Another birthday gone by. Another year older, but not necessarily wiser. As kids, we all love birthdays, don't we? They were still fun through my 20's and 30's, into my 40's, as well. But then I started to view my birthday warily. Because let's face it, we don't really want to get older, do we?
Now at 56, I feel my relationship with my birthday shifting once again. Because, knock wood, how many more will there be. Maybe I should just squeeze every bit out of them that I can.
At the very least, my birthday is a day when I can count on at least three phone calls - from my three older brothers. Brothers Two and Three did not disappoint, but I did not hear from Brother One this year. That bothered me. No word. Today I spoke with Brother Two again. We were talking about Chuck Berry (I picked up from Brother Two my love for rock and roll, especially old rock and roll.) He relayed a conversation he had yesterday with Brother One (that's right, the one who didn't call me on Friday, my birthday. Apparently, Brother One backed up Chuck Berry on bass at a gig decades ago. (Berry almost never travelled with a band, but picked up local players instead, leading to some very uneven shows). According to Brother One, it was the most stressful gig he had ever played. Chuck would start a song without telling the band what song it would be. Throughout the show he would get in my brother's face shouting "1, 1, 1, 1....4, 4, 4, 4. It was a funny story, but when it ended I replied that I did not have have a Brother One, because if I did, he would have called me on my birthday.
"He said he wasn't able to call you, but he texted you instead". I believe I replied with a hearty "Hrumpf", because I certainly did not receive a text.
A few hours later, I did come across an Happy Birthday email from Number One that was sent yesterday. Don't know how I missed it, but I felt better. And a little guilty.
But really, he still owes me a call. After the parents are gone, staying in touch is harder, yet, to me, even more important than ever.