Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Another Year Older

“So this is Christmas, and what have we done?  Another year over, a new one just begun.”       John Lennon

I have made it another year.  This is another one that will go down probably as one that I would rather forget, though really, who wants to remember birthdays after 30?  But for leap year babies, it will be some time before you feel that “over 30″ angst.

I am one of several in my life whose birthdays are within the two weeks of Christmas.  I believe that I am the one closest.  I cannot speak for my stepbrother, an old dear friend from high school, or a close friend and former co-worker who actually shares the date of his birthday with mine.  As a child, I would say it was a safe bet that my birthday and Christmas loot got shared between the two holidays.  I caught it early on, but I am no known to complain about gifts.

My early years saw quite tradtional birthday celebrations.  My meal of choice was tuna fish casserole and ice cream cake.  This went on for years until 1976, meal done, my aunt went to the side porch to light the candles for the cake, brought the cake into the kitchen and everyone began to sing Happy Birthday.  Just then, My Uncle Jim came into the house yelling “FIRE!!!” and all of the smart asses at the table agreed… on the cake.  Jimmy protested some more and grabbed a couple pitchers of water and contained the flames to the side porch.  Can’t forget the smell on that birthday.

The best birthday gift came when Wendy flew me out to Seattle to see the Seahawks play the Raiders…. AND THEY WON!!!!

I do not recall the milestone of #21 I just know it involved a lot of drinks, and a possible trip to the hospital to get the stomach pumps.  I was told I got 21 drinks down, though I do not recall it.  One thing I lost was Roxanne Assorgi.  Where did you go?

There were some dark birthdays with recent health issues and their timing, so birthdays I would rather forget.  One occured about five years ago, I missed our “family” treat to dinner, but Wendy insisted on us going actually on my birthday when I felt better.  Only I wouldn’t.  We ate at the Outback and I ordered my usual porterhouse,  Barely getting from the restauarant, I began to lose my lunch

My daughters do make me enjoy my birthdays which unlimited excitement at 5:30am.  The gifts are special as they are things that they picked out or made, thinkgs that make me happy.

So I cut it close last week, when Wendy had me put in the ER with another case of pneumonia, this time double pneumonia.  Just nine months less from the last time.  Nine days before my birthday, a nurse made the comment “we hope to have you home by then.”  I never thought it would be so serious.  So, I am home at least, stomach is a mess from the antibiotics and lungs can’t handle the cold.  Yeah, another birthday I’d rather forget.

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