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Posts tagged ‘Birthday’

Video

Hundred More Years

Yesterday I saw a video of old photographs put together with music.  It was a video celebration made by my husband’s 2nd cousin for his Grandmother’s 100th birthday.  The last song on the video was “Hundred More Years” by Francesca Battistelli.  It stopped me in my tracks.  Such beautiful lyrics – so poignant and fitting for a celebration of a life well lived.

When I watch and listen to things like this, I am reminded how short life is – how quickly time goes by. Beauty fades – the spirit never dies. The body ages and decays – the person on the inside stays the same. Life and death. Letting go, holding on. Changing and yet staying the same. The circle of life.  We all enter life in the same way and we all die when our time is over.  We leave our mark on this world, either good or bad with our family and friends. And when we are no more – others carry on our memory.  Pictures tell only a small part of the story.  Most things happen outside the lens of a camera.   Things done in unspoken ways.  Pain, Joy, Happiness, Failure, Struggle, Change, Resignation, Aging – these are all a very real part of life.  Some live LARGE lives.  Everyone knows their name.  Some live  very quiet lives of significance – quietly doing things for others and live a life worthy of celebration.  I believe this was the case for Great Aunt Helen.

Let’s make it a good hundred years – a great memory and legacy to leave behind for others.  Serving God and others – using up all of our gifts – taking nothing with us. Let’s leave our mark – more than just photographs – may our very lives be an example of a life well lived.

Enjoy this song as you reflect on your hundred years.

God Bless

Funny Birthday Memories Of Greg

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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!

http://www.jibjab.com/view/ZhR-KktWRuqJLWHEEQGdJA?mt=1

 

My Birthday Word Cloud

Thanks to my good friends, John and Deanna Morauski – they gave me a lovely gift of 20 separate phrases that describe me.  Each phrase was wrapped in a little egg and presented in a basket for me to open one at a time.  It was so moving to read what my friends wrote about me and I have preserved that memory into a ‘word cloud’ to share with my readers.  Some of the words will not make sense to you – the word  ‘smell’ is actually  ‘She smells good’ just so you don’t get the wrong idea 🙂  So on this 15th day of my birthday month – here it is!
Enjoy and God Bless!

A Note From My Husband

On the occasion of my milestone birthday – I asked my wonderful husband and best friend to be a special ‘guest blogger’ today.  Hope you enjoy and will be encouraged as you read his note to me –  that even after almost 30 years together – he still is romantic and knows how to keep the love alive.

God Bless

To my lovely wife Cindy on her special 50th birthday;

Good morning my love!  I trust you had a wonderful sleep.  I was watching you this morning just before you opened your eyes and thinking about how thankful I was to have the love of such a beautiful woman in my life.  Funny how so many put an emphasis on youthful looks these days and fight frantically to somehow attempt “time travel” to spin the biological clock backwards.  I loved it when we saw the title of a new book recently, “fifty is the new fifty” – it garnered a laugh from both of us, but even without reading the book we understand the sentiment.  Being authentic to yourself and your life experiences, being comfortable in your own skin, is a large part of remaining beautiful; a glow that comes from within and radiates outward.

Cindy, you are beautiful, both inside and outside.  You not only are an extremely attractive woman physically (insert tiger growl here), but you are true and authentic to your core values, which is what makes you irresistible.  In this way you have become more gorgeous to me over time.  I love it how you are passionately interested in how others feel and think, and have an uncanny way of connecting to them, especially in their time of need.

This year we will celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary.  We have seen much of life and have weathered both good and challenging seasons together – more and more I see in you a beauty and strength that I both admire and envy; a depth that time has only served to reveal and prove.

There’s a section of 1 Peter chapter 3 that echo these very values that I love about you.  It describes a woman of uncompromising beauty, and where lasting attractiveness comes from;

3 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self,5 the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.6 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God7 used to make themselves beautiful.”

Cindy my love, this “milestone birthday” (at least that’s what we call the ones that end in a “0”) is simply another occasion that displays what those who really know you already have been celebrating; your authentic love for others, emotional balance, and spiritual centeredness.  This is what makes you attractive to others and to me.

And, you’re just plain hot looking!

Happy birthday my love!

Greg

Day 4

Massage in Tarifa, Spain taken on May, 6 2007 ...

Image via Wikipedia

It is Day 4 of my birthday month.  I have happily given myself a whole month for the experience of having yet another birthday.  And not just any birthday.

Last night my very romantic husband texted me and asked me for a late night rendezvous on his way home from work.  For COFFEE people – get your minds out of the gutter!!  I was still up, reading and returning emails – and I was like YES – let’s do it!  Forgetting that I’m not 25 anymore – and that it takes me more than a day to recover after being up WAY past my normal bedtime – but I was wide awake and I was anxious to shake it up a little.  I mean – if the younger people can do this – why can’t I?  What do they have that I don’t?  Our 19-year-old son does it ALL THE TIME and he seems to be no worse for wear.  What’s the DEAL?  The other night he came home after a late shift at guitar center and started cooking at 11:30pm!  Needless to say, it woke us up and it was most unpleasant – not to mention annoying to hear the banging around in the kitchen and then smelling the food as we’re trying to sleep.  I was much too tired to deal with it at the time – but when he finally emerged from his room the next day I said to him, “Shawn – do you have to come home at that hour and COOK?  Can’t you pick something up on the way home or something”?  And do you know what his response was to this?  “Why do you and Dad have to go to bed so early?”  Unbelievable.

Yes.  I am old.

So this morning I woke up with a screaming headache and quickly took some headache pills and put ice on my aching head.  Then made an appointment with my Chiropractor.  And would you believe – the adjustment didn’t help me?  Good grief – I dislike VERY MUCH getting older.  However we did manage to find a wonderful and supportive office chair for me so I can sit at my computer and write with excellent posture and hopefully eliminate neck and shoulder soreness.  As a piano player – I have dealt with tight muscles my whole life – but it is worse as I’ve gotten older for sure.

