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Birthday Reflections

Today is my birthday!

Birdi Sinclair, grandparents

I often find on special days, like a holiday, or anniversary of whatever kind, a birthday, a celebration, I reflect on the people I love. The ones around me, the ones far, the ones passed away. Life, joy, choices are on my mind, too, and food. mmmm…

The picture I shared is of my grandmother and my grandfather on their wedding day. It is embedded onto metal as a backing to a mirror, a wedding favor. I keep it between the instrument cluster in my car. It makes me happy there. In the state I live in, we have to register, inspect, get our health checks like colonoscopies, mammograms, all that great stuff on your birthday time - terrifically uninspired for people like me who like to celebrate my birthday for, oh, days and days. My inspection guy remembers me from the picture on my dash. and we had a great talk about family connections.

I realized on my ride home that my grandmother, at this parallel time in her life, is the exact age of my daughter and niece. I thought about all the hope and expectation, all the wonder and ideas, the worry and unknowns, the life already lived. I’ve been thinking about myself at that age, my mother and my girls, now young women, in this same context, as I know each of us to be similar and different, and suddenly we are all at the table together. I feel closer to them each, closer to myself even.

Today, on my birthday, my yet-to-be grandmother in this photo, was about to become a grandmother for the first time when she became my age. Her birthday is only a few weeks after mine. Her only child, my mother, was 24 and 7 months pregnant with my someday brother. I was not yet a thought - I was waiting in the dugout. HAHAH!

Lots of anticipation was in the air. I have another photo of my grandmother and great-grandmother holding my newborn brother a couple months from today. Every child should be held with such love.

My grandmother always looked like she looked, was as she was. Her hair, clothing style, body shape, mannerisms, quickness of motion and thought, food choices, was all pretty even. She was timeless in my lifetime and even in the photos, letters, and stories from pre-me.

When I stop and think about who was doing what at the ages and stages of life I’m now at, it’s a beautiful way to extend the relationship, even if they are far away, or no longer with us. It brings me away from missing them and into another level of connecting with their lives and experiences in more dimensions. I sometimes consider the years and current events also, the what else of their lives and times, what they might’ve been privately concerned about or discussing in their gatherings. My family was great for current event hot topic discussions and penny a point card games over 3 courses of deserts. Lots of laughter, sharing of food, ideas, time.

The who, what, where, when, why, how of them is a great way to step away from stagnant emotions - the pre-occupation of an inner condition, and expand into a richer knowing of our people, living or passed - the expansion into connection beyond ourselves. Wonder, curiosity is a great companion.

I realized, too, that 15 years later she was gone from us. This thrust me back into my self and was briefly paralyzing. My anxiety that this could be my story broke my heart. My love for life, love for love, love for wonder is so alive. Hers was too. My reflection turned again to the stories we anchor in, and what “truths” we have, stagnant or fluid choices to subscribe to, adopt as our own.

Even in the small amount I’ve shared here, we can easily see there are many options, and there are waves of experiences that I can move through in just a few minutes. Ultimately, relationships are endless and our own to discover if we allow love to breathe and have wonder as part of the foundation.

Happy birthday and thank you my loves, that means YOU.

In kindness,



Begin now. Every now is new.

Rev. Dr. Birdi Sinclair

Grief,Communication, & Wholeness Specialist,

Artist, Author, Love Maverick

Ama la vita d’altro

אהבת לרעך כמוך

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