Sunday, August 17, 2014

Looking forward to the un-birthday party

My mother arranging flowers from my garden for my 50th
On my 50th birthday, I invited friends who lived locally over for cake, and when my mother, who was here with me, learned that I wasn't serving anything else, she was appalled.

I can just hear her saying, "You can't have people over and just serve them cake!"

A quick shopping trip ensued, and my mother worked her magic to produce some of her signature hors d'oeuvre plates. Then suddenly the house filled with people from work and the neighborhood celebrating with me not any ordinary birthday but one that marked my coming through chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant with flying colors.

Well my mother is no longer here – though I do feel her with me – and as my 60th birthday approached, I thought, been there, done that, and I am not having another party.

My thoughts were mostly of the angst variety, tempered by:

Ben telling me to get over it, I was basically already 60 and I have a long road ahead of me, and
others telling me to see it as a celebration of how much I have survived.

Whatever. I planned the un-birthday party, which would consist of going to a Red Sox game with the kids. It will be Red Sox vs. Mariners a week from today.

Next up came Diane and Margaret wanting to take me out to a nice dinner in Boston, which we are doing Friday night.

On Saturday, my friend Katryn is coming down from Maine, and we might go on a Harbor Cruise or do some other fun thing to celebrate our birthdays, which are a couple of days apart.

For the icing on the cake, Emily (who lives in Pittsburgh) is coming just for dinner and an overnight on Sunday because she will already be in the Northeast.

And voilĂ !  The un-birthday party has turned into four mini-parties sort of like my mother's fabulous appetizers instead of one big meal.

Now my angst has become anticipation.


Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

So glad to hear you will be celebrating your 60th birthday with loved ones.

As mine approaches, I, too, am making plans for fun and loved-filled celebrations with family--both blood-related and "chosen."

To me, it honors our survivorship to celebrate with gusto.

Happy Birthday! with hope, Wendy

Anonymous said...

How I remember your glorious Mother's hospitality! table, flowers, gracious hostess, and fabulous food!