Monday, March 14, 2011


In just a few minutes, on March 15, 2011, my 57th birthday will be upon me.  At this age, birthdays arrive without a lot of fan fare, with barely a thought before they arrive.  I don't know about other people, but personally, I don't mind having a birthday and have no problem acknowledging my age or growing older.  It's natural and as they say, "better than the alternative."  But birthdays are different now.  Unlike the happy anticipation and excitement we experience as children, I am actually a little ambivalent about this annual acknowledgement of the day I was born.  It may truly be "just another day."  And that's not bad.  The older I get,  the focus of the day seems more appropriately shifted to my mother, the amazing woman who brought not only me, but six other children into the world, all within the span of ten years.  (I'm the middle child!).  Ever the trouble maker, I surprised my mother by arriving a month earlier than anticipated, just one year, one week, and one day after her third child, my brother Steven, was born.  Steven and I missed being "Irish twins" by just nine days.

My birthdays, from this point on, are becoming more a grateful nod to the generous life of Virginia McGeehan O'Farrell, and to my father as well.  They were such loving and devoted parents.  My brothers, sisters, and I were exceptionally fortunate to be their children.

So tomorrow, if there are candles to be blown on a cake (with Henry's help, of course) I will make the secret wish I always make, and quietly say "thank you" to my Mom, lost nine years ago, in April of 2002.  Happy Birthday Mom - it's as much your day as it is mine. 

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  1. Birthdays are wonderful at any age! My sweet husband's special day is tomorrow as well! Happy Birthday, Jeannie!! I hope you have a wonderful day and I hope Henry is a big help with the candles!!! Happy birthday!!

  2. Happy birthday, Jeannie!! Enjoy your day! :)

  3. Thank you Carolyn and Colleen - it's been a great day, and I am very thankful! Happy to hear from you!


  4. I love your take on birthdays! I wish more people felt this way. This post made me smile :)

  5. I couldn't agree more about mothers deserving the recognition on birthdays. We had no control over what day or year we were born and shouldn't glorify ourselves because of it. Age is just a number that we made up after all. Better to devote the celebrating to the person/people who brought you into the world and allowed for you to reach the age.

  6. I am a student at Skidmore College, and after reading your post I just wanted to mention how much I agree with your view on birthdays. It seems silly that the child gets all the attention when it's the parents who did all the work. If the purpose of one's birthday is to celebrate the miracle of life, as well as one's existence within this world, you'd think the people responsible for these miracles would be the ones being celebrated. Instead the child celebrates a day they do not even remember.

    Anyway, I'm really enjoying reading your blog.
    Keep up the good work!