It’s hard to generalize what might constitute a happy birthday celebration for those of us who are older. Some seniors might want to party; others could want a more-subdued observance. Some of us don’t want (or need) any more presents/stuff. Others of us cherish gifts that consist of exceptional experiences that we share with loved ones. Still others like to turn the gift-giving equation on its head, giving gifts to others on this special day.
And, of course, there might be those who don’t think birthdays are a big deal at all. Successful surgery, renewed driver’s license or an increase in Social Service payments? THOSE are celebration-worthy events! Birthdays not so much…
What might be appreciated by all of us? Fervent, tender wishes for our continued well-being, and acknowledgement of the good our lives are accomplishing. On this day, to mark again our agency, usefulness and influence. To count backward to the day of our birth, remembering gratefully all that has happened to bring us to this time in life. Receiving the especially fond greetings of those who love us.
Aging can be a gift or a burden—most likely dependent on our frames of mind. A birthday observance can enhance the value of this phase of life, and tilt our spirits towards mutual gratitude. (In this family, “getting older” still leans towards “Wow!”) Our natal feast days feature both the Polish “Sto Lat!” (“May you live a hundred years”) and “Happy Birthday.” Wickedly insightful humor sneaks up in surprising ways and birthday greetings are expressed in carefully chosen words. The gifts range from cherished-silly to surprising-useful. Each birthday offers a special time to thank our God for a special life.
So today, from my older adult birthday personage to yours: “May your birthday celebrations give you joy!”
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