May was a big month for birthdays in our family.
My brother’s birthday is May 2, he turned 53. Happy Birthday, Dave. You’re still my little brother no matter how grown up you get.
My mother’s birthday is May 7, she turned 81. Happy Birthday, Mom. I hope I get your genes.
My Dad’s birthday was May 10, he would have been 84. Miss you Dad, in my mind you’ve been getting younger every year that passes since your death.
Our youngest daughter, Meghan’s birthday is May 16, she turned 23. Wow, Meg you’re making me feel old. Happy Birthday anyway. You’ll always be my baby.
My husband’s birthday is May 29, he turns 65. Happy Birthday sweetheart, you can start looking seven years older than me any time now.
My birthday isn’t until September, but all these events have me thinking about the passage of time. It moves so slowly when you’re young. I couldn’t wait to be a teenager and then 16, so I could get my driver’s license and 18, so I could vote and 21, so I could drink. And then suddenly the years started flying by in a bit of a blur. … 30, 40 and 50 seemed to just happen while I was having babies and working at my career. There were times when I was hard pressed to tell you exactly how old I was, because it really didn’t make a big difference.
And now, I’d love to slow things down. No matter how healthy I am or how well I eat, I am closer to the end of my life now than I am to the beginning. I’m starting to re-evaluate how I spend my time, every hour means more to me and I want to make sure I spend it well. I don’t regret the time that has gone before, but I know now that I took it for granted. It seemed like I had all the time in the world. Now I know I didn’t. But, rather than avoid thinking about how many candles will be on the cake this year, I am going to give thanks for every one of them because time is a gift. One I am trying to spend a bit more wisely these days. It’s a good thing to remember every time you wish someone a Happy Birthday.
Jo-Ann Roberts is an award-winning, veteran journalist who is host of CBC Radio’s All Points West, 3-6 pm weekday afternoons, 90.5 fm.