A birthday is a birthday, is a birthday, right? Well not really. Some birthdays are milestone birthdays that deserve extra attention to be celebrated right. Of course your 1st birthday is usually a huge celebration, mostly because your parents survived your first year. I would say the next one is 5 years old or maybe 10. We all know that every teen imagines their 16th birthday as being something special. The next big ones are 18 and then 21. It seems like once you reach 30 that birthdays are not as fun as they once were. As the numbers go higher our expectation and reason to celebrate seem to go down. I can’t imagine anyone saying they are really looking forward to turning 40, 50 or 75 years old. But then it seem like once you reach 75 years old each birthday becomes more important because you are still living.
So turning 50 is no big deal right? Lots of things are 50 this year, such at A Charlie Brown Christmas and Sarah Jessica Parker. Fifty marks half a century of living or being around. Joan Rivers made her Tonight Show debut, Mary Poppins wins 5 Oscars and Julie Andrews wins best Actress, Sonny and Cher released “I Got You Babe,” Tom & Jerry cartoon debut on CBS, the Pillsbury Doughboy is created, Days of Our Lives debuts on NBC and I was born.
Birthdays have never been very special to me. At the age of 6 my adopted mother informed me that I was too old to have parties anymore. My 10th birthday was probably my happiest as JoBeth was dead and I was able to have the neighborhood kids over to have a homemade cake that Norma had made me. She was dating my daddy at that point and still trying to win my favor. It was the first time I had a handmade cake with icing roses on it. I had my bridal shower on my 18th birthday and was a mother for the first time on my 20th birthday. I thought finding my birth mother would maybe somehow magically make me feel special. WOW, was that ever-delusional thinking, if anything finding her just allowed me to realize that not all birth mothers love their babies. Some birth mothers throw away their babies never to wonder about them again. They are able to move on as if nothing happened.
My 42nd birthday was spent fighting cancer and then my 43rd was spent as a grieving mother, something no one should ever have to experience. My birthday is just a very vivid reminder of the one that is not here. It is the card, the gift, the hug and the “Happy Birthday, Momy” that is never coming that makes the day so difficult. Of course my loving, wonderful family just could not let my 50th birthday come along and not be something special. My birthday was coordinated with a Disney theme. Of course this was perfect as I love Disney and there had already been the 50th celebration of Disney. Bill contacted a friend and together they designed a special cake for me.
|Special cake made to look like 50th ears hat|
|wearing 50th ears|
The big gift was kept a secret and was a huge surprise as Bill planned a 24-hour getaway to Disneyland. Of course it was where I had to be right before my birthday. I spent my last day being 49 in the happiest place on earth. It is one of the places that I can feel Heather. She is everywhere there and I feel her very spirit is there and I feel peace. That peace sometimes comes in the form of tears as I “wish” so many things.
|50th pins and 2 are cast members only|
|my card from Bill|
We flew out Sunday evening and actually made it in time to go into the park and see the Parade of Lights and the Castle lit-up for the 60th Diamond celebration. As we raced to the gate I could hear and see Heather saying “come on Momy, hurry, let go…” as she would have grabbed my arm in her arm and pulled me towards the entrance. We rode “It’s A Small World and Peter Pan.” Disney is not all about the rides as it is the sights and sounds and smells that make it feel good. Of course we went to Heather’s spot and it was as beautiful as ever and very peaceful. There was a single white daisy blooming. We stayed till they just about threw us out at 1:20am. I have to admit that I have not stayed that late in a long time.
|Ta-Da!! Disneyland 8/30|
|going into the park area|
|The castle stunning as always|
We first began taking the girls to Disneyland on Spring Break during the 50th celebration. It was our first time there in a long time and it was decorated beyond anything I could imagine. Heather and I went to the Art Gallery above Pirates and saw the big Thomas Kinkade painting of the 50th. Heather bought the 50th Minnie Mouse and I found her yesterday. She sits well with the new 60th Minnie I just bought. So many memories of that time and of Disneyland were made during that time.
|Heather's 50th Minnie still with the tag|
|50th and 60th together|
So, here I am, I am 50. I don’t feel 50, but the hole in my heart feels like it is 100 and that will never change. I am 50 on the outside but I am ancient on the inside. The death of a child will make you feel very, very old and gray even though you are still young. So I will be chasing 50 for the next 10 years. I just hope it doesn’t chase me too much.
|Bill didn't want to come home|
As sad as it was to leave, we are heading to Vancouver on the 5th and then catching the Disney Wonder to Hawaii. We will end this trip with a stay at Aulani, Disney's resort. This is truly the tip of a lifetime...