Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday's Child is Loving and Giving...

I was awakened at 5 a.m today by the ringing of the phone. I groggily tried to answer the TV remote twice before I figured out I had the wrong device. Upon finally finding the phone handset, the proper button to push, and muttering something that I think sounded like hello, I heard the voices of my friends Timothy and Glenda regaling me with the Happy Birthday song. Their hearts were in the right place, to be sure, but their dulcet tones can only be truly appreciated when one is completely inebriated, or still lost in the depths of a sleep grog. Luckily for me, the latter (at least) applied.

So it was, Friday, November 17, 1961, Grand Rapids, Michigan: I was a procrastinator before I was even born. Nearly two weeks late, I had given Kathleen several mixed signals and false starts. This is why, on November 17, she didn't pay much attention to the restless baby inside her, until finally, near dinner time she turned to Harold in resignation and said, "I suppose we ought to go to the hospital." On the way to the hospital, she changed her mind and said, "You know, this is probably just another false labor, let's stop for coffee." (Yes, the Bean connection begins...) Halfway through their cuppa, she was hit with a rather forceful insistence from the baby in her belly, looked at Harold and said, "Change of plans Daddy, we need to get to the hospital
!" (I may be slow on the uptake, but once I make up my mind, I mean it.) Harold always insisted that Kathleen left claw marks on the oak tree outside the entrance to St. Mary's hospital. A couple of hours later, the doctor placed a squirming little bundle on my mother's chest and said, "Congratulations, Mrs. Black, it's a girl. What name are you giving her?" "Barbara Ann," was the exhausted (I can only imagine) reply. And so I joined this earthly realm, fourth in line after Mike, Tom and Nancy, and followed a couple of years later by John.

Because it's my
birthday and I get to do what I want, I choose to celebrate the lives of others who have molded my life: Thanks, Mom and Dad... for the love, for the solid name, for... heck... everything
; thanks to my brothers and my sister for being the finest, funnest and funniest bunch a girl could wish for.

I also want to thank John Johnson's parents for their fine family, and all of them in turn for their astounding and inspiring love and support. You're a beautiful bunch, and you can all be very proud. Carry on carrying on. Live and love, y'know?

To all my friends - I choose wisely. While we may seem to have stumbled blindly into each others lives, that you're still around speaks volumes about the stellar kinds of people you are. I love you all dearly and you each lend a different and beautiful path for this gypsy heart to travel upon. Thank you.

Finally, thank you, John... the universe is both kind and cruel. To say I was fortunate to have met you, lived with you, loved with you, laughed and cried with you, is a vast understatement. To say I miss you is a travesty in the face of the deep loss I feel without you in my everyday. You amaze me still. There are a half dozen roses blooming on the Valentine's Always bush right now - yes, despite the rain and cold, they popped open just today. Thoughtful as ever, aren't you? Tenacious and stubborn as ever too, huh? Ya Sneaky Rat Bastard... my love for you is always.

It's a good day to be alive and 46,
Barbara Ann

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday Barb!!!
    I hope you have a wonderful day & best wishes for where ever life's journey leads you!!
    Many Hugs to you!!


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