I spent yesterday by myself and had a wonderful day because I wasn’t alone. I didn’t get nearly as much work completed as I’d planned, but that was fine. I heard from old friends and new friends all day long and those words brought me an immense amount of joy. A few words – sometimes even just two, and in those few moments, I thought about the person who had written them and how they are part of the fabric of my life. It is an incredible gift to know so many terrific people.
I had to chuckle, though, as I thought back to one of the worst birthdays I’d ever thought I would have. What a crazy whiner I can be. It was my senior year in college. Something weird happens when your birthday occurs around the first of September. Classes have just started up and you are getting settled in, learning where all of the classrooms are, figuring out who everyone is on your floor, and re-establishing friendships that had gone latent over the summer. Everyone has too much to think about to really care whether or not you are celebrating a birthday.
The fact was, I felt really sorry for myself. My sister was a freshman that year and she barely knew where things were on campus. September 8 landed on a Monday and my family had already been to Cedar Rapids to drop us off. There was no way that with Dad’s busy schedule, they were coming back to town for this. Carol promised that she and I would eat supper together and I wasn’t to worry. But I was feeling pretty darned sorry for myself. I was going to have to wait for the next weekend to celebrate with gifts and cake. The day was going to stink, so I sat in my room and sulked a little bit.
My phone rang and it was Carol, just checking to make sure I was where I was supposed to be. She was coming over to get me. Yep, what else did I have to do? I was a most miserable, selfish, self-centered girl. My friends had all gone to supper without me and no one cared.
After a few minutes, there was a knock on my dorm room door and I pulled myself off the bed. My goodness, I was glum. By this point I’d worked myself into a complete dither … so close to tears it was ridiculous. Mom hadn’t called me. No one had wished me ‘Happy Birthday’ and poor Carol had no idea what she was going to have to deal with.
I opened the door and then the tears really did flow. Mom and Dad were standing there with Carol, their arms filled with my gifts and big grins on their faces. What a silly fool I was.
Honestly, I don’t remember anything else about that evening. I don’t remember where we ate or what the gifts were. All I remember is that they were there for me.
Carol, Emma and Max were at the cabin this last weekend. It was crazy. Completely crazy, but Saturday night we went out for a great dinner in Webster City and I got a lot of hugs and birthday wishes. Jim and Janet were in Boone on Saturday while Jim and I signed books in front of Susan (Bower) Schafer’s bookstore, The Book Shoppe, as the community celebrated Pufferbilly Days.
Now when Monday arrived, I was by myself and this time there wasn’t any feeling sorry for myself, because my friends and family said hello and Happy Birthday. That’s all I could hope for – more than I could ask for. It was amazing. No matter what the nasty naysayers out there talk about, birthdays on Facebook are fantastic. Silly trolls and haters … who needs ’em.
Thank you for taking a moment to say hello.
Max gave me a gorgeous print of the photograph he’d taken of TB earlier this summer. Carol gave me several things, but I love the Star Wars lunch box! Yes, my day was filled with Star Wars, a cat, even some M&Ms and a lot of love. A girl couldn’t ask for a better day.