My husband Greg turns 53 today. An age that makes him proud. He is living his dream the last 4 years – doing what he loves to do. It just took him many years to find out what exactly that is. Doing wedding and funeral services make him happy and fulfill his purpose – especially memorial services. And I am happy that he is now free to do this full-time.
But what a time to have a birthday!! 5 days before Christmas – it’s tucked in the middle of other events and holiday activities. He has never known a birthday without a Christmas tree, concerts, parties, dinners and other numerous things. I’m sure that as a child, his parents made sure that Greg had presents separate from those that were under the tree. But as he got older – it was so much easier to combine gifts. And many in the family have done that over the years – even our own children. He doesn’t mind – it makes sense to him. As long as there is good food and something yummy for dessert (especially chocolate) he’s just fine. Today he will get lunch AND dinner at restaurants and tomorrow and special dessert from out daughter Ashlee as she and her husband Drew come and have an early Christmas with us before we head to California to spend Christmas with our son, Shawn.
When Greg came home late last night he was humming a “Happy Birthday” tune after working his “moonlighting” job. It was the middle of the night and I had already been asleep. And when I heard this I suddenly remembered, “that’s right! Today is the DAY!” This morning we were reminiscing over the many years of birthday celebrations. There are two memories I have of this day – and I just HAD to share them with you. Both of them are humorous. What else? Life with Greg is hilarious – we laugh EVERY day about very random things – each other and life in general. So here goes.
My first fond memory is 25 years ago today. I had just found out I was going to have Ashlee. I was less than 2 months pregnant and felt icky. I was in bed trying to fight the nausea. We were living in New Castle, PA – in a 2 story rental. The master bedroom was up the stairs and to the left. I remember Greg walking downstairs and singing a sad little tune, “Happy Birthday to ME” It was so funny that I laughed in spite of myself. It helped to break up an otherwise very unpleasant day for both of us – and I’m sure we celebrated his birthday later when I wasn’t so sick. We even flew to Seattle that year for Christmas! Good times – being pregnant and sick everywhere we went that year.
My second fondest memory happened about 8 years ago. We were having lunch with Greg’s parents. A tradition that has lasted even until this year. For some reason Greg’s mom (and probably me) needed to finish up some Christmas shopping. Greg said there was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY he was going to the mall. He has a standing rule: NO MALL IN DECEMBER. Now you have to understand – Greg’s HATES the mall. No, I mean he REALLY hates it. Now just add the holiday shopping, traffic going in and out of the mall AND the parking – and you have what possibly could be what Greg loathes the most in life. But for some reason his sweet mother talked him into going “just for a few minutes”. She told him, “Greg – you won’t even have to get out of the car – you and dad can just drop us off” She understands his hatred of all things “mall” or “shopping” especially in December and so tried to appeal to him in that way. Somehow – I don’t know how, we were taken to the mall that day. We quickly did our errands and returned to the car. All the time, Greg muttering to himself – “I can’t believe it’s MY birthday and we’re AT THE MALL!!” We were leaving the parking lot and onto the main road when all of a sudden Greg’s mom said, “Oh no!”. That could not be good. We were like, “what happened?” She said, “I left my credit card at the last store”. Silence. Greg said, “There’s NO WAY I’m going back in there, mom” But there was no way around it – we had to go back and retrieve her lost credit card. It was sad but also HILARIOUS! I told Greg that he would find the humor in it some day. But somehow when I brought it up again this morning – he still groans and sighs. Good times!
Happy Birthday, Greg! You deserve a wonderful day all to yourself – something that is not just tucked into Christmas. I hope all your birthday memories are sweet (except maybe the two above) and that you will have MANY MORE in the years to come!
You are loved! Here’s a special song just for you on your birthday – enjoy!