Happy Birthday

I turned 29 last week. My parents still sing me happy birthday and my remaining grandparents send me birthday cards that always magically arrive on my birthday.

Singing the birthday song is one of those traditions that I will think of when I turn 79 and am recounting the years gone by. It is just a song, 30 seconds on the phone, but then again it stands for so much more – love, caring, remembering, goofiness, tradition, and family. Families change, all of them, in one way or another. But no matter the changes that have come about in my family, there are always those formative years when I was younger that stick out in my mind.

I recently found this picture of my family. Its us at a time my memory is just beginning to stick with me. I recall these days of poofy hair, big glasses, and togetherness. But no matter the changes that have come about in the years since this picture (children, moving, job and life changes, divorce, remarrying, more kids, more life changes…) I still feel connected to these people. My family. My roots. They’re not always my favorite people, but they’re my family. Countless books and movies have been written and made on family – the importance and strength of it – realizing what you’ve got and cherishing it. I can depend on my family for absolutely anything and I can definitely count on them for a birthday song or two.

This singing ritual shows that my family is thinking of me, no matter the miles between us or how recently we saw each other last. It makes me feel loved and special, makes me realize what I’ve got and aim to cherish it. Even if it’s only a small card in the mail or a 30 second phone call, it stays with me much, much longer than that.

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