Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving Birthday!

Today is the 34th anniversary of my 30th birthday. Do you have any idea how hard it was to write that sentence?

I am STILL that little 2-year-old who actually ate the mud pies she made with her big sister, Janice. (My mother has a photo to verify this, but I don't have a copy to post.)

I am STILL that 6-year-old girl who thought it was a great adventure to "go to the store" for my grandparents --- walking all the way from their house, past my granddaddy's barber shop, past the swimming pool, across the street and into the general store -- all of 2 blocks in our tiny milltown of the 40's!

I am STILL that shy 8 year old who dreaded going to an unfamiliar school after moving to a new community.

I am STILL that Daddy's girl who got time alone with Daddy because Daddy loved all of his 7 children and wanted to spend quality time with each one individually. I am still that Daddy's girl -- even though Daddy has been in Heaven waiting for me for almost 20 years!

I am still that 8th grader who thought I would die of embarrassment the day I stepped off the schoolbus and, in full view of the whole busload of students, lost my crinolines (anybody remember those huge, full, yards and yards of netting worn under full skirts in the early 50's?) This huge, heavy, ridiculous piece of underwear fell right off and puddled on the ground that day as I stepped off the school bus.

I am STILL that 15-year-old who tried so hard to fit in with the other cheerleaders (all from prominent local families) when, by some fluke, I made the squad (even though our family was new to the community and lived on decidedly-NOT-prominent 9th Street.)

I am STILL that thin-but-thought-I-was-fat 22 year old bride, happily marrying a preacher although I had always sworn I would NOT live in parsonages any longer.

I am STILL that young teacher working waaaaaay too many hours to make lessons memorable and to help children learn -- and learn to love to learn.

I am STILL that young mother making the rounds of the ball-practices, ballgames, PTA meetings, and piano lessons. (All this in my spare time after making lesson plans and grading papers after school!)

I am STILL that mother trying to be wise enough to help my teenagers build foundations for success in their adult lives.

I am STILL that first-time grandmother standing in the hallway at Northside Hospital and hearing my son say, "It's a girl!" and feeling this rush of unbelievable love looking down at the child of my child.

I am STILL a grandmother who has now experienced anew that rush of joy and love 5 times more since that day almost 13 years ago.

As my mother has often told me, "The great thing about aging is that you don't lose all the other ages you have been."

This is true. I am STILL all the ages I have been.

On this Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2005, my 64th birthday, I am truly grateful for my life, my experiences, my joys, even my sorrows.

I thank God that I am living the life of the truly wealthy; for the only true wealth is LIFE!


Carol said...

And you are STILL the older sister that I've always looked up to and loved. Happy Birthday, Joanie!

Terrell said...

Carol already said it. I'll just add "amen!"

Ruth said...

And you are still the beautiful baby i saw and loved and was so proud of in the first moments of your life. Was it really that long ago? I am writing with tears in my eyes because I love you and am so very proud to be your mother! I love reading your BLOGS and realizing how talented and brilliant your are. Happy Birthday Joanie!

JBL said...

Happy Birthday Joan. I so enjoyed what you said about all the different 'people' you have been through the years. You are still all those people you have been. It is such a gift to have the wonderful memories that you have and I have. Time does go buy by much too fast, it is important to make the most of each moment and from reading what you wrote, I think you have done that.

Lyn said...

And all of those people that you were and still are helped shape you to be the wonderful mother, provider, supporter and friend that you are to those of us around you. :-) I'm thankful for all you have been and are!
love you, Mom.