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The birthdays ending in zero have never given me much pause, and this one was no exception. I celebrated my 60th birthday a little over a month ago. I use the term celebrated with good reason. Months before my actual birthday I decided to honor my 60th year all year-long. I made plans to go to Italy later this year with my aunt as a birthday present to myself. “No party for me!!”, I warned my family. I didn’t want any fuss, just a new camera to take to Italy. They didn’t listen to me and threw a huge surprise party anyway. Oh, it was fun. A lot fun. Everyone should have a surprise party just once. They are so much better when you have no idea what’s happening.

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Boy, was I surprised!

There was a live band courtesy of my husband. He hired a couple of musician friends from way back to sing and play with him. Elise was in charge of everything else – invitations, food, drinks, and decorations. Katie got me out of the house on the pretext of taking me out for a mother-daughter outing for Mother’s Day. And when we got home after our afternoon out – SURPRISE!! And it truly was a surprise. Out of all the guests I was happiest to see Johanna there with her boyfriend TJ. It’s not often all three of my daughters are together. I am blessed to have a family that cares for me enough to plan this.

Katie, Elise, and Johanna

Katie, Elise, and Johanna

Not long ago I took one of those crazy quizzes on Facebook. You know the ones I mean – this one promised to guess how many years I had left to live. I’m superstitious about those kind of things. I don’t want to know the answer to that. Especially since I was diagnosed with cancer nearly 19 years ago. I feel like I’m on borrowed time anyway and I didn’t want to hear I’ll be dead tomorrow. Much to my astonishment my answer was I had 44 years left. Not bad, right? I shared my results and my comment was, “If I’m healthy, I’ll take ’em!”. Of course those quizzes are just make-believe. But who wouldn’t want to live to over one hundred years and be healthy.

Don’t know what made me think of him today, but I was thinking of the lead singer of one of my favorite boy bands of the early 1970’s. I had the biggest crush on him and even wrote fan letters to the band and have autographed pictures of them squirreled away. I found a recent You Tube video of him singing with his old band mate. Some things are better left alone. Wow. I almost didn’t recognize him. He looked like a retired desk jockey – and worst of all he had a comb-over! At least he didn’t have the “bar code” style made famous by Don Rickles. I forgot his appearance as he began to sing and concentrated on his vocals. He sounded pretty good on the first song. But I couldn’t get past the comb over. And the way he screwed his face up while singing that I thought was so cute forty years ago looked painful now.

Who am I to criticize?  The past forty years have taken their toll on me too. My middle has to go. I tried on a top today at Kohl’s. Not. Good. Looked better on the hanger.  I have my mother to thank for my good skin and minimal wrinkles. But I have myself to thank for the extra inches around my waist. I have to get up and move it. I’m starting soon. Tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. Soon, I swear. Especially if I want those extra 44 years. Oh well, at least I don’t have a comb over to worry about.

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