anniversaries and Special Occasions


Birthday girl Alyssa with Gracie Jayne.


They have these stores, especially in all the big malls. Hallmark stores. They have gifts for people. Totally useless mundane things to give someone, and as their motto suggests, "Only when you care to give the very best." I don't shop there.

I know I should put forth a little more effort and get cards, birthday cards, thank you cards or just thinking of you cards, for special people in my life. Today is my daughter's birthday. I wrote on her Facebook Wall, and I'm sure I'll text her cell so she gets to see it at work, and then I'll call her this evening when I know she's home. I also bought her a gift, and tomorrow, we're going over to her place and do something of a celebration. Food and hopefully cake. I heard my wife talking to her and the suggestion being made about which high end bakery or patisserie she would prefer her birthday cake come from.

Now that's what I like best, the cake. And if people you love didn't have birthdays, when would you eat chocolate chocolate cake, (yes, I didn't stumble and fat finger mambo the word chocolate twice, it is called chocolate chocolate for a reason!). This will be my first cake in a long time and I am getting ready.


Birthday girl Alyssa with one of her furry friends.

I know I can't compensate for all the birthdays I missed for my middle born Alyssa. Ironically, her birthday falls on the day I went to Vietnam, 40 years ago. Yesterday was the anniversary of the day I was sent home in 1970. Little did I know when I started being a dad that these dates would be remembered way deep inside for the rest of my life. I cheated poor Alyssa. I was on the road as a truck driver or was working away from home or just flew the coop and on some fascinating journey in the desert running away from reality instead of being where I should be, where I wanted to be but was powerless to be, being home with my wonderful family.

I'm sure glad things are changing in my life. I'm fortunate to have the wonderful family I have and really blessed that they are still around after the way I must have treated them by leaving town on birthdays or other special occasions. Mia Culpa.


The Birthday Girl with a smile on her face.

Most of the time, I never knew what was bothering me and even if anything was bothering me. I have learned that these anniversary dates hide out in your brain and become who you are. They form you, at least they did me, and are so ingrained in my subconscious that I just accept that weird feeling of anxiety and depression on the days both preceding and following them.

That's all over, or at least isn't an issue this year. I apologized to Alyssa for missing so many birthdays. I'll be there for this one. She loves me and I know she tries to understand. And I'm not going to let a little bout with pneumonia pose a distraction either.

If I hurry, I can get to one of those Hallmark stores before the day is over and get a nice card. My favorites are the ones that are blank inside. The prose written is usually so phony. I mean, we just don't talk like that to each other. And the funny ones? Let me tell you a secret, they ain't funny. She likes dogs and wolves. Maybe I'll find one with nice pictures. She'll cut out the pic and put it in a frame and hang it in her bathroom along with the artistry of her offspring which graces the walls of the throne room. I mean, with four kids, you gotta be creative to find places for all the artwork brought home from school, and Alyssa does a good job of giving those kids recognition!

This year feels good. Despite the war, despite the lousy economy, despite the gloom and doom in the news about the state of affairs in the wide world, this time around it feels good. We have peace on earth here at home and it comes from love. The more we love, the more peace we have in our family. The better our own circle is and becomes and the more it might be spreading out into the lives of others we associate with on any level, especially the children and especially when we eat that delicious chocolate chocolate cake.


Birthday girl Alyssa posing as my boy, Al.

I know she's gonna hate me for posting this picture of her from way back. You see, she liked to road trip like I do. She lived on the road for a spell before she started her baby factory. She deserves a lot of credit for holding out and making things work. Keeping a home, a job, being a Mom and keeping a kennel and a husband on the same piece of land is quite an accomplishment. I do believe the son-in-law might sleep out with the dogs now and again. At least if he's smart he does.

Happy Birthday, Alyssa. Thanks for waiting for me to get ready and thanks for loving me.

Dad

6 comments:

fjb said...

"This year feels good. Despite the war, despite the lousy economy, despite the gloom and doom in the news about the state of affairs in the wide world, this time around it feels good. We have peace on earth here at home and it comes from love. The more we love, the more peace we have in our family. The better our own circle is and becomes and the more it might be spreading out into the lives of others we associate with on any level, especially the children and especially when we eat that delicious chocolate chocolate cake."

Welcome to my world, Joe! It's great to see you here.:) Just remember, we can still get sad, angry, and upset, we just need to make sure that these things don't become obsessive and comfortable, we let them go. Even those things in our subconscious can be let go of and we can move forward.

Here's to the future and all the good things it holds for us! Mmmmmmm, chocolate. Enjoy that cake.

betmo said...

your lovely daughter is a chip off the old block :) she favors you- or at least the pics i have seen :) it is never too late to apologize or to work on strengthening relationships. i rather think it is a great thing that you are able to talk with her now and that you are making memories instead of leaving holes where memories should be. life is short but it is never too late to begin to get to know each other as people. it is never too late to learn and to grow- that's truly what life's journey is all about. you do have a beautiful family full of life and love. and it's never too late to know how very lucky you are. namaste and feel better my friend :)

Beth said...

WOW! This post warrants forgiveness and is the best bd prose anyone could receive. Im sitting here blubbering over this.

Anonymous said...

Joe,
This is a special day for you and Barb, for you welcomed a beautiful and one of kind human being into this world. Thank you.
I am bless to know Alyssa and your family! Love you, Sonya
Peace to ALL

Wolf Musher said...

I love ya Dad! I think I can forgive you for the Al photo....maybe chinese food and cake will do it! Thanks for giving me life! xoxoxox

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