Today is my birthday. I had planned to write a heady post about the arbitrary nature of such celebration. Instead, I was presented with several opportunities to peak into the inner workings of a love hungry heart and a mind heavily into I-making mode . . .
First, was the flurry of sweet posts on my Facebook wall, from close and not so close friends. I was very aware of the flipside of my delight. Many notes as happened to be the case, lots of happiness. Had there be hardly any such kind greetings, lots of unhappiness. Talk about precarious well-being!
Second, was the painful realization that my mother would not remember my birthday, as she used to. Although I cheerfully lecture about the joy of caring for a person like her with Alzheimer's, another part of the truth is not so happy. There is grief, lots of it, from being attached to the mother I used to know, who was always the first one to call on my birthday.
Third, was my own insecurity as a mother, that got acted out this morning. Meeting my daughter in the kitchen, I felt anxiety rising. Would she remember? Five, ten minutes passed, and no 'Happy Birthday'. I swallowed my pride and figured I would ask. Young one had planned to surprise me, and now I was spoiling the whole thing. I admitted to my human-ness and we worked it out.
Fourth, was the irony of celebrating the impermanence of one's life, a not so pleasant phenomenon particularly as one gets closer and closer to the end. Being on the path, and understanding the inevitability of old age, sickness and death, does not make it any easier.
Impermanence, suffering, not-self, I am getting a lesson in all three. The best present I could wish for!