Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Happy Birthday .... to me!!

I could say that I was the first to wish myself a happy birthday but I am not. Anyway, happy birthday to me. A long time ago (more than 30 years), I decided that I would buy myself a birthday present every year for my birthday - just in case it was the only present I would get. So far, it's not been present-free but I still continue to get myself one each year. This year I decided to treat myself to a massage (if the truth be known, I've been treating myself to a weekly one for the past couple of months, so it's a birthday present that just keeps lasting long after the actual birthday has passed). So really it's an un-birthday present but whatever I call it, I'm the beneficiary. Let me tell you - I'm Loving it - and that's not McDonald's.

Some of you may already know this from a blog post of a year ago, but tomorrow would have been Dad's birthday. He'd be 81. He used to say that I was the best birthday present he ever got. It's nice to think that someone important in your life thinks that you are so special, that your existence is a gift to them. Well ,when I was a kid, I did not exactly appreciate that I was a gift to him. My biggest concern was that I had to share my birthday cake every year. I just wanted - just one time - to have my own birthday cake. As if that wasn't bad enough, Dad would buy both Bena and I each a birthday present on my birthday. I couldn't even get a gift of my own. I never had any hesitation, however, when he did the same on her birthday. How bad is that? That meant that every year I got two birthday presents and fortunately Bena's birthday was almost exactly 6 months later.

I remember when I arrived in Canada in July 1970 and for the first time ever, Bena's birthday arrived and I got no present. It was a sobering reality check for me and although it was only 9 days since I had been away from her, I really missed her. The lack of a present seemed so insignificant that I would easily have traded any gift I got that day just to be close to her again.
A few months later, I was so looking forward to my first birthday in Canada and I anticipated that day with joy because finally I would have my own cake and would not have to share it with Dad. The day arrived and somehow all the excitement that I was feeling was diminished when I realized that there was little joy in having a birthday - even if I finally had my own cake - if my family was not there to enjoy it with me. Four years later, my family emigrated to Canada and since that time, I have shared the SAME birthday cake with Dad. This year will be different. He won't be coming back, coming from or coming to  He just won't be here. I have not decided if I will have a birthday cake but he will be with me - as he is everyday since his passing - regardless of whether there is a cake or not.
Me, Hana, Breen
Happy birthday in advance Dad.


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