Today is December, 18, 2016, and it’s Happy Birthday to me!

62 years ago this evening I came into this world on a very cold night in Denver, Colorado. My mother remembers it as if it were yesterday, and she loves to tell the story that she had just seen the doctor and he was getting his coat on to leave the hospital when they called him back upstairs to deliver the baby. Of course I tell a different story, because I suggest they put her under (which they used to do in those days) and when she woke up 3 days later she had a baby!

Needless to say, in all these years I’ve had quite a life.  My childhood world revolved around school in Denver, following the footsteps of my parents and older brothers, religion, friends, family and the most wonderful collies. We had an incredible circle of protection, a large extended family, and learned a work ethic that I carry on to this day.

My dad served in the United States Navy in WWII and used his GIBill to study accounting. He and my mom ran a small CPA firm that eventually grew into one of the most well-respected firms in the city and carries on his name to this day. After he retired, he continued to work For Free for the District Court of Denver and he and my mom still live in their own apartment, on the 9th floor, in Cherry Creek. They will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary a month from now.

I was blessed to have 2 older brothers. Well, when I was young I certainly didn’t consider it much of a blessing! They were always picking on me, from the day my parents brought me home and they named me “Sister Baby” to the day my brother Gary passed away in January. But I was always their “Monkey” “Lil Sis” and “Tiner” (a name Gary gave me in honor of President Kennedy’s Bostonian Accent).  My brother Sheldon is now a retired attorney who is playing golf for a living (we’ll see how long that lasts!). He and his wife Lucy have raised a son in his own image: strong, powerful, philanthropic.

I have a beautiful daughter and a 4-year old granddaughter whom I hope to see today. Sharing this day with them will make it even more special. I have invited a few of my closest friends and family to brunch in a couple of hours, and it should be fun to get together and schmooze and talk about this year and dreams for the next.  Those of you who were not included in this invitation, please know that I anticipated you might be at church this morning and therefore unavailable to celebrate with me, but please know that I’m thinking about you as I write this.

It’s been quite a year for me. We lost my brother Gary in January and I’m still reeling. My 88 year old mother had knee replacement surgery this summer (they told her it’s a “young person’s surgery”) and she’s recovered so well they have released her from PT. The flower shop is thriving (thank you, Pamela) and the gift basket business is having a great holiday season.  We spent a few months enjoying the fiasco of a presidential election that will difficult to forget. I rescued a new puppy who has destroyed the carpeting in my living room (I will be replacing the flooring soon). I have been volunteering my singing voice in the choirs at Temple Beth El in Sun City and  the North Phoenix Baptist Church. I am crocheting plastic blankets for homeless Vets and trying to keep the businesses current on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest while Pamela keeps me apprised of current events that she reads all over the Internet.

My mother always says Next Year will be a better one. I hope and pray she’s right for all of us. May this season bring you light. May you be blessed with health and happiness. May my birthday be the beginning of a new year filled with joy, blessings and peace.

Happy Birthday to me!