Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Yesterday was my 59th birthday and I try to think that every age is the prime o' life! It might be getting a tad bit harder as I inch toward six decades of living on this planet.

My family believes in birthdays, so my day was filled with chatty conversations with my children and my siblings. Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of work done!

Something that I didn't anticipate was how my birthday would trigger a deep sadness about my dad. He always sent a store-bought card with their sentimental messages, signed simply, "Love you, Dad" or "Love, Gandan" (what the kids called him). And he called, one of the first of the day, to sing Happy Birthday to me.

A friend of mine leads grief support groups, and I told her the other day that I was going to start compartmentalizing my sadness. Say, at seven o'clock each night give myself permission to think about my dad in an effort to organize my grief. "Let me know how that works for you," she said, without a hint of sarcasm or judgement. But she must have known that grief can't be corralled, and that it will hit me when I least expect it. Like my birthday.

I had asked my daughter who makes books to make a cover that I could use for my essay notebooks. I take notes about others' writing in our writing class, so buy these little gems by the dozen when they're twenty-five cents at Target.

She went above and beyond my expectations. This is the cover that she made:

Isn't it gorgeous? I'm trying to think of other ways to use those black notebooks so I can show the cover off.

She also made two others. The first is cloth (her favorite) and the other is leather and suede. Maybe at my next writing workshop I'll take all three, show off a little.

It was a good day, all in all, and even grief has a place alongside our happiness, as I said in the last post. And I have a whole year, full of promise, waiting for me. I'll start right in on it today.


MitMoi said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

Sorry there was some saddness. But maybe it makes the sweet a little more poignant?

kenju said...

Happy Birthday!

It is inevitable that we think of our parents on our birthdays.

The covers are lovely. Bravo to your daughter!