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