WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I HAVE TO SHARE
MY BIG DAY?
MY BIG DAY?
"You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake." Bob Hope
Whenever a certain occasion like a wedding or a milestone birthday is designated as "your day," there is a human tendency to get possessive and develop a very self-centered set of expectations. An example is the whole "Bridezilla" phenomenon, in which a lovely, caring, and unselfish young woman turns into a screaming witch because "this is MY DAY and it's ALL ABOUT ME!!!!!!!"
On May 14 I celebrate THE BIG 6-5. That means I qualify for Medicare and have official "senior" status. But this year, May 14 is also Mother's Day. Go figure. The one and only time in my whole entire life when I turn 65, it's no longer just MY DAY. No, this year, I have to share MY DAY with every mother on the planet.
When I realized this, for a brief moment the egocentric part of me started imagining being relegated to second fiddle on my day of days. I pictured my children and grandchildren calling and my wife answering the phone. I saw myself waiting for her to hand me the phone so I could receive their joyous birthday wishes, but NOOOOOO! They were calling to wish their "Mama" or their "YoYo" a Happy Mother's Day. After they talked to her she would gently remind them that it was also my birthday and almost as an afterthought, they'd say "Oh, yeah, let me speak to him too."
Fortunately this self-inflicted pity party lasted about five seconds. I quickly came to my senses and realized that nothing would be more appropriate than to celebrate my birthday on Mother's Day. After all, there are no birthdays without mothers.
In particular I will commemorate three Farnsworth mothers who are among the most noble women I know.
I wouldn't even have a birthday to celebrate if it weren't for Gracie Mae's sacrifice in giving birth to me and launching me on my earthly journey, even in the midst of her long and unsuccessful battle with throat cancer.
I probably wouldn't have made it past my teenage years if Elaine hadn't agreed to mother me and an entire brood of additional children besides her own when she married my widowed father when I was 9. She raised 12 of us, and it is not true that things are cheaper by the dozen, nor is there less work or heartache.
And I would never have experienced the profound joy of parenthood without Marcie's willingness to bring six beautiful and intelligent Farnsworth babies into the world and to build together a home where love and kindness are expressed in word and deed.
The truth is I am delighted to share my 65th birthday with these three strong, selfless, and sterling women. I have basked in their kindness and been nurtured by their love during every one of my 23,741 days of life. I am grateful to have been molded by their tender and patient teaching, and protected by their wise counsel. Thank you, Gracie Mae, Elaine, and Marcie.
And I thank every mother everywhere for your love and sacrifice. You are literally the link between heaven and earth, bringing spirits from their home above to their new home on earth. You are the heart and soul of every child who has ever lived.
Since I'll never be a mother myself, I could have no greater honor than to share my birthday with all the wonderful mothers of the world. Perhaps I'll pretend that I'm an honorary mother for that one day. Now that would really make MY DAY.
Happy Mother's Day!