There are dates of significant historical events that, I suppose, will never be expunged from my mind:
October 31, 1517:
December 7, 1941:
November 22, 1963:
I’m leaving the “events” blank, in hopes that An Alert Reader will fill in those blanks!
There is one date, however, that is mine alone to remember. It is significant and burned into my memory. However, rest assured: I do not expect any greeting cards, phone calls, or gifts.
The date is June 2, 2009 and I just celebrated the Three-Year Milestone, past my original Breast Cancer Diagnosis.
The Third Year is significant because my oncologist, Dr. Robert Carroll, told me, after my mastectomy, that my Breast Cancer was very aggressive. Without chemotherapy, he said, I had a 41% risk of having a recurrence, within two years of the diagnosis. Within the ensuing two years after a possible recurrence, I would be . . . . well . . . “gone.” [Even oncologists, it appears, revert to euphemisms.]
I dislike sounding sentimental. Yet, in all honesty, what a gift are these “extra” years of life!
I do not mind telling you that I will celebrate another significant milestone this year: I will soon achieve 60 years of age.
I do not expect any greeting cards, phone calls, or gifts for this milestone, either.
However, please have the goodness to be happy for me! I consider my next birthday to be neither tragic nor humorous. The gift of 60 years of life on this earth, to enjoy my family and friends: What a rich blessing!
You may complain about your age, your silver hair, and your wrinkles. But you probably should not complain around me.
It is all a matter of perspective. And, from where I sit, the prospect of aging is a very bright one, indeed.