Birthday reflections

By Caitlin Kelly

I’m writing this at a friend’s house in Connecticut — a 220 year-old home full of history and memories.

Doves coo outside.

It’s our first visit to a friend’s home in more than a year and a half, since we are all fully vaccinated and our hostess had Covid a few months ago.

I’ve been very lucky to celebrate this day in Venice (once) and Paris three times, the most recent in 2017.

Last night for dinner, my husband Jose made his amazing short ribs and we had a carrot cake and champagne.

It’s the second year of a birthday without my mother being alive, even though we were estranged. To my shock, I found out she had left me some money, so that was a huge gift in itself.

The day of my birthday, June 6, is also one marked by two major world events — D-Day and the death of Robert Kennedy. My American-born mother cried that morning.

It’s been, so far, a good year. We are healthy and solvent and have savings and good work.

We have friends.

For the next year, I just hope for more of the same, with health always the most essential element.

I have great memories of some childhood birthday parties and a funny photo of my 12th. with a cake filled with sparklers. My high school best friend threw me a surprise party for my 16th. That was lovely.

In June 2018, I was found to have DCIS, a very early stage breast cancer. So that was a tougher birthday.

This year, cards have arrived from friends near and far.

Now I’m at an age I think….hmmmm…how many more will I be granted?

My father turns 93 in five days, so I hope for his healthful longevity.

Mostly, this year, I’m just grateful to be here.

24 thoughts on “Birthday reflections

      1. We’ve been fully vaccinated since March, and the numbers are heading up and up, the coronavirus cases down and down, but don’t think the border will be open until late summer. Very frustrating, as I think that after total vaccine availability and once everyone has made their choice to be (or not be) fully vaccinated, the border should open to those who have gotten both jabs!

      2. Yikes. I had heard that some were attempting this earlier when vaccines were being allocated by age. (And trying to fake negative test results, too.) Has this become a big issue in US?

  1. sthrendyle

    Well said! I think writers survived the pandemic perhaps a bit better than others, due to our profession and its reliance on distance work with people who we wouldn’t recognize on the street. Still, we had an amazing dinner for six last night part indoors and out, everyone vaccinated, and made some wonderful travel plans for the summer. We’ll be happy to see the border re-open.

  2. happy birthday and i’m grateful on your behalf for things coming together for you, bringing peace and less stress, with a return to the things and people you most enjoy

  3. Happy Birthday! I love your gratitude and not taking each day for granted. Good friends are hard to find and keep. I wish you continued good health, be surrounded by good friends and live in a nice, happy home.

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