It is funny that some say 'careful what you ask for, you might get it.' When I look back on my life over the years, some things stick with me, some memories and moments don't fade while other things are lost, only reminded of them by friends or family. I remember my 3rd birthday where my parents got me a tricycle. The thing was huge. I, of coarse, wrecked and skinned both knees badly. I still remember the sting of the disinfectant spray; the loving caress and care of my parents. When I was in elementary school and instead of the lawnmower I had asked for my mother sent flowers to me in class. I was tortured all day looking at the beautiful bouquet, feeling so loved by the gesture while some of my highly evolved classmates poked fun at me for being sent flowers, and knowing there would be no shining new lawnmower waiting for me when I got home. Then there was the sixth grade birthday cake incident. Let me just recommend you clear your throat before blowing out a large number of candles...Not my best memory. Then there was the year where the city was devastated by a tornado and my parents were out in the community for two days helping with the relief efforts. I waited, looking at my favorite cake Mom had made, till we were all there together; I think it tasted best that year. It became better with age. My sons birthday is the only day in my life with a special place in my heart, another thing that appreciates with age. Two weeks before my father died he nearly broke into tears because he feared he would pass on my birthday. I assured him that I would not be scarred by it any more than when he did; he died at sunset on the day after...I took a long walk that night. I have spent a birthday alone, nice. This will be the last birthday I spend in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, my address will soon be outside it's boundaries. Forty three years I have made residence within a mile from where I now lay my head. The Tubes wrote a song- My Head is My Only House, Unless it Rains... I like that. When I walk along Bardstown Road, the stopping off point for travelers since before I can remember, I appreciate the richness and diversity the mile long stretch of shops and restaurants contain. Every race and class can be seen here from Senator to Crusty Train Kid, Black to Red, Business executive to Artist, even a Panhandling Cat-lady or a Guy rolling the Whole World in his hands. ( I just had to stick that in there.) I have been taught a life of knowledge by the streets of Louisville, have risen and fallen by it's lessons; I have grown from the failures and losses probably more than the days of frolic and pleasure. "Until you let go of what you were in the past you can't be fully engaged with what will be." I have the best gift on this Birthday, appreciation of the World around me. Life is great when I let it.
Don't forget... Love Yourself.