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Photograph 20: Sequential

The sequential order of how long we have lived has never really been important to me.  This day is just another day.  It’s another number on the calendar.  I never really cared or paid much attention to age, but to people.  Several thoughts run through my mind, such as ‘well, I have survived __ years’ or ‘hey, I didn’t die yet.’  Morbid as they may sound (and are quite reflective of my dismal and pessimistic side) a birthday still reminds me that I have far to go.  Maybe the destination is a year away, a decade, or the age of eighty, but I look at my current age and what I want to accomplish in life as an hourglass.  Adding another year takes away more of the sand that was on top.  It surprises me in a way, to be this young and so focused on goals, death, and time remaining on earth.  If I died tomorrow, I wouldn’t really care (then again I would be dead so caring is a moot point!).  However, I still feel like I’m rushing to accomplish something before time runs out.

I’ve never had a surprise birthday party, nor would I care to.  I don’t like attention much and prefer to stay in my bubble.  I can’t really recall any memorable birthdays or gifts that have stuck with me.  I’m not much of a materialistic person, so it does not surprise me that items received are not remembered.  I much rather personal things, sentiments, something that takes thought, effort, or emotion.  Those mean far more to me than anything I can wear or hold with my hand.  Something that tells me some thought or effort was put into how someone thinks of me, feels for me, or wants me to feel.

My ordinary, let’s-get-this-over-with birthday was transformed into a day of well wishes, phone calls, and messages from friends and loved ones from all over.  No trampling of presents, but of feelings and expressions.  Someone thought enough of me to send flowers (pictured above).  My niece and nephew picked out a pair of blue, seashell type bracelets for me.  At age 2 and 3, I don’t have the heart to tell them Nanny can’t wear them because they turned her skin blue (I waited until they left, removed them, then washed my wrists).  Some of the blue stain still remains and makes me giggle every time I look at them.  A card arrived that made me smile.  And somewhere, on a beach halfway around the world, a little person wrote a happy birthday message to me in the sand.  If that isn’t memorable, nothing is.

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