Thursday, 16 October 2014

On Birthdays and Reflection

I'd started writing this post in the early morning hours of my birthday, but as has become the norm lately, something came up and I had to put it aside.. and before I knew it we were headlong into a busy family long weekend...  but that's the way it goes sometimes, right?

... 

Here I sit wondering if I should have sent the Firehall and e-mail to have them on standy-by for the ceremony that's about to occur.  As soon as these torches are lit, the place is gonna light up like the 4th of July, I swear! 

Seems somehow approproate that the first cognisant thought I had this morning was to grab my cell phone.  It's been tradition now for so many years that my little sister calls me at midnight PST to wish me a Happy Birthday.  When I woke up I panicked thinking I'd missed our yearly ritual -- but I hadn't. I guess she thought she'd let me sleep this year.. Murphy's law, right? 

Then my mind shifted and I was hearing Dad saying "Happy Birthday you old Bag!," as he almost always did and my heart sank knowing that this would be among many times where I'd wish for a dash of Dad's whimsy that would never come.  

This weekend is Thanksgiving, and turkey was his favourite.  When my birthday would fall on the holiday (and it often did) and he'd say Turkey for the Turkey, happy Turkey Day!  and we'd all laugh.  We have a great many photos of Dad towering over at turkey getting ready to launch -- lunch?  

So often it's those seemingly little things that get me, not the big things as you might expect.  A song on the radio, a commercial, sometimes just a stray thought passing through my mind and all of a sudden I'm hearing Dad's voice and something he said or might have said in that situation.  Many a time I've been caught laughing or crying in my own little world.  I never thought I could miss any one person so much.    

I find myself relecting a lot more than usual lately, where I've been, where I'm going and most of all how far I've come.  I tend to think of a lot of life's happenings a chapter at a time -- so many things don't seem to fit together -- yet here we are, each step was a brick on the way to here..  Somehow, it all seems rather surreal.. 

Puts me in mind of an ex-boyfriend way-back-when who sent me a letter  that referred to our habit of "wandering down memory lane," referring bitterly to it commenting on the all the potholes he saw.  Odd the strange bits that stick in a mind over the years -- so often the days are so busy you can barely remember what you had for lunch, but somehow these somewhat obscure, and often insignificant bits of space junk get stuck in there for all of eternity. GO FIGURE!  

Sometimes I wish I could go in with the Mr. Clean and just clean house. So much heartache and angst that would be better off elsewhere..  but how to determine what stays and what goes?  

To start at the beginning, I can think of many things I'd change -- beginning with our mother running away from home and leaving Dad a single Dad with two daughters..   so much time spent wondering what I might have done that my own Mom didn't want me anymore.  Many years searching for her, wondering what became of her.. looking to fill an empty space.   Way too late comes the knowledge that it was never about me in the first place.  

So many years spent trying to salvage people, and things that should have been left in the blue bin long before.. so much wasted time in headbanging and heartache for what? Oh to have the chance to go back now and revisit those scenarios with the strength and wisdom that comes from surviving many more years walking down the road.  Makes me laugh to play out alternate endings in my head like a personal fan-fiction sometimes.  

Maybe that's what it's really all about, living long enough, surviving long enough to be able to look back at how much we've learned.  While I can think of many things I could change, what a big difference a little trim here or there, a little white-out there, some things would need a bigger eraser -- but then where would I be?

What would I have missed because I inadvertantly erased something else?  Each brick in the road led me to another place and time, and removing any one of them could possibly have changed the whole path of my existence. 

Strange thought perhaps..  but think about it..  something as simple as a missed coffee date with a friend could change the group of long-time friends you now hold dear -- to quote an old favourite ~ 'turn a different corner, and we never would have met." 

All in all, I think things turned out pretty well.. all things considered. :) 


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