Today is my birthday, and I am thirty-two.
The number does not sink in for me, because how is this turning of numbers possible? Three decades and two years, a good husband, two kids (really? my very own?), a house with a dog (and a Madagascar hissing cockroach, which I have not told you about before), the best friends and connections a girl could ask for, a whole amazing childhood plus some adulthood tacked on, gobs of mistakes, and accomplishments. This worth of life just doesn't seem plausible.
But I like getting older. I like what time has done to my face, making it more womanly, I see. And I like that time helps me learn myself, to understand my personality and my purpose and come to accept it all. I feel the bud of that little bit of wisdom that comes with life under your belt.
I also don't like getting older. Not so much because of the wrinkles, the easier aches and the greater intention with things like exercise (those things I just sort of allow to enter the door with me), but because everything and everyone around me gets older, too. It's hard to see things dilapidate; the things and places that have defined me. It is hard, too, to see loved ones, well, dilapidate.
It's my first birthday since my dad died. Today he won't call first chance he gets to say, "Happy Birthday, JD." It is better this way. He is safe and he is comfortable now, and I don't wish his pain back just so he could call me. But I miss him, it's been five and a half months, and the missing grows stronger. It has me so sensitive, especially today.
I didn't plan on its sadness when I sat with this post in mind. Really, I was going to write it hopeful and with pride. It is a day to be happy, a day to celebrate, this I know, because I am blessed and my life is filled with love and meaning. But the sad gets me, too. I try not to let it overwhelm me, but sometimes I've no say in that matter. Such is (my) life, this is one of those things I've learned.
And so now how do I end this big long thing? I have no jokes, no fancy quotes today. A summary of my feelings would be lame. Sometimes I think my laying everything out for you to read just so must be exhausting.
How about I smile at you. That's all.
Thanks for listening. And thanks for being a part of this life of mine.