Somehow I never imagined myself to celebrate my 80th birthday and then when I least expected it… surprise!
I spent much of 2020 preparing myself to die a good death by letting go of whatever dreams or stories I remembered or told myself.
Then 2021 dawned and gratefully I was still here. Now what?
I barely noticed the effects of the first vaccine . But the second one felt like being abruptly returned to earth.
“Time to wake up and move on!” I was told, “you work is not done yet!””
In the summer of 2021 I received a batch of surprise birthday cards. My dear friend Alice Butts had jumped the gun and told our Cleveland book circle, formed by Anda Cook in my honor when I returned home to Cleveland after our divorce, to send birthday greetings on the wrong date.
Earlier this Fall, at Eleanor’s fairy tale wedding, some of us shared some unfinished wishes. I could not think of any and flippantly mentioned that while in India I always admired our Aya Mary’s diamond nose stud.
That prompted Kramer, my latest daughter in love, together with Christopher and Theresa, my youngest granddaughter, to organize a birthday nose piercing event. Then a week before November 23rd my daughters staged a spa party, complete with massage, pedicures and a buffet worthy of ranaissance royalty.
The evening of my actual birthday the Cleveland-based kids and grandkids surprised my with cake, candles, and gifts while LeeAnn had thoughtfully sent all white flowers.
After a surprise visit from Marvin bearing gifts and my favorite chocolate tart, it seemed that the birthday celebrations were finally over.
But birthdays kept coming. In the Roman Catholic tradition we continue to celebrate saints eternal birthdays on the day they died and were born into forever.
Fr. Tom Leonhardt, the co-founder of the Federation of Christian Ministries (FCM) unexpectedly died, followed this week by Fr. Don Cozzens. Tom never was vaccinated and Don missed getting his booster shot.
Not surprisingly the advent readings on the day Don died were Is 41:13-20 and Matt.11:11-15… whoever has ears ought to hear.
Perhaps the best birthday gift came from Eric and Alex. In order to prevent me from creating unwanted spam they created a fresh blog entitled “Dagmar Will Do,” something I say when folks ask how to introduce me. 😉
At the end of Jay Shetty’s book Think Like A Monk he writes:
Eventually when you’ve uncovered your real self, you won’t even need to ask yourself what a monk would do. You can simply ask, “What will I do?”