2011/365/062: Celebration

photo: yoo-jin kang

What a glorious, blessed day.

The two wonderful individuals in the picture above are Ali and Pattie, alums who stopped by to do an acoustic birthday set for me during our yearbook I class. They were phenomenal (don’t even get me started on the tie-dyed birthday cake, complete with peace-sign icing’d on top–and was that marshmallow icing in the middle? Like I said–please don’t get me started…). They played “Soak Up The Sun” by Sheryl Crow and “Nothin’ On You” by B.o.B and Bruno Mars. I videotaped both songs, and if I can ever find the way to upload them, I will to share their beautiful sounds with all of you.

Ali and Pattie were just part of the celebrations all day, as my students, colleagues, friends, and family all took time out to share some good times.

Thank you, all. I love you all very, very much.

Last night, as Amy and I were getting the kids ready for bed, there was an odd pause in the hustle and bustle of the evening. We sat in silence for a moment or two, and there was just enough time to reflect on the touch of sadness that my birthday brings each year.

“Know what I miss most during my birthday?”

She shook her head, but I thought she probably knew anyway.

“I miss Mom and her cards I would get in the mail.” Even if we lived three doors away from each other, she still believed in mailing those birthday cards, with her “Dear Russ” in the top left corner, slanted slightly, and the simple, “Love, Mom & Dad” in the bottom right, also slanted. Loopy letters of love that stopped arriving three years ago.

There’s just a silence, an absence, that I still feel every year on my birthday. It’s not something that sends me into a bout of sadness–just enough, though, to make me reflect on the many, many good birthdays we spent together.

One I remember, especially, was when I was quite young, and my oldest brother was going through a pretty bad divorce with his first wife. I loved her–and still do. I know nothing, really, of what happened to cause their separation. I was too young. What I did know, though, was that we went a long spell without seeing Warren.

That night, when we were all celebrating my birthday in the small dining room, someone was knocking on the front door. When I opened the heavy white door, there he stood, full beard, long hair, and leather hat. He was the spitting image of a 1969/1970 John Lennon, and he made the time to stop by for my birthday.

We went out together to get my birthday present–a pair of real Wrangler jeans and milkshakes, and I had just had the greatest time of my life.

Today, we’re still so similar, but we’re always so busy to spend time together. That’s just stupid, though, isn’t it?

I love you, Warren. Thanks for that wonderful birthday memory that meant so, so much to me.

Thanks, all, for making this particular birthday so special. Ever-grateful to each and every one of you. ❤


One thought on “2011/365/062: Celebration

  1. You have to feel pretty darn special after a day like today. Cant you just feel the love around you? Dont forget to stop once in awhile and ” soak it all in”.
    Just goes to shop what a big effect, whether you know it or not, you are having on peoples lives! Continue to March forth… and enjoy every birthday as they come. Each one bring a year of new memories and experiences!
    Happy Birthday Rus! ❤


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