Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Birthday Blessings

"The love of a family is life's greatest blessing."

Here I am with my father shortly after my birth on January 30, 1955. (You can do the math!)
I was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in the middle of a summer thunderstorm as my mother recalls. And I do believe mothers vividly remember every detail of their child's birth.
It was my good fortune to be born to parents who wanted me, loved me, encouraged me, and taught me good moral values. We travelled a lot and my early experiences have influenced my perspective on life to this day. My brothers and I were close and are still good friends, even though some of us live half a world apart. I know they will all make an effort to contact me on this birthday, to tease me about my age as I am the eldest, but also to share their love.

Here I am on my first birthday as my mother is reaching out to rescue my birthday cake. I have many great birthday memories over the years. Musical Aunt had a surprise party for me on my 14th birthday when I went to her house for my usual piano lesson. Mom pulled off another surprise on my 16th birthday after we had moved to another city. She arranged for the friends I missed to drive to our new home to celebrate with me. Two years ago, my sister-in-law, along with my husband and daughters, really shocked me with a surprise 50th birthday party. Tonight, some of my friends from work honoured me with a meal, cake, card and best wishes.
Do I wish I was 18, or 25, or even 30? I wouldn't want to give up the experiences and the life lessons I have learned if it was possible to turn the clock back. I wouldn't want to return the confidence and wisdom I have gained with getting older.
At the Ontario Science Centre, we each sat in a time machine that took our photograph and then aged us 50 years. We received 5 pictures, one for each decade of aging. I have an image that is supposed to be my likeness when I am 102 years old! I won't be posting that here any time soon.
I am thankful for my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who influenced me as a child. It is my turn to be the mentor, carer, and encourager to the generations behind me. We will never be too old if we are willing to embrace change and keep on learning and sharing with enthusiasm and joy.


  1. Of course we are first in Sand Land to wish you all the best.
    From Nathan and Alex

  2. Beautiful Pictures. I loved going through your post. It was so touching. Have a great year ahead. Wishing you loads of luck and happiness.
    Peep into my blog for some unique birthday gift and party ideas.

  3. Ruth, you are an amazingly intelligent and articulate lady. Happy Birthday! I'm only a couple months hehind you.

  4. Happy, happy birthday Ruth! May this coming year be filled with love and joy.

  5. Happy birthday, Ruth.
    Yes, mothers do remember the details--thunderstorms and all.
    I echo your advice " We will never be too old if we are willing to embrace change".

  6. Happy happy birthday Ruth! Your writing touches my heart on many levels. It's funny that you mention embracing change. Even two years ago I dreaded change. Now nearing 50, I finally feel I have the confidence and maturity to accept and welcome change.

  7. Happy Birthday, Ruth!

  8. Happy Birthday! January is a great month for Birthdays. We just celebrated our daughters birthday on Sunday.
    I enjoy reading your Blog.

  9. Happy Birthday! :)

    I am visiting from Ginger's (Joyful Woman). I loved your birthday post!
    How blessed you were to brought up in a loving family. I especially love the picture of you with your cake...so sweet!)

    I happened to post pictures of myself as a child today, too! (And I have a January birthday, as well!)

    May God bless your year ahead! :)

  10. SLD- thanks for the email and comment. I posted this a little before midnight so you could read it when you got up your 8 hours ahead of us.

    Mary- Thanks. Some things improve with age, and I am sure you are one of them.

    Jayne- I will hold on to your good wishes.

    KGMom- I often think that mothers should be celebrated on their child's birthday. Why does change get harder as we get older?

    Lynne- Thank you. I hated turning 40, but now feel better physically and emotionally than I did at 42. Turning 50 was not a big deal and I know that age is only a number. Some people never gain the confidence and maturity that you have.

  11. Ginger- What a coincidence that your beautiful granddaughter's first birthday is today. Thanks for the good wishes.

    Kim- Thanks for visiting! Birthdays do brighten up the winter doldrums.

    Tammy- Happy belated birthday (24th I believe) Nice of you to drop by and leave your kind comments. I enjoyed your younger pictures and the post that went with them.

  12. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! I'll be making more tea soon (and for goodness sakes eat some more cake)!!!

  13. Anonymous6:20 pm GMT-5

    I really believe you should post the pictures that were taken of you at the Science Centre. I know I would love to see how you will look at 102. I doubt I will be around to see you in person at the time and believe I should have a preview. Ha, Ha. Hope your birthday was memorable. Love Shirley

  14. Happy birthday Ruth!

    When I was younger, I couldn't imagine being Oh-My-Gosh 34! But my 30's have been the best time of my life, so far.

    All the best!


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