I'm not sure if it's proper blogging etiquette to announce your own birthday. I can't recall what my practice had been prior to 2008, but I know on May 17th of that year I drew attention to it, and told the story that I share the birthdate with my sister Shannon. I made a post about us, flashing big birthday wishes for her, knowing she'd visit my blog from her hospital room. She turned 40 that year. It was her last birthday. We had forty birthdays together. And now I've had five without her. Five. When a loved one departs for heaven, you tend to mark the time by the hour, the day....then one week has gone by, then one month....you notice the date on the calender with every page you turn. The 10th. As time passes that number seems less significant. The day to honor is the day they were born. The day to celebrate is the one you were gifted by their presence on earth. And so today, the 17th, I have to call attention to my own birthday, because it was hers too.
Before 2008 my gardening experience was laughable. A few attempts of growing herbs or vegetables were pathetic. Sure, I potted flowers on the deck once...but then Graham took over and they fared much better. In July, five years ago, I planted a pink rose bush to honor Shannon. Then I planted a few more. I was chicken to cut off that first blooming rose, but learned that the more you cut, the more it grows. So now I have 21 rose bushes and that first one is 10 feet tall. I'm a rosarian. Who knew? I have an angel watching over my garden, I'm certain of it.
While I love discovering the first bloom each May, I also love looking deeper to see all the buds that are waiting to show off. So much life tucked in there. Maybe they will open up today, and wink at me, as a sign from her.
I've shown many pictures of the two of us together on this blog....here's one from the archives that you haven't seen yet. A glorious Spring afternoon, skiing in Aspen with my parents and our brother. I believe it was 1983 but I could be wrong. What I remember clearly was singing loudly on the chairlift together, and giggling. Look at the twinkling smile of hers, I bet she is thinking of that too. *blows kisses to the sky* Happy Birthday to US.