Reflecting On Sixty-One Years Of Life…

Tomorrow will be my birthday, and I will turn sixty-two.  As I sit here in my glider/recliner chair, I’m feeling many things, but none of them are the kinds of things I want to share.  Instead, I think I’ll take a little stroll down memory lane.

I remember…being a young girl, of fourteen, and meeting the love of my life on a blind date, only, at the time, I didn’t realize he was the love of my life.

I remember…saying “goodbye” to the love of my life, at a bus station, just three short months later, as he left for army basic training.  By then, I knew he was the love of my life.

I remember…many lonely days and nights…marking days off of a calendar…waiting for a letter to arrive in the mail, or a special weekend phone call, all while attending my last two years of high school.  This was my life, for nearly three years, while Ed was in the army.

I remember…an unexpected call saying Ed was at the airport…home from Okinawa, discharged from the army.

I remember…us planning a wedding in just three weeks…getting married, and moving away from everyone we knew.

I remember…a honeymoon phase that lasted almost six years..getting to know each other…riding our motorcycle…having fun with our boat..working together at the hospital.

I remember…being pregnant for the first time…morning, noon, and night sickness for a while…building onto our home during the pregnancy.

I remember…lots of 2 a.m. feedings, and six months of colic…being very insecure as a parent.

I remember…changing cloth diapers and making baby food from scratch.  There’s nothing like having someone accidentally flush a [soaking] cloth diaper down the toilet…money was tight.

I remember…two more babies arriving within the next seven years…breast feeding…getting Pampers at a reduced price through the hospital where Ed worked…free baby formula, too.

I remember…our children growing up…leaving them at school for the first time…that nervous feeling when each one of our children drove the car to high school for the first time…sleeping lightly, waiting for the sound of each teenager to arrive home from a Saturday night date.

I remember…the apprehension I felt as each child graduated from high school, trying to find their path in life…the agony felt when each stumbled and fell along the way…the relief I felt when each one eventually found their way.

I remember…the heartache felt for each one of my children when they experienced a failed relationship, but also the joy felt when each finally found their true love…the madness of wedding planning, which I never liked.

I remember…“the empty nest syndrome”, learning how to connect with my husband again, after so many years of raising children…loving not having to be responsible for anyone else, after all of those years.

I remember…dealing with each of our aging parents and their needs, as time quickly passed and they grew old.  Watching them grow older, knowing they were slowly slipping out of our lives…saying “goodbye” to them as  each passed away…dealing with the aftermath of losing a parent, while helping the remaining parent deal with their own grief.

I remember…dealing with unexpected health issues…a hysterectomy for me, a thyroid problem for Ed…two more surgeries for me, along with rheumatoid arthritis…then a heart attack for Ed…both having to pack pill organizers each week–just like our parents.

I remember…being present for the births of each of our grandchildren…Marveling at each new, tiny little miracle…being a little sad at how quickly I know they’ll grow up.

I remember…giving unsolicited advice, to our grown children, too many times, then, finally, realizing they have to learn by making their own mistakes, just like we did…and learn they will.

I remember…watching our parents navigate this thing called “retirement” while living on a “fixed income”, knowing how quickly the years will pass.

Now it’s our turn to navigate this thing called retirement, and live on a fixed income.  It’s not always “sunshine and roses”, but it’s a very welcome change from running in “the rat race”.  I just wish time would slow down so I could savor these retirement moments a little longer!

Tomorrow, I’ll celebrate my 62nd birthday with gladness! I’ll walk ‘sideways’ with my ‘bad back’.  I’ll get a stronger prescription for my failing eyesight.  I’ll even wear these wrinkles, surgery scars, and graying hair with pride!  After all, they’re my “battle scars of life”…and, believe me,  I’ve earned every one of them!

Life, bring it on– let’s take another trip around the sun!




Published in: on August 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Happy happy birthday Kathy! I hope you have a wonderful day and all your wishes come true, particularly as they relate to your family.

  2. May your trip around the sun be a cloudless one!

  3. Happy birthday, tomorrow!! I loved your trip down memory lane. May the coming year be bright, happy and healthier than the last one!!

  4. Happy Birthday, great post!

  5. Happy Birthday!

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