From The Storyteller
Sept.17, 2018, Birthday
It is three below zero in Chicago, and I enter the world (January 4th 1947.) This season of miserable weather is following seven weeks of Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday festivities. It also happens to be two days following the first official work day of the New Year.
One unintended, reoccurring consequence of this very important event – low energy birthday celebrations. Bad weather and folks being partied out create the perfect storm for small quiet birthdays. Note: New Year’s resolutions never include a commitment to party more.
This sad reality continued for almost 40 years until I stumbled upon a little known fact. Life insurance companies (at least one for sure) issue policies using the age of your closest birthday. Fact, on July 4th my insurance age odometer rolls over. Idea! If an insurance company can do it, why couldn’t I? I could just tell folks my age by saying “I celebrated my __ birthday on July 4th.
Yes, the family knew the truth, but by agreement July 4th became the day for my birthday parties. The weather is right, people are off work, and fireworks make for a great celebration. More importantly, it highlights how life and relationships are NOT tied to a particular date.
Which leads me to share our current family practice. With family living all over the country, being there for all the local parties is impossible. Solution, celebrate birthdays when we’re in town. Their birthday presents (usually money) get spent on what they want while we’re there. Instead of a long distance, “Thank you, Grandpa”, we are there to experience the smiles first hand.
Phone calls on the calendar day are very nice, however relationships, love and life are better shared up close and personal.
Moral: The time for celebrating the lives of the people we love is always “right now.”