Sitting out on the front porch with a cup of coffee and a very aged paperback book, I was distracted when a butterfly alit on a dandelion at the foot of the stairs. Now, said butterfly had plenty of dandelions from which to choose, because we all know how good I am at gardening, but it chose this one and I started thinking. The weed I haven't gotten around to pulling gave this graceful creature a place to rest for a brief moment. My sister always identifies butterflies with my mother, who is doing her own flying and alighting these days. It was a sweet thought on this birthday when I qualify for Social Security, that Mom is still around and checking up on me.
On this quiet summer birthday with an overcast sky I can't help thinking of all the people who used to send me cards and aren't around to do that anymore. I miss them, and the nature of my birthday has changed because of their absence. Jim Flanagan, Maggie Cox, Jim Webb, David Brudnoy, Jack Morris, Rosemary Reilly, Helen Barry, not to mention my brothers, my niece Barbara, and my Mom and Dad, they're all in my heart in a special way today. I feel their presence although I can no longer see their faces. But they're here and always will be. Meanwhile, 114 Facebook greetings later I am overwhelmed at the number of people who take the time to say they care and to celebrate with me. My sons and husband are waiting to shower me with love and attention, but that can wait until a little later. I'm just hanging out here with the butterflies and feeling the love and oceans of gratitude for the people who have been sent into my life.
The author, whose children have actually made it all the way through college (well, except for the one who is going for his PhD) is a lady of a "certain age" as the French say. She survived menopause and adolescence occurring in the same house at the same time and is now trying desperately to make it through the next four years with cheerfulness intact. Things don't look good.