Today is my birthday. At my age birthdays merely become days of reflection. When a person is young, a birthday means parties and presents. As you reach my age presents become redundant because after all what do you get a man who has everything. And parties are no big thing because frankly it took all of my stamina to stay up late enough to see the Cubs receive the Major League Trophy early this morning.
Late in life a person sees a birthday as a chance to reflect on choices made and opportunities missed. Whether using the methods of Bill W. or Kubler-Ross, it seems time is running out to make the amends needed or accept the grief felt.
A person also tends to spend their birthday seeing the people they know reflecting back in a new and different light. Some friends are fighting death down to the last therapeutic chemical. Others are old friends with death and stand up to laugh in his face as they cheerfully defeat him one more time. Some of us realize our mortality for the first time as we hear death whispering, “See me? I’m waiting for you over here in the corner.” And there are those who surrender the fight to join their freshly fallen comrade.
Finally on a much brighter note, I would like to thank all the kind folks who sent me birthday thoughts through Facebook, text and telephone. On this yearly day of reflection its good to remember that others are thinking about one even if its only to click a button on a web page form.