The ghosts of birthdays past

Day 10. The time apart seems to be going faster now. When I told someone my husband’s last class of the semester was next week, it seemed odd to think we were that close to seeing him again.

Today’s my birthday. It’s not unusual in our dating and married life to be apart on my birthday. Past birthdays in our five-year relationship have found us in separate cities and on different continents. Different time zone? No big deal. Even the one year we were together we couldn’t celebrate too much because it was finals week.

For the duration of his seminary studies, I don’t expect to have much birthday on the actual day. The curse of a spring birthday, I guess. At least this year I was able to celebrate with the rest of the family. We enjoyed a day of fun and togetherness. Past years, in my husband’s absence, I’ve spent the day in no special way, having an Eeyore kind of “just another day” day.

My husband always makes it up to me, though. Even if it’s June before we get around to celebrating. In my husband’s family, the birthday tradition is that the birthday boy or girl gets to choose their meals for the entire today. So, I have a few weeks to plan a delectable meal prepared by my husband, one of only a couple of times a year I get to be meal pampered.

I’m remembering bits and pieces of other birthdays today. Like the surprise party my friends threw for me in my own house. Bowling note=great decoy. I almost peed my pants when they yelled, “Surprise!” Or the year I turned 17 and my friends and I challenged ourselves to see how much Mountain Dew we could drink. Final count: a lot.

I joke sometimes about being old and getting older — my stylist found my first gray hair on my head today; great birthday gift, huh? — but really I’m grateful, at 32, to have had 32 birthdays, to have 2 great kids and a wonderful husband. There was a time in my life where I was convinced I wouldn’t live longer than 25 and I couldn’t imagine life with a husband or kids.

Blessed, so blessed.

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4

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