Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"On The Occasion of My 69th Birthday"

                                                                 
Take a poll among any hundred intellectual elites and they will tell you that sentimentality is a dishonest emotion, totally without merit.  Those elites hate any movie where there's a tear shed, when any emotion is honestly voiced...in book, in movie...or in the lyrics of a song.

I disagree.  Sentimentality is the art of seeing only what we want to see.  And I say "thank God for that".  Life is tough enough, humans fallible enough, that we simply must possess the art of forgiving our loved ones' faults if ever love is  possible.

So, every year my daughter sends me a wonderfully sentimental birthday card.  And she always takes the time to make that card meaningful to me...something that never fails to touch my heart.  So does that mean she does not harbor memories of my many failings?  Of course not...she is simply saying that I am loved, even admired, despite my failings.

My god, people, you all know I'm something of a "sentimental slut" myself, having written dozens...no, hundreds of blog essays...about every one of my loved ones.....none of them perfect...without fault and failings.

And, as I have grown older, I freely admit to chronic bouts of sentimentality.  In a world growing increasingly more savage, when folks are judged these days on the very latest "mal droit" they have mistakenly uttered, I believe we can all use a dose of sentimentality to maintain our sanity.

Though I tend to "mix it up" in my writings on this blog, I can tell you that I literally torment my Facebook friends, almost daily, with a post about feeling euphoric on a particular morning...just because the trees are leafing, or my Lantana is bursting into spectacular color.  Or I write about something cute my little dog did this week.  And, yes, time and again, I climb into my time machine and write about the wondrous experiences of my childhood.....a period when I was nurtured, tutored on the right way to behave, and loved unconditionally.  While much of what I write about is "water under the bridge", those waters are soothing beyond belief...and the bridge always there, over the troubled waters of my life.

I suppose my daughter could send me a tract on "Modern Philosophy".  And I'm just intellectual enough to be stimulated by it.  But, these days, I prefer a simple and sentimental message that says I mean something to her...assuring me that my life has had some measure of value.

In that little Hallmark missive my daughter sent, she borrowed (or bought) the words that might express to me, what I mean to her.  And in conveying those words to me, she is saying that I have served as the foundation for all the love that came later in her life.   I feel a little pride in that...the feeling accompanied by a slight trilling of the heart...and admittedly, a tear or two that drops from these old eyes....and I feel not an ounce of guilt for it.

So Happy Birthday to me...on the occasion of my 69th birthday.  And, of the 24,000 plus days since I crawled from the womb, it has been the sentimental expressions of love that have kept me living and loving.








9 comments:

Jeff H said...

Happy Birthday Sir!
I am 63 two weeks ago and have slowed down enough to appreciate the life around me. I have noticed I don't take things for granted like I used to do, nor do I get upset over every little thing. Growing older is an interesting journey once the petty competitions are past. I enjoy watching the younger ones making their way and I try so very hard not to preach to them. Enjoy April.

Craig Bailey said...

Happy Birthday!Have great day.

Frank Krzesowiak said...

Welcome to the age of 69(I turned on Feb 14th) Scribe. I have for many years spent my Birthday in Las Vegas, Not for any other reason than I bought a Timeshare there and my Birthday just happens to fall in that week. So no parties, no cards, no presents. Just the way I want it. Who wants to celebrate getting older? It should be a time of mourning. But that's just me. Happy Birthday, Scribe. Not sure how I hooked up with your Blog but glad I did.

Brian Kalifornia said...

Happy Birthday Scribe, hopefully you have a lot more.

Jerrylee said...

Nothing better than a 69er. Enjoy......

A Modest Scribler said...

Hey everybody! Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Hopefully there will be more birthdays to celebrate. Life's a crap shoot, huh?
Thanks again.

Jerry Carlin said...

So on the day when I worked so hard and had no energy left, You decided to have a Birthday!
Well, I am really sorry I missed it:( Happy Belated Birthday!

A Modest Scribler said...

Thanks, Jerry. Curb the work ethic just a tad. You're making me feel guilty with my sloth.

Jerry Carlin said...

ha, thanks, but that Puritan Work Ethic is so ingrained in me I am not "me" without it!