Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to!

Me at about three years old on the right, with my little sister Margaret. We were best buds.
So I was going to start my birthday post with a "You know you're old when..." type of thing, and discuss the random arthritis in the third knuckle of the third finger on my right hand, breaking out the hair dye every four weeks instead of every six, the noise my knees make when I ascend stairs, having a freaking teenager (gasp!)...etc...but then I got an email yesterday from my father, announcing what would have been my paternal grandfather's 100th birthday on June 11th. He even accompanied the email with a couple of pictures, which made me get all sentimental, so I'll include them here. Who wants to hear about my arthritis anyway? I'm only 42...I need to stop my bitching.
Grandpa Ed at my Uncle Steve's christening....I'm guessing he would have been about 48 here? Not sure. I'll have to ask Dad. He died when I was a freshman in college...October (November?) of 1984. I wish I had a better shot of him. He really had a Clark Gable look about him...same little weird mustache above his lip and everything. That must have been a "look" back then.
Oh this picture is a RIOT. Grandpa Ed is the one with his hands in his pants, and the suspenders. Do you see me? Far right...arms crossed across my chest...I even look a little annoyed...this was probably Dad's seventh try with the self-timer to get us all in the shot. It looks like Atticus got cut off over on the left Dad's down in front, with the orange turtleneck. I figured out that my parents are about as old as I am today in that picture, give or take a year or two. How's that for strange? It makes me feel old.
Speaking of Mom, I am especially missing her today, too. This is my first birthday without her, and it's sad. She was always the first to send a card, and give a call. It's sad to think about my mailbox at my new house that she never got to see, and the card that won't be there today from her. She's in the back row, third from the left, standing next to my great uncle, Fr. John. She looks so young and happy there, so that at least makes me smile. I'm looking at that picture again and thinking Oy what a motley crew! Hee!
My grandmother is smack in the middle of that shot...all fluffy white hair and all. I miss her too...she's been dead for about 13 years or so (she was 90), and she pops into my head with the smell of fresh fruit, or like the other day when I was shopping and I saw some apricot nectar (juice) at the store. She always had some in her fridge, and would give me a small glass of it when we went to visit. I think I was the only kid who liked it. It is thick and syrupy and sweet and fruity. I haven't had it since.
I look at that photo and remember all of the family gatherings we had at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Coxsackie. "The Pines Guest House." It was a boarding house when my father was growing up--great stories from those years. Now my uncle owns it, and there are still people renting rooms after all of these years. We were a close family for so many years, and Grandma was the tie that bound us all together. We've all grown and gone our separate ways, but still try at least once a year--usually twice--to all get together and celebrate "family."
Well this post went off on a tangent. I guess when it's your birthday, and you get older, you start to recount the milestones and the memories. Happy Birthday to me. :)


suzette said...

Happy Birthday to you Sharon!

I know just what you mean about missing Mom's card in your mailbox. (although with my mother, two weeks late was the norm! lol!)

But now, no matter where your mailbox is, you will continue to have birthdays and Mom will be there with you in spirit. She is still gifting you and always will.

Good memories are the best gift of all.

Amber said...

Happy Birthday, Sharon!

Oy, the crunchy sound my left knee makes...go ahead and complain (I do!)

Loved your post about your family. OMG, you are a total combo of both your parents in looks. I love your dad's orange turtleneck! And the memories of your grandparents.

I can imagine how much you miss your mom. You know she's enjoying every bit of love you're putting into this new home...this is exactly--EXACTLY--what she would have wanted for you. Yep...she's smilin'!

Debbie Egizio said...

Happy Birthday to you!!

Rose said...

With my uncle's death last week, family is strong in my heart and so I loved seeing the pics and hearing some of your stories. Our stories - and those who know them first-hand - won't be around forever, so let's share them while we can.

PS. Haven't had it in years, but I liked apricot nectar, too.

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