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Posts tagged ‘birthday’

Lucky 13

Growing up in our house was very interesting. My mother, it turned out, was very superstitious. No shoes on the bed for any reason, no black cats (or cats of any color) could cross our path, no walking under ladders and squeezing your thumbs could bring you luck.

At school, we learned more folklore superstitions. Don’t step on a crack, knocking on wood, throwing salt over your shoulder if you spilled any. It was much later that I learned that 13 was an unlucky number and Friday the 13th was to be spent under the covers hiding from bad things happening that day. Breaking a mirror brought 7 years of bad luck, winning the big side of a wishbone brought good luck and the list went on.

Scary statue

I have since worked my way through those superstitions one by one until none really apply anymore. The biggest being the bad luck of Friday the 13th. A number of years ago, on a Friday the 13th, I had a daughter. The last child I planned to have and of course in those days, we didn’t know what we were getting until we go it.

Moss grows on everything.

That Friday the 13th was my lucky day. My daughter was healthy and perfect. Since then, every time I pull the number 13 in a raffle, I win. Everything related to the number 13 brings something extra special.

Daisy umbrella dispels the gloom

Once again, my daughter’s birthday fell on Friday the 13th. This year we covered a lot of ground. First a trip on the MAX to the quilt/sewing show then getting off the MAX   (Metropolitan Area Express or light rail) for a little lunch and a big dessert with shopping in a couple of our favorite places. We had tea at the Japanese Gardens even though it was cold with on and off rain. It rained when we were inside somewhere and stopped while we were outside most of the time. My daughter is teaching herself Japanese for the challenge.

We always have a great time together now that she has grown up into an incredible human. She was an independent thinker (and still is) and a challenging child. She often tells me how grateful she is that I let her live through some of the stuff she pulled. It was her aunt that prepared me for her.

Tea t-shirt always a favorite. “I could say I love you more than tea but that would be silly talk.”

So, when I see a Friday the 13th coming or anything with the number 13, I realize how lucky I am. My perception has changed about so many things in life. I have two wonderful adult children, a sister I’m very close to and many good friends. I am the luckiest person in the world.

Did you know that Friday the 13th comes only once in some years, twice in several others and rarely three times in a year? Our next one is in July of 2018 and the next year that we get three of them is 2026.

How was your Friday the 13th? Are you superstitious?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

In Search of a Gift

Today is my birthday. I don’t make a big deal out of it. It’s one more and I’m grateful for each of them. I make it hard on my family because there is nothing I need or really want. I have an abundance of everything.

But this year I’ve given myself a gift. I hope it works out the way I planned it. You know how it is with plans.

Thanks again to the lovely sender of this gift. It's given again with the photo

Thanks again to the lovely sender of this gift. It’s given again with the photo


Today I’m hoping for the gift of greater vision. Literally. Well, maybe figuratively as well. I opted to ask for an eyelid lift. Only one eyelid. Genetically, I have heavy hooded lids anyway. Thanks Dad.

The eye that is still paralyzed from the Bells is the one I see with. The other eye works, sort of, but not well enough to read on its own. It would help me find my way out of a burning building so I take care of it too. It’s not paralyzed. The insurance approved this surgery because the lid was seriously in my field of vision.

I got this done in the office with a local. I’m back home again where I won’t be doing much looking for a while. I’ll have to sit quietly and let it heal. Not sure I know how to do that. This is not about vanity. It’s merely a practical need. At the end of the day, I can’t get the eye to stay open far enough to see the computer or sew. I can watch some TV but mostly, I listen to it in the background.

Before the surgery. I won't gross you out with the recent after.

Before the surgery. I won’t gross you out with the recent after.


It did burn a bit when the doc put in the anesthesia and will be quite uncomfortable for a few days. Anyone who volunteers to do this for vanities sake is a stronger person than I. I’m not allowed to paint or work hard for the next 2 weeks. Darn. I’ll have time to read blogs. I hope. If you don’t hear from me, I’m busy healing and can’t read very much. So my wish for this year is more vision any way you slice it. I kept hoping it would heal on its own but that’s not happening fast enough. I’ve waited almost 6 years. This is it. Keep your fingers crossed.

Image from truly graphics.com

Image from truly graphics.com


Have you ever given yourself a special birthday gift?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself



In Search of a Way to Tell This Story

Today is a special day for me and my son. It’s his birthday so the other post I have written will have to wait a day. I woke this morning knowing I had to write about him.

18 month old in Taiwan.

18 month old in Taiwan.

It’s really hard for me to come to grips with the idea of my child being 47 years old. In the blink of an eye he went from being a tow-headed mischief-maker to a shiny domed, salt and pepper bearded mischief-maker. Some things never change. This man who is my son, lights up any room he goes into and makes people smile. His patience is legendary. I don’t know how many false cuts he had to make on molding to get it just right, but not once did he lose his temper and walk away. Nor would he if someone else had done it.

The work just never ends

The work just never ends

The story of his birth is one I have tried to write many times. I’m going to attempt it again with my new writing group next year. The sum of it is we almost didn’t get to keep him. He was born with Hyaline Membrane Disease, also called infant respiratory distress. As soon as he was born, they put a gas mask on me to put me to sleep. I didn’t see him for 10 days

The prognosis was grim. No oxygen right away meant likely brain damage and possible or probable death. I was a very young mother. It was beyond my scope to understand but I knew one thing for certain. If I was going to lose him, I wanted to hold him or at least see him. They threatened to tie me to my bed to keep me away.

Many hours had passed from his birth to when the doctors came to tell me how bad it was. I can promise you that if I was being told I would be tied to my bed, the drugs had long since worn off. My in-laws were called to come back to the hospital to be with me and help me cope.

After the bastards doctors left my room, I did what most mothers would do in this situation. I prayed, hard. When I got to the point of the prayer of acceptance for whatever outcome was handed me, I had the most profound spiritual experience of my life. It changed me, and my outlook. When the in-laws arrived, they thought I was nuts. All I could do was pat MIL’s hand and tell her my son would be fine. I was comforting her. I was unconcerned with the diagnosis of brain damage, though we sometimes still question that with some of his antics. I was certain death was not on that day’s agenda.

oops. Can I leave them this way?  Naw.

oops. Can I leave them this way? Naw.

His birth taught me many things. Our children are on loan to us to love, nurture and release. They are a gift, not a possession. At any moment we must be ready to release and trust. I know of many women who have lost children; infants or adult children. I understand their pain. That day changed me from a religious person to a deeply spiritual one.

Dancing around the molding to paint it.

Dancing around the molding to paint it.

He has dimples where our Angel kissed him to remind us of how much love there is in the Universe. I learn from him daily what love really looks like. He holds my hand to make sure now that I don’t fall like I did when he was young. His kindness and honesty inspire me to be a better person. He makes me the envy of many mothers on how he makes sure I know I’m loved and appreciated.

I won the lottery with both my children but today is his day and his story, told to the best of my ability in fewer words than I would like to use. I could get quite effusive here.

Happy Birthday son of mine. Let there be so many more.

Have you ever had a spiritual experience that changed you?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself