For the past several days , in anticipation of my 64th birthday I've been going around the house singing in a slightly off key, but spirited voice to my husband, Gary
Doing the garden
digging the weeds
who could ask for more
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four
When this popular Beatle song from their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in June 1967, my friends and I were 16 years old and 64 seemed an eternity from where we were at. Our point of reference was more immediate: Summer fun at the beach, date night , toilet papering the Smith household, hanging out at Taco Bell, and anticipating our senior year at good ol' Bell High.
But I soon learned what seems an eternity is only a series of tomorrow's , soon to become long ago yesterday's . Which brings me to this special day, October 25, 2014. My 64th birthday.
I like birthdays, mine and everybody else's . I think of them as the day The Lord has made , we shall rejoice and be glad in it (Ps.118:24). To celebrate the gift of life. I like my birthday is in the Fall of the year, the end of October when the seasonal change in color moves to autumn orange, gold's and reds, and the change of weather takes place - from hot summer sun to cooler days. I like Scorpio is my astrological sign, and opal my gem. I like I'm a baby boomer and remember hula hoops, silly putty, roller skates with a key, chasing through the sprinkler with my little brother, Walt and neighborhood kids on hot summer days, and riding my bike to Bell Park with best friend, Linda.
On T.V. there was Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, The (original) Mickey Mouse Club starring Annette Funicello, Cubby and Karen; My Three Sons, and The Rifleman. Today, what I'd call sweet shows.
At 64 I look back and cherish all the times of my life: My early years in Council Bluffs, Iowa where I was doted on by loving grandparents, aunt and uncles, where my roots began as my parents did, in a small mid western town. I was baptized in the same church my mother was, Holy Family Catholic Church, and played at my Grandpa Cooney's upholstery shop. I equally relish my growing up years in Bell/Maywood, California where I attended St. Rose of Lima grade school first through eighth grade, and Bell High starting my Freshman year, and learned lessons of faith and friendship.
And my working years at the Herald American/Call-Enterprise newspaper and The Los Angeles Times. Editing copy, writing the story, retail sales, meeting a deadline. A job that helped me gain confidence, and gratified me with a sense of personal achievement.
Then , the most rewarding years - marriage and motherhood; my Gary, and sons, Gavin and Garrett. Husband and wife making a home, raising a family, creating new memories for future years. The joy of experiencing my son's first word, first step, first day of school; family trips to Disneyland and Disney World, New York City and Yellowstone. Play days, sick days, Sunday go to church day. Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas Eve at Grandma Nor's, coloring eggs for Easter and 4th of July fireworks, and yes, birthday celebrations filled with smiles and laughter.
For sure, not every moment in my 64 years has been carefree and happy, but all has been good. I'm grateful for my mother and dad, where I came from and who I am. I'm blessed in family and friends, and knowing God's presence.
I started this birthday reflection with lyrics from one Beatles song, and think closing with another (with slight word change) sums up my feelings pretty well
All these places had their moments
with family and friends
I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all