01 November, 2011

Birthday greetings

I know it's unusual to see a second post on the same day but this one was prompted by the events of the day.
Read on:

In January, 1988, our oldest daughter, Naomi, died.  
She was 11. 
 We were heartbroken.

April of that same year saw us moving to Pennsylvania.
We found heart's ease and good friends.

We learned how to function as a family of four.
We experimented with small cars.  There were impromptu picnics.  The night of the fireflies.
And laughter.  Much laughter.

November of that first year rolled around and hoping to avoid some unwanted attention - thinking it was no big deal - I had opted not to add my name to the "Birthday Calendar" that hung in the entry of our church.  Big mistake.

Rob Smith was song leader that day.  Even in those few short months, Rob and his family were already our solid friends and I knew of his well-earned reputation for practical jokes.  It's tempting to call him "larger than life."  He was - and is - a brash, loud, outdoorsy, self-confident ham.  He's also a generous, helpful, multi-talented, kind man.  The grand kids call him Pap.
He is a friend.  And we share a birthday.
  He is a year older, and already much grayer, than me.

So that day he launches into a hilarious routine about twins  - his twin - separated at birth but still sharing personality traits, looks, sense of humor and so on, and on and on and everyone, everyone, knows there will be a punch line. So people are already chuckling and some are looking around to 
figure out who is about to be punched.

We are sitting in our customary back row and I am dying.  Dying. 

I know it only took a few minutes but from my vantage point it was an eternity before he wrapped it up with "Let's sing Happy Birthday to Ilona!" 

The whole place erupted!  
I don't know how he got through it with a straight face!

I had an email from him this morning - with birthday greetings, which I am happy to return.
Happy Birthday Pap.


Valerie said...

Happy Birthday! And apologies for the late wishes. Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

ilona said...

Thanks! I'll take belated wishes anytime - they simply extend the celebration...

How was your field trip?

On Second Street said...

Love it mom!