Throughout my growing up years, I started this day with my mother waking me with the words, “On this day, your daddy and I went to the hospital where at 6:20 in the morning I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces.” There were more details but that was always the start of the story.
In our family, we got to pick the dinner menu and what kind of cake Mother would bake. A usual present was a new church dress which Mother had made in secret while we were at school. Often there would be a little pin to decorate the dress or a necklace. The best present I got was a tablet of drawing paper. A whole tablet. I usually drew on whatever pieces of paper were left by the mimeograph in our dad’s school. To this day, I treasure drawing paper like it’s opals.
On this day in history, there were several notable events. I’m only listing my favorites since it’s my birthday.
- 1492 – Christopher Columbus made landfall in the Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached South Asia.
- 1582 – Because of the implementation of the Gregorian this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Poland.
- 1773 – America’s first insane asylum opens for ‘Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds’ in Virginia
- 1823 – Charles Macintosh of Scotland sells the first raincoat.
- 1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many schools (without “under God” which was added in 1956) as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage.
- 1915 –WW I nurse Edith Cavell is executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium
- 1960 – Nikita Khrushchev protested the Philippine complaint about the Soviet Union’s colonial policy in Eastern Europe at United Nations General Assembly meeting by banging his shoe on the table
- 1999 – The Day of the Six Billion: The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world is born
- I share my birthday with a whole bunch of people, but my favorite is Wolverine, Hugh Jackman. I wouldn’t know that if my son Jack hadn’t brought that to my attention a few years ago. I also share my birthday with Max, my current boss. He, Hugh and I are birthday triplets. We are celebrating our birthdays by going to lunch with Max’s wife Diane at P.F. Chang. Hugh might not be able to fit us in, but we’ll save him a place at the table.
My worst birthday ever was my 40th. It was in my last drinking years and I was quite the Queen. If I had been able to enforce “Off with their heads,” the body count would have been scary. By the end of the day, my family fell into bed exhausted from trying to meet my unreasonable demands and I sat alone with my glass of vodka, resenting them. I stunk that year!
My best birthday was my 50th. Georgie, Jack and I climbed Enchanted Rock, had a picnic, and spent the day laughing. I treasure that day as a priceless gift. It was a landmark day and I felt younger than I had for 20 years.
I got to start this birthday last week-end, camping with Georgie and family up in Waller, Texas. Don’t know where that is? It’s about 10 miles east of Hempstead where they have a great small town Walmart. We were at Yogi-land park. Just hanging out with that little family is a celebration.
I got a great b’day kick-off with a text from Savanna, my middle grand-daughter, who named me Gaga before Lady Gaga claimed it. She was the first of the texts and has set the mood.
I am so blessed with family and friends who have circled me with love and cushioned me when they could and picked me up battered and broken when they couldn’t. I have been given so many gifts in this life that I am in awe of God’s grace!