My 49th birthday was a complete fiasco, since I was just starting to come to terms with the fact that I really had been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, and was surrounded by weirdness at home and at work – so everything was just off. And then 4 days after my birthday came D-Day version # 1. I really wanted 50 to be a celebration – of life, or love, of family…and it didn’t work out that way. J was still trying to figure out how much to tell me, so he wasn’t sure what to do, and my friends and daughter would have even thrown me a surprise party, but I just freaked out. I think that I was just scared…everything that had happened in the previous year just hit me, I spent the two weeks before my birthday bursting into tears whenever anyone mentioned anything connected to it. Finally, everyone else took charge and gently led me through some birthday activities one at a time – lunch, dinner, cake.
This year went much more smoothly. My expectations were smaller, and the results were much more like my daughter’s idea of a “Gilmore Girls” style week long birthday. The celebration started the weekend before, with a drive to the largest city nearby for shopping and dinner out at a Lebanese restaurant – at my husband’s suggestion.
My husband hates to shop. In fact, he doesn’t shop, he researches and buys – no browsing, no considering, no trying all of the available options and then deciding. But that weekend, he patiently trailed around with me, and I was able to get things that just aren’t available in the small area where I live – including a final stop at Barnes and Nobles. We both love Lebanese food, and the restaurant lived up to its reputation, so we went home well fed, and I was happy because J had made such an effort to plan a day that involved activities that I enjoy and actually needed to do. On the actual day of my birthday, a close friend look me to a fancy lunch, my daughter sent me beautiful flowers, and my husband got me a lemon meringue pie – my favorite. Finally, since his birthday is 3 days after mine, we spent a relaxing and romantic day at home with a special dinner. My 51st birthday was actually the best one I have had in several years, so I am taking the day as an omen that 2012 will be the best year I have had in a long time too!