I “borrowed” much of this post from last year on this very day because new words would not come today.
Today is an important day in my life…..today I am acutely aware of the number of years I have been on this ever revolving planet. A birthday is not a number to me but a moment to celebrate the day I entered this life. (and it’s 45, but I still feel 29 so that counts, right?…..right?)
Today, however, is a difficult birthday. This is my first birthday in 45 years that my mom hasn’t been the first one to call me in the early hours of the day with birthday wishes. I did awake at 12:11 this morning and could have sworn I saw my mom and dad standing side by side. No words were spoken but I guess they were the first to wish me happy birthday in their own way.
I celebrate with many people, some I know well, some I’ve never met, but there is one important celebration that mirrors mine – my Winnie The Pooh. My mom created a stuffed version of the beloved character for me when I turned one and, to this day, I still have that somewhat tattered foam-filled creature. McCall’s created a Disney series of patterns in the 1960’s that she duplicated for my brother for his first birthday and again, almost four years later, for my birthday.
He has seen his share of joys and tragedies. He has undergone facial reconstruction and some botched plastic surgery (thanks to an over-excitable Labrador Retriever that belonged to a roommate) but he still never fails to hang in there to share year after year with me. He and I have weathered many successes and many ominous periods together, but he still remains the same source of comfort he has always been.
Although it may seem somewhat childish to hang onto a toy that I have long outgrown, Winnie still holds an immeasurable value in my life. He represents a part of my childhood that I hold dear and he continues to represent the faith that I hold in my friendships. He and I may not be able to communicate on the level that is deemed normal for friends but I still feel comfortable confiding in him, knowing that he will always be there to listen when I need him.
He has been a valuable part of my grieving process over the last three weeks and has found his way back into that comfortable position, tucked into the crook of my arm while I sleep.
Happy birthday Winnie…..may we continue on our journey and have a very long life together!!