This week in April, especially the 11th, 14th, and 16th, is always a special time for me. It’s the birthday week of my mother, my older son, Trevor, and my wife, Lisa, in that order. Needless to say, it’s kind of crazy getting everything together for three parties in one week. Three cakes, three sets of presents, three dinners out. And, of course, there is my younger son, Nathan, who is feeling left out because his birthday isn’t until November. But even in all the craziness, there is a lot of fun and time for remembrance.
Celebrating my mother’s birthday is sometimes the hardest, because I end up remembering who isn’t there to celebrate with us. My dad died three years ago this month, and we miss him terribly. There are Mom’s parents, my Mema and Papa, who are in heaven as well. Also, there are multiple aunts, uncles, and cousins who aren’t around either through death or distance. But to get through all this I focus on the wonderful gift that is my mother, Judi. She has always been such a great supporter of me in my growing up years, in developing and running my dental practice, and especially in my writing and music. She’s the shoulder I can lean on when Lisa is busy doing taxes at her office. Mom shuttles the kids around when we just can’t. She also has many words of wisdom, whether I want to listen or not (I should listen more often!). So, since Mom is so special to me, April 11 will always be a special day.
This year, April 14th is a bittersweet day. It’s wonderful in that we get to celebrate our sweet Trevor and all his accomplishments. It’s also sad in that he is becoming a teenager. How did he ever get to be thirteen? How did I ever get so OLD? Already the questions about cars, college, and, needless to say, girls are coming at me faster than Superman running from Kryptonite. But it’s special. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s my son’s day. (And yes, his old man is wiping away tears to type this.)
Maybe the sweetest day of all this year will be Lisa’s birthday on the 16th. It has been a rough tax season, with me feeling like a single parent on those days when she had to work into the night. It will be so great to have her home again at a decent hour, see her more rested, and back to having us all sitting down together for a meal that I (yes, I cook!) have prepared. She is so wonderful to sacrifice her time to help us provide for our family. It will be super special this year to celebrate her for just being her!
I wrote a poem about birthdays for my new collection of poetry entitled “Times Yet To Be” (now on sale on Amazon.com!). I hope it conveys many of the sentiments I’m feeling this week. I hope it helps you to celebrate yourself and all the special people in your life on their special days this year. “Happy Birthday, to YOU!”
The day you met the world–
Or did the world meet you?
With friends and family
Who give your everyday meaning.
The day your mother’s pain
Melted into true love’s smile.
The gleam in Daddy’s eye
That became your spark of life.
The Father God who knew you,
Formed you in Mother’s womb.
The relationship He offers
In the person of His Son.
The Spirit’s work in your heart
And the works that flow from your hands.
A life of hope, peace, joy and love
And all the fulfillment it brings.
Defeats, losses, hurts, and pain
For they are the lessons that make you feel alive.
For you are you, uniquely you,
What will this year mean?
~~Jarrod Brown, DDS, DWS, 17 January 2016