Today is my day (April 21). Celebrations are in order.
Birthdays are so special because they are so personal. I was born on the 21st of April many, many years ago. However, I was not the only person born on that day. Other people were also born on that day, but I don’t know them, they probably don’t know me either. We can search through the internet for some of the famous people that were born on the same day we were born, to form a kinship.
As I got older, I would also use this day as a day of reflection. Young folks have called me an “old head” or “OG” for some time now. Hopefully those terms are a show of respect for having reached a certain age. Whenever I hear the term, my response is always the same. “Everybody doesn’t make it”.
A lot of the people I grew up with, in “The Big D: Detroit” are no longer here. Some died, due to illness or accident. Some choose the fast life and died through violence or drugs.
I even lived through the Vietnam War, and was considered a Vietnam Era veteran, even though I went to Germany. A lot of folks never made it back home. I grieve for those who are no longer here. I remember them, but I celebrate life. Life is precious and not to be wasted.
As I think back on past birthdays, I remember certain birthdays more than others. We key in on the numbers and sometimes on the events that happened on that special day. I remember 13 because that number represents passage into being an “official teenager.”
I reflect back to 18, because that age represents official responsibility. Young folks say, “I’m grown now, I’m 18.” That is considered the start of young adulthood. The next milestone is 21. At 21 we look at that age as being a legal adult. Time to get “officially drunk”.
At 19, I was in the military service. And I became a man, a legal adult (age 21), on the African Continent. I was stationed at an US Air Force Base in Libya, and served under the base commander, then Colonel “Chippie James” who later became the first African American, Four Star General for the United States Air Force
As a baby boomer we looked at 30, as being part of the establishment or over the hill. When I got there, I was glad to be able to “look down the hill”. After that, I looked at each ten-year period as a milestone.
I remember the birth of each of my children. I was not in the waiting room; I was in the delivery room, helping to bring them into the world. I grew up in an environment of too many baby daddy’s and wanted to break that cycle. My oldest son, Edward was born in Philadelphia. My daughter, Nicole was born in a German hospital and my youngest son, Matthew was born in a military hospital at Ft. Bragg (home of the Airborne) in North Carolina.
When I got older and wiser, I discarded some old misconceptions. Men do cry in the dark. We just don’t do it as much as women, because we don’t want to appear weak. When you look at the world and tragedies involving the young and the innocent like Boston and New Town and the things we do to each other it should break any heart. Sadness and grief is a human condition.
I always called home for my birthday because I was away in the military. That was my way of saying Hi, I’m still here. If you happen to read this, do that (like, comment, and share). I’m blogging on the internet because I have had a unique life experience and I’m sharing because it helps my own personal development.
When I went to college “back in the day”, we used punch cards for the main frame computer. Now kids carry carry computers in their back pocket, in the form of a smart phone. And things are still changing, so I’m still learning. The bottom line is: “Thank God I’m still here” another year.
H.G.M. Is for Hackett Global Marketing.
Have Great Mindset, Had Great Mentors. Have God’s Mercy Because I’m still here
Happy birthday Earl 🙂 Have a great one, and great story by the way.
Great post Earl. Happy Birthday! I love the way you tell your stories. Being a Baby Boomer myself, I appreciate your post. Life is precious, people don’t always act like they think it is. Glad someone still does. Blessings!
Happy Birthday Earl!
Happy Birthday Earl! Thanks for sharing your special day with us!
Thanks for your well wishes and comments.
To Edward, Nicole, and Matthew this is what Dad has been doing! You called it “that blogging thing”. My birthday gift to me, and surprise to you, is putting your name in ink; on a blog and in a book. How is that for a little family history?