Posted by: gaylejervis | April 6, 2011


I wish I remembered my 44th birthday.  I would have paid more attention if I had known that it would be the last birthday I celebrated in health.  Today I am 58 years old and that is a pleasant surprise since up until two weeks ago, I was thinking that I would be turning  59 years old!  My sister and I share that same time blur and we used to rely upon Mom to keep us informed of our birthdays and our anniversaries.  I was rather relieved to know that I had two more years before slipping into a new decade.

I remember vaguely turning 50 and my husband told me that we would go on a cruise to celebrate my 50th.  He wanted to impress upon me that my state of health wasn’t permanent and that we had things to look forward to.  However, on that birthday, my sister invited family to her place to share my birthday cake and   I was the first to leave my party.

I struggle trying to recall other birthdays even though I know they were always celebrated in some way.  And yet the truth is  I don’t care for big celebrations, a big hurrah another birthday!  Yet,  I enjoy receiving the e-mails, the phone calls and the dinner with my husband and kids.  I would only change one thing and that is to be fully present on my birthday.  When I was ill in my forties, I imagined that when I turned fifty, I would exude vitality and health.  Now I have the same expectations for  the next decade.

These next two years I will continue to do whatever is in my control to reach that goal.  However, I also must be realistic and choose contentment no matter my circumstances.  I must choose gratitude since I can say with “Sally Field” awe and wonder, “You really like me” when I consider the love I receive from friends and family.  I must appreciate what I sometimes call my lost years and trust in God’s Sovereignty – that those years were not lost but very meaningful.  In the meantime, I reject dismay and dread of how old I “suddenly” have become   and instead I embrace aging since it means I have been given one more year to enjoy my husband, my children, my beautiful grandchildren and one more year to nurture friendships.

This morning my sister is picking me up to take me out for breakfast. Other years she could only come  visit me at my place, but this past month I have been starting to have more energy and less brain fog.   Greg and I are hopeful that we will be able to go out for dinner this evening.   My son is out of town this week and so we all had dinner together on Sunday.  However, my adult children and grandchildren are still coming over tonight with a cake.  I have much to be thankful for.

And yet, I know there is still a longing for just a little bit more.  A gift that no one but God can give me is to begin celebrating birthdays where I am fully present  -no more distracted by fatigue, pain or brain fog.  In fact, whenever that occurs, I shall  declare that day as my second birthday  and as I blow out that one candle, I will thank God for my rebirth.



  1. Your blog is hopeful and I feel that now you will have much better days ahead. Happy Birthday and much love.

  2. Yes, yes, yes, we definitely like (and love) you!!! It’s wonderful to read the hope expressed in your post. By the way, I don’t remember your 44th birthday either, or mine! Hugs.

  3. Happy Birthday and Hurrah! To have even written your blog BEFORE you were heading out for the day’s activities does indicate some ‘extra’ strength! Birthdays are really ‘just another day’ but they do cause us to ‘take stock of where we are in life. You are in a good place right now. Enjoy it. To quote our friend James: ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers (sister), whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” I truly believe you are well on your way to this accomplishment. Keep up the good work. Enjoy your day!!

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