“45”

Today I reflect on my birthday. 

“45”

Aunt Susie’s custom cakes.

Uncle John asking me what he got me for my birthday.

Grandpa Gutjahr pulling me aside and giving me a $2 bill.

Annual picture with Grandparents and Godparents as I am DYING to play with my cousins.  The picture surely took away from that BIG GAME of whatever.  We weren’t much for hugs.  But I didn’t need them.  The smirks from Grandpa Fleischman.  The twinkle in my grandmas eyes, I knew it.  They loved me.  I felt like a king.  Still do.

Waiting for dad to get home so I could get my gifts, have my meal, and have my family sing happy birthday.  Life stood still.

My mom, angel food cake, my meal.  Making sure we were all home around each other.  She knows the importance of just “being together.”

Making Christa and Laura play Monopoly or Atari with me because it was my birthday.

Always around Catholic Schools week.  A special week at school just for me, all part of it.

Sledding down the big Hill by the river in Kewaskum and celebrating my birthday with my childhood friends, Butschlick, Laastch, Marx, Amerling, Staehler.

Blue Car.  16.

Yellow house.  7 roommates.  28 shots.  Didn’t throw up.  Wanted to.  Didn’t.  Went to Oneida.  Then did it all the next night.  True.  Like brothers to me.  All of them.

AJ, 2/10 birthday, taking out an ad in the Kewaskum Statesman inviting the community to our 1/2 barrel birthday party with Rhonda and Mike at Prime Time.  Epic.

Pam, my better half, always makes my birthday special.   A personalized card normally on the sink or pillow and a gift.  The gifts must be so hard for a guy that has everything he ever wanted.   Often on weekdays where nobody has time to do it.   She always takes the time.  Always makes it special.  The dinners and cake have improved greatly.  Especially once our daughter could bake.

Super Bowl.  Fishing.  Hawaii.  Adult friends.  Like brothers and sisters to me.  Tom, Sally.  Craig.  Angie.  My Bride.

The kids, having more fun on my birthday than I do.   Handmade cards.  Handmade presents.  The joy in their eyes as I arrive home and open them.   The homemade cakes made with pride.  The singing.  The candles.  Oh their will be pictures!

Kids asked me last night, dad how long you want to live?  I said if I could just get one more year I would be happy.  They laughed. I was lying.  I could die tonight.  I’m blessed.

Each year is better.  The memories add to each birthday.   Life.  Death.  Birthdays.  Blessed.  Thank you God.  Trust and Believe in You.

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