Loopie's Birthday: The Only Holiday in August
It’s a hot day in late August. The sun is bright and there is no breeze. Edna decides to have one more cigarette. It’s been an exhausting day. She’s never been the “patient” type—not the kind to be admitted to the hospital nor the kind willing to endure the unknown. She’s always had to know everything about everything. She feels her water break, so she pulls herself up out of her chair and says, “it’s time”. The curiosity to see what she and Eddie accidentally created nine months ago (there was no technology to detect gender back then) has motivated her to move. She leaves her other two kids, Bill 12, and Linda, 13 at home while she goes to give birth to their half brother or sister.
Typically, the birth of a new baby is exciting. Not this time. Each person in that family was wary. Edna couldn’t wait to get this “thing” out of her. Eddie was excited, but anxious. His first child (a girl), died at birth, and he feared the same might happen today. For Bill, he was the boy, and shouldn’t that be enough? Linda felt like she never got enough attention as it was, so a new baby meant that she would receive even less. August 24th wasn’t looking like a good day for any of them.
Me? Well, I didn’t care what the vibe was that day. Despite the lack of excitement leading up to 8:01 pm that hot Wednesday evening, I made my way into the world and have been making a noise ever since!
I have always loved my birthday. Edna and Eddie made me feel like I was the only thing that mattered on that day. I always got a lot of presents (even though we probably couldn’t afford them) and I have had many parties. Probably my most memorable was my 16th. Not because I had some soiree with the entire school invited. Nope. I was kidnapped.
I remember it so clearly. I was taking a nap. (Wait. During the middle of a beautiful day? In the summer? A 16 year old? C’mon! Who on earth does that?! A teenager, I guess.) I was curled up on my bed, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, with a light blanket on top of me, when...BAM! They blasted through my bedroom door yelling, “Happy birthday!” It was my girlfriends. They picked me up, carried me to their car, and away we went. Of course, they were all dressed up with perfect hair and make-up, and there I was, looking like the living dead. Still, decades later, I remember the surprise and gratitude I felt when I realized that my friends truly cared about me.
Today, as an adult, my birthday has become something very different. Plain and simple, it’s truly just about August 24th being my day. On my calendar, it’s the ONLY holiday in August. I wake up with a smile. As the morning moves on, I begin to realize that I get the entire day to feel this electric charge running through me. I don’t need presents. I don’t need flowers. I don’t need cards. I don’t need anything. I just need to open my eyes. No one will ever be able to take that away from me.
Please celebrate with me today. Just a smile will do. If I can put a smile on your face for the only holiday in August, I will know, I was never an accident.
I love that you were with me on my birthday. See you next time!
Lisa A.K.A. Loopie