I just want to pull the covers over my head and spend this day by myself. The sun’s been up for hours, but I can’t face another day. My legs are throbbing, my head hurts, and my heart is broken. People can’t understand why I don’t want to “celebrate” my 95th birthday.
“Hey Mom, see the necklace I made for Granny! Do you think she’ll like it?
“Well, let’s see what you’ve got there. Peace signs… wow! Those seem to be really popular right now, I’m sure she’ll love it!”
“Yeah, Granny’s really hip. She loved the Betty Boop apron I made for her last year. She’s such a cool grandma.”
“Well, you know Honey, she’s really your great grandmother.”
“I know Mom, it’s so awesome that she’s my “great” grandma ‘cause she’s the greatest. I love her so much.”
I haven’t seen most of my friends and relatives for over ten years, and now they want to come all the way over here to wish me a happy birthday. Turning 95 is not a happy occasion! Don’t they get that? Dr. Hunter kept telling me I had to slow down or I was going to meet my Maker. Now look at him! Dead of a heart attack at 61! Modern medicine…hmmph!
“Marge, you know Mom doesn’t like big parties and gatherings. Can’t we just keep it simple? Why do you always have to make such a big deal out of everything?”
“Bud, your mother is 95. That is a big deal! Most of us will never see 95 and she’s there! It’s a milestone!”
95. Most people would be happy about living this long. I’m so tired, so sad. Three months ago today we buried my baby girl. Who would ever think that I would have to watch my youngest daughter die of cancer. Barbara was so precious, so loving, so caring. I miss her so much. I just want to be with her again, and with Howard. He was such a great man. It’s been seventeen years without him.
“Bob, I don’t think giving your Aunt Betsy money is a good idea. It’s so impersonal.”
“Well, what do you think we should give her, another Crockpot? Candles? How about an exercise bike? Honey, she has everything…she needs nothing. Money is just a token of our love and appreciation.”
“OK…she’s your aunt. I just wish we could get her something really special for this occasion.”
Then there’re the gifts… I know I’ll get lots of presents today. People should save their money, I sure don’t need anything. I’ve been trying to get rid of stuff – downsize. Who’s gonna want all this junk when I’m dead and gone anyway? It’ll make a pretty good yard sale, but that’s about it.
“What’s up Sweetheart?”
“Mom, I know Grandma doesn’t really need any more stuff, and she doesn’t need money. I wanted to do something really special for her, so I wrote a note. Will you read it and see what you think?”
Wow, today you’re 95 years old…95! That’s more than four times older than me…more than four lifetimes. And if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here today. I would never have met Jack, and we would never have gotten engaged.
If it weren’t for you, Uncle Bob wouldn’t be here. He would have never become a lawyer, and all of those kids he’s helped to get good homes would still be orphans. Worse yet, they might still be being abused.
If it weren’t for you, Aunt Barbara wouldn’t have been born. She would have never become a teacher and would never have touched all those lives that showed up at her memorial service. There must have been a thousand people in that gym, Grandma. You must have been so proud.
If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have been able to afford college. Oh, I could have gone to the local Community College, but you wanted…no you expected more from me. And now I am able to start my own teaching career in the fall, just like Aunt Barbara.
If it weren’t for you, Daddy wouldn’t be here. He wouldn’t preach every Sunday, and share Jesus with the lost. Think about that, Grandma. There are a lot of saved souls out there…because of you!
Grandma, I love you so much. Thanks for always being the inspiration I needed to be my very best. I am who I am because of you.
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