Friday, September 16, 2011

I ruthlessly remember birthdays...

…well, I used to, at least.  As my family started to splinter and spread out geographically, it became a bigger and bigger challenge to stay connected to each other.  One way I tried to bridge the gap was in remembering my parents and siblings on their birthdays.  What I didn’t realize at the time was how, in a family that didn’t put a priority on celebrating these holidays, my attention to them left my family with mixed feelings.  At one point I was accused of “ruthlessly remembering birthdays.”

When my husband and I got married, it wrought havoc on my birthday discipline.  As in many marriages, I am generally the keeper of birthdays, so my list doubled at the altar.  In the last decade, it has multiplied by marriages, births, and expanding friendships.  If I once ruthlessly remembered birthdays, there are probably some people who would now complain that I ruthlessly forget – and I even do that inconsistently.  Sometimes I purchase the gift early, only to have it sit on my counter until it’s late.  Sometimes I remember a birthday one year, and then don’t the next.  Sometimes I find something grand to send, other times my honoree has to settle for nail clippers and a comb.  For the first time ever last year, I was so late with a gift that I put it away and sent it for the next year.  It was very humbling.  Anymore, I feel successful if I get a birthday gift sent within 3 months before or after the day – that’s a six month window and I don’t always hit it!

Despite my failed ruthlessness, my loved ones can continue to expect erratic birthday acknowledgement from me.  I may not be good at it anymore, but I’ll never give it up, because there’s only one of you – and you are remarkable and cherished.  So, to my beloved aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, parents, siblings, friends, and in-laws, in case this is the year I forget – Happy Birthday.  I’m so glad you’re here.  I really do love you and miss you – I just can’t seem to make it to the post office.

God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others.  2 Corinthians 9:8

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