My sweet husband used to tell me brilliant things like this:  “Why don’t you just relax?”  So you can see that I’m surrounded by sympathetic men in my life.  Actually he’s learned that it is not just a matter of relaxing – or willing my tight muscles to relax – it’s my personality type – and where I carry my stress.  We all carry it somewhere.

The good news is that I also will be going to have a massage on Sunday afternoon with someone who was highly recommended to me – so that will be very nice!  The last massage I had was from a man who did Tye massage – and it was wonderful – but he is available only at the times that I teach.  I need one every week – just wish I could work it out financially.  🙂

But it IS my birthday month – so pretty much anything goes this month.

Have a wonderful evening and God Bless

Happy March!

Balloons-KayEss-1

Image via Wikipedia

The lion has come in – and let’s hope he leaves as a lamb.  We all like to feel a little spring when we turn the calendar to March – and especially me.

This is my birthday month – not just any birthday either.  It’s the big one.  Forty was okay – I didn’t freak out at all – and I have to say that my forties was the very best and worst of times.  Greg and I successfully raised two teenagers during this period – and our daughter even got married while I was 48. And we’re still here to tell about it.

So what will a new decade bring?  I’ve never been one to dwell on age – and it IS just a number – so why do we freak out about it?  We are only as old as we feel, right?  Yeah – that’s what I’m afraid of.  In my forties I felt pretty good up until a couple of years ago – then little things like upper body pain from sitting too long – or not bouncing back as quickly from exercise and sickness – are just some of the wonderful joys of getting older.  One lovely senior woman once told me many years ago – “Cindy – don’t ever get old”.  Great.  I’m working on it.

The happy news is that my husband is a couple of years older than I – and most of our friends are hitting this happy spot on their journey too – Yes, Ron – I’m talking about you my friend – you will join me soon after my birthday.  And a few of our friends are already there – waving us on – like Barbara and Bob Coccia.  They say, “Hey it’s not so bad!”  And so I have no other choice but to believe them.  One of our friends is 10 years older than Greg – and when Greg turned 50 he told him – “You think the time went fast from 40 to 50?  Just wait until you see how fast it goes from 50 – 60”!  Great.

Well I plan to take the whole month to celebrate – even though my actual birthday isn’t until the 11th of this month.  And spring better hurry up – my capris and sandals are looking a little lonely in my closet – and you can’t have a spring birthday without those!  And if you are in this ‘season of life’ – take heart – you are not alone – I’m right there with you!  Let’s CELEBRATE!!

 

God Bless

My Son

Today my baby boy is 19.

I feel like I’ve lived a whole lifetime since he was born.  Greg was pastor of a very small church in Fortuna, CA at that time.  Shortly after – Northern California had an earthquake that did considerable damage to our little town and nearby ones.  The quake happened in the middle of the afternoon while I was nursing Shawn – and four-year old Ashlee was watching TV nearby.  Our family room was a pile of junk and clothes – getting ready for an upcoming garage sale to be held that next weekend.  It created a rocking sensation and things began to come out of the cupboards and the TV ‘walked’ out of the entertainment center and almost fell on Ashlee.  It was amazing and Greg RAN from his office next door to see if we were alright.  We were – just shaken up a bit.  But in the night the after shocks were just as bad – but infant Shawn – none the wiser – slept peacefully for the first time ALL NIGHT LONG.  The quakes just lulled him to sleep.

It’s crazy what things you remember from the past – sometimes it’s the most insignificant things – the little moments that pass by so quickly.  The early bonding we had – the time we had together while he was small – I am grateful for each and every day that I got to spend with him.  I was very lucky – I was a ‘stay at  home mom‘ for both of my children and I will never regret that.

Shawn was always an easy child with a quick wit and much natural talent.  He is everyone’s friend and has that certain ‘X-factor’ that is intangible – but still just a fact that is accepted and acknowledged by everyone who knows him.  A favorite with the grandparents and relatives – he just simply is a special person inside and out.

At 19 – he is still trying to find his way – and I am touched by his gentle spirit – the way he interacts with kids younger than himself and the way he ministers with his gifts – using them to bless others.

And yet – in many ways he is still a child – not yet ready to face the world.  He is one step closer – but still not ready.  He still has some lessons to learn – some pain to face and get through – some hard times to wrestle with and toughen him up – finding his way and finding out who he is and who God has designed him to be. We have done our best with him – and most of our lessons are through – he has absorbed all he can – and now the rest is up to him.  And like all parents of boys of this wild and adventurous age – we are anxious for him to make the right choices and hope and pray we have equipped him to do what he needs to do.  At this age – the parenting is mostly over for him.  And all we can do is pray – and wait.

Happy Birthday to my son who used to light candles for me – play soft music and run a hot bath for me – just because.

Happy Birthday to my son who was very wanted and planned for. I remember praying for you before you were born and asking God for another child – and I knew that child would be special – and you are.

Happy Birthday to my son – who is far from perfect – but who is perfect for me. You make my heart smile – and your humor brightens even the darkest of my days.  God gave you to me – to raise, watch over and pray for – He knew what He was doing – you are my gift – my love and my life. And He knew that I needed you. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without you in it.  Each day you make me proud and happy – just by being you – and along with you big sister – you are the best thing that ever happened to me.

I love you

P.S. It’s after midnight now – officially your birthday – I texted happy birthday to you – and just received  a text  back – ‘ I love you too, Mom – you’re the first to wish that to me, Mom – almost home  – wanna chat?’  Ahhh – not too grown up yet.

Yes – I do.

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