Tuesday, November 17, 2009

38 and counting.....the blessings

There I said it.

I'd never been one to really care about my age and have kidded with never turning 30 by "anniversarying" my 29th birthday for the last 9 years.

Yesterday, on my 38th birthday, I realized that 38 years of existence comes with it's observations:

It's another year, another year without her.

Every year, I think about my mom Betty Jean (Jackson) Wilmer who left this earth 33 years ago this past August. Each year the impact seems greater, the desire to share my happenings with the woman in my mind who is forever 24 years old. Although she's been gone longer than she was here, her impact is still being felt through me. She herself would be 58 next month, were she here. In our Internet age, I think that maybe there are people who might be looking for her so I have made a commitment this next year to blog about her and post a few of the photos I have so that she, too can be captured immortally online and "found" by folks looking for her.

People actually listen when you announce your birthday for the weeks leading up to it.

Before this year - I'd announce that folks had 30 shopping days until my birthday in mid-October. I'd tease and prod and joke that MY BIRTHDAY was coming and you should all care. I'd be lucky to get a few wishes at work or a few calls from the network. This year - I'd swear everyone I know wished me a happy birthday. First thing in the morning, at Evan's school - the director wished me happy birthday and every person I came in contact with the rest of the day wished me a happy birthday as well.

You are truly touched by every wish granted.

This year - with the help of Facebook events - lots and lots of people wished me a happy birthday on my page yesterday and I thanked each and every one personally. No small feat for someone who boasts friends from high school, college, and every single job I've had - those who know my 1st decade out of college gypsy-like career moves knows that is no small number. Funny, because there were times yesterday when I was tempted to post a blanket thanks but then I thought about the time each person took to remember and stop by and I couldn't do it. I was compelled to answer every wish, individually.

On the rare but many calls received, you actually preview happenings as much as you reminisce

I think the more you approach the middle age time of your life - you are so much more reflective and projective all at the same time. Every conversation centered around what I expect to happen over the next year, God willing and past celebrations we may have had together. In the past - it was about the NOW. What are we doing? Where are we going? In a sense it is the same, but very different.

Our foursome is weaved tightly and demonstrates our love to one another best in celebration of birthdays

My husband, kids and I have patented "rock star" birthday celebrations. We love on one another, treat each other and just gush gush for the whole month of our birthdays. Even this morning, my son came in and said, "Mommy, we are still celebrating your birthday today, even though it was yesterday." You see he and my daughter have their birthdays celebrated the whole months of May and August and they have translated that selflessly into April for my husband and November for me. Yes - because I am a birthday freak (ask my dad, he started it years ago, perhaps to overcompensate the sadness of other holidays with the loss of my mom so early) and it rubbed off but this is genuinely a tradition that I am so glad we've built in our world. Sort of my dad's celebrations magnified by four!


  1. Hey Denise... hadn't checked your blog in a while, but God the part about your mother rings sooo true for me with my dad... I know exactly how you feel... such an impact in such a short amount of time... I always feel better thinking that my dad is watching over me... I find peace in that...
    38's barking down my door in a few weeks as well.. we aren't getting old, we are getting better :)
    Sweet Dreams my friend....

  2. Hi Denise...Nice blog! I just came across your Pepsi challenge and was impressed enough to try to contact you with an idea for you. I know getting a response may be slim to none, since you have no idea who i am, but if you feel "prompted" to call, I can be reached at 941.580.0125 cell.

    Thanks for all you do, steve brattli