This is my new favorite saying: "I don't expect everything just handed to me...you can put it down anywhere."
My birthday was last Saturday and I have to admit I don't really look forward to my birthday the way I once did. As the date draws nearer, I even tend to get a little down about it. I used to start celebrating a week in advance and keep going pretty much the whole month of August. However, as I've reached my later 50's I've come to think big birthday fuss a bit tacky. Sort of like wearing a big white gown for your 2nd (or 3rd!) wedding. Some things are just "unseemly" after a certain age. But as much as I tried to keep a low profile about my birthday this year, even asking my friends specifically not to have a party, they would not be denied. My crazy girlfriends threw a party anyway, with lots of drink, food, gifts and cake...and, yes, I had a great time. That was Friday night. So I made plans to veg out alone at home for my actual birthday, on Saturday...not a chance...friends took me to lunch AND dinner, then my youngest friends took me out dancing until way past my bedtime. And, YES I had a great time! Dammit!
So...what's the moral of this story? Age is just a number? Sometimes the best friend you can be is the one that lets your friends show you how much you are loved? Celebration is good for the soul? I would have to say, all of the above. You would think as we got older we would learn to get out of our own damn way and just enjoy life...right? Well, sometimes we need a little push.
Happy birthday to me!
Thursday, March 13, 2014
This is a picture of my daddy held in the arms of his maternal grandmother. She was his favorite grandmother and he called her "Biddy Mama", I suppose because compared to the tall, robust Germans on his father's side of the family she was so petite. He loved her dearly and named his only daughter after her, Sally Misheaux. My mother shortened the middle name's spelling to Misha on my birth certificate. I don't know if she did that intentionally, or if she wasn't sure of the correct spelling. Either way, it doesn't matter to me because I have always loved my name.
And, what a namesake she was! This scrappy, little West Texas lady was abandoned by her husband when my grandmother and her two brothers were quite young. She never remarried, and raised her children on her own...no small feat during the depression. The family never spoke of my great grandfather. No photos of him exist to my knowledge. Just last year I received an email via Ancestry.com from a woman in Tennessee who was his niece. Her research had followed his trail after his abandonment of my great grandmother, to Canada, then to England as a soldier, marriage to an English woman, father to two girls by her, and then he abandoned that family! This is where his trail went cold. Again, the English family destroyed all photos of him. His sister, her mother, knew of his abandonment of my great grandmother, but her daughter didn't have the heart to tell her about the second wife's abandonment. She wrote me that she and her sister always referred to their uncle as "Wandering Walter".
While Walter wandered, Sally Misheaux remained in Coleman, Texas and raised two fine sons and a wonderful daughter who was my favorite grandmother. There is such a legacy of strong women on both sides of my family, I never wonder where my own strength stems from when I need it...I inherited it! My dad's birthday was last month, February 28th. An only child, raised by amazing women, it's no wonder he was a good man and gentle soul and I miss him every day.