There will be no call at 11:29am, telling me happy birthday from my mother. My grandmother did not remember my birthday for the first time, when I called her today, as she is slowly and steadily declining, as she approaches ninety, and there will be no big celebratory party for me tonight.
As I have been through the rounds of my closest friends and acquaintances fortieths, I have found that either your mother plans your big party, or you do it yourself. I opted out of the big celebratory birthday party, and have opted for quiet dinners and lunches with those friends and family that are still close to and mean the most to me.
Every major milestone birthday I have ever had, I had my mother with me. This is the first one without her. I just want to ask her how she felt when she turned forty. From the time I was little, I always teased her about being almost fifty. As I got older, she returned the favor by teasing me that I was almost forty, from the time I turned thirty. How I wish she was around today to tease me about being old.
I woke up this morning to my almost 6yo, lil punkin doo, making me waffles with peanut butter, bananas and strawberries. I opened her present that she handmade for me. I then videotaped her singing of Happy Birthday to me. There is nothing more precious than time with her because I know that these times are numbered and happen once in a lifetime. Like one of my mommas favorite songs states, precious memories. The Barbara Streisand version....
Hubbie the dearest and my lil punkin doo have cooked up a relaxed, precious memories filled day, and then HTD is sweeping me out of town to an undisclosed location for the weekend. A quiet us weekend, filled with more precious memories. Happy interspersed with sadness.
I am not stressing, freaking out or partying like I was twenty one again for my fortieth birthday. I am proud of the strong, battle scarred woman who has made it to forty without regret. I have made it through the good, the bad and the ugly and I am still standing. I have been well off, I have been broke, I have been whole and I have been broken, I have had a child, lost a child, lost a mother, and survived. I have survived a grandmother like my second mother, moving five hours away and two teenagers. I have been my mothers caregiver, and watched her deteriorate, and ultimately had to step up and try to fill her shoes upon her passing. I have fulfilled my promises to not let my baby forget her precious GranGran, and to take care of my father after my mother left him in my care. I have survived being disowned by my brother and his family, only to embrace my three half siblings and biologic father. I have survived the IRS, lawsuits, losing jobs, changing jobs, my daughter starting school, her first girlfriends betrayal, and job relocation and moving frequently. I survived a broken leg, a state away from anyone we knew, no babysitters or helpers, or family anywhere close. I am a survivor. One with many precious memories.
I celebrate wonderful, fabulous me today. I am a happy go lucky gal with a glass half full attitude. I am very blessed with family and friends. I look for the silver lining and make the best out of every situation. I have a wicked sense of humor, would give you the shirt off my back if you needed it, and am successfully filling my mothers shoes. I am a mother, lover, wife, friend, daughter, granddaughter, niece, daughter in law, granddaughter in law, swim mom, dance mom, music mom, homeroom helper, good girl, bad girl, ornery girl, and one heck of a woman to know and love. I am a lady first and foremost, and will always have a smile for you or any stranger on the street.
Today, as I am turning forty, I love me. Exactly the way I am. I am proud of me for all that I have accomplished and overcome. I am happy to have made it this far! I am proud of my forty years and all the precious memories and people that the last forty years have contained. I choose to measure myself by my strength, my character, and not the size of my waistline. That was how I was raised.
So officially I am at the top of the hill! Today I will celebrate me, with a few tears of rememberance and a little celebrating. Here's to the next forty! Oh and I am definitely looking forward to this cougar thing! Wink! I still got it!