Celebrating a big, wonderful life with a big number

Published 10:38 am Monday, August 21, 2017

So it finally happened.

After a year of dreading it, I turned 50 last week.

Last year on my birthday, I swore to myself with conviction I wasn’t going to let it bother me. Oxford had just lost six people in a tragic plane crash who left behind 11 children and I told myself I was selfish for being anything less than grateful for being blessed with being allowed to make it to 50 years.

I tried. I really did. Anytime negative thoughts about getting old tried to pop into my head, I quickly tried to shoo them away.

I won’t deny it — it was a struggle.

As the day drew closer I became more rebellious and would tell myself, “It’s my party and I can cry if I want to!” If I wanted to be depressed and unhappy about being turning 50, well then, by darn ,I had that right!

So for about three days before my birthday, those feelings won out and I wallowed in self-pity, watching the days goes by on the calendar and the day before the 15th, the hours go by on the clock.

I woke up on Tuesday. It was my birthday.

The world didn’t end. I was still me. I was the same person I was the day before.

Nonetheless, I moped around. I had a busy day at work which kept my mind busy at least.

I tried to smile pleasantly to those who wished me a happy birthday.

Around dinner time, I came home to a full house. My three children and five grandchildren were there with cake, presents and a steak dinner on the table.

“How old are you Gramma?” the three older grandkids asked simultaneously.

“Fifty,” I said.

“Wow! That’s old!” they said.

Sigh.

Then the oldest one said something that turned the whole day around.

“Good job, Gramma!”

She was impressed that I was such a “big number.”

As children often do, with just a few words they made it all better and for the first time that day, I was grateful for being 50 and having such an amazing family and all the blessings that have come with it.

The gray hairs will continue to multiply and the wrinkles will get deeper and through it all, they will all be there with me, loving me and cheering me on to make that number as big as I can.

Alyssa Schnugg is Senior Writer at the Oxford Eagle. Email her at alyssa.schnugg@oxfordeagle.com.