Hope Wissel

Birthday Reflection

Happy Birthday – to ME!  Since today is my 56th birthday, I am reflecting on the many blessings of my life.  First, I am grateful that I actually woke up this morning and am able to enjoy the day – whatever it may bring.  

My favorite adult birthday memory was a “surprise party” that Belinda planned for me with the help of her two great aunts – Edythe and Elsie.  It was for my 40th birthday and my FIRST surprise party.  It was a special day for two reasons – it was Belinda’s idea and it was the first time in too many years that my divorced parents were in the same room at the same time.  Belinda was all of 9 years old so it was amazing that she got the whole thing together.  Of course, the fact that I arrived in sweats and a tee shirt because I thought I was “stopping by” to help with something at the fire house was a little horrifying but funny since I almost didn’t arrive at the party.  When I arrived, Belinda started to cry because she took the look of surprise for a look of “being mad” and didn’t understand that the tears were tears of joy. The next was the decorations – “OVER THE HILL” theme everywhere.  Belinda picked them out.  So the standing joke is if I was “over the hill at 40” what am I now?  It was a great day and I was overwhelmed by the love from family and friends.

As a child, there are lots of memories of birthday celebrations.  One of things that I looked forward to each year was the annual trip to New York City to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus.  This annual tradition was a treat from Edythe and Elsie.  It included the circus and dinner in NY.  I always felt so grown up!  This year, I am getting a chance to see the circus in North Carolina with Belinda and hubby.  I am excited because I haven’t been to a Ringling Brothers Circus since I was about 13 years old.  I am sure there may be a tear or two that day for Belinda used to go to the circus with Edythe and Elsie too.  Both of them are now our guardians angels in heaven.  If I figure out how to post pictures on this blog – I will share some.

Birthdays are milestones in our lives. For many years during my addictions and then even in my recovery, I saw “birthdays” as just another day or “I am too old to celebrate birthdays” – I even said that on many occasions.  Today, I am looking at them a little differently – have I grown up?  have I learned that I deserve to celebrate (even in a small way) my birthday?  I am not sure what the reason is but TODAY is the day that I stop saying “it is just another day”.  It is a gift from God  to be able to spend another day with family and friends.  The celebration doesn’t need to be big, it doesn’t need to have lots of presents (one or two, maybe – LOL) and it definitely NEEDS to include thanks for the many blessings that I have been given through the years.  I was blessed with a family that loves and supports me despite our many faults.  I have been blessed with a child who has grown into an amazing woman.  I have been blessed with a husband who loves me unconditionally despite how crazy I make him.  These are the gifts that I celebrate on my birthday this year.

Happy Birthday to me!  Hope you have ThirtyOne-derful day!

4 thoughts on “Birthday Reflection”

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