March 30 is my birthday! Yes, I’m a March baby, a true Piscean with the quintessential flopping fish tail not knowing which direction to go. As I woke up this morning, I felt tired and weary from lack of sleep from the last three days as the result of a visit from the hormonal monster called hot flash and the time change. I thanked God first for another day and another birthday. Then, as I dragged myself from the bed, I tried desperately to say I was just sleepy instead of saying I’m blue because of my birthday. I get exhausted trying to pinpoint how I’m feeling some days. I think I was expecting something special to happen since I’ve been in this “strange” season. It being a Wednesday, making plans was rather inconvenient. As I poured my coffee, I decided to do a mental checklist of my life.
- I’m doing well, check!
- The hip is doing well, check!
- Had an overall good doctor’s report, check!
- I did have to get a new cortisone shot in my right knee to dissolve another arthritic tumor, but I’m doing well, check!
- My weight is up, but I’ve begun to work on it, check!
- And, I got a new hairstyle, check!
Everything on the checklist helps preserve my hip and other joints. But, most of all, they preserve my confidence. Regardless, I still felt vacant and tired. I realized no matter how hard I have been working on being better and having a better attitude, I admit, my confidence was low and it sucked! I missed the balloons, cards, cupcakes and whatever joyful gifts I got from my office family and friends. I missed the phone call and late flowers from the ex-boyfriend that no one believed existed. I even missed the “getting old jokes” but most of all, I missed the interaction.
My thoughts were interrupted by a text and it simply said “Happy Birthday Mama” it was from my super daughter, Holly. I say super because she recues me like Wonder Woman on any day. She is a stable, devoted, dependable, determined, smart, beautiful young woman that gives me wisdom and encouragement every day. And this last year, she has been busy taking care of me and reminding me how transitions take time. She reminds me that I will return to the confident Janet that raised her.
We get teased for being so close and spending so much time together. People say I spoil her; and, people call her a baby. What people don’t understand is this fight of life we’ve been in since she was a year old when I got divorced. I raised her to be a bright, faithful, confident woman capable of achieving all her goals with dignity and character. Her child support amounts were small and few. My family always helped. I always had an extra job. She told me she could tell when I was trying to figure things out when her child support stopped without warning, and she never doubted we would be okay. She thanks me often for supporting her through cheerleading, donut sales, Beta Club, and every ballgame that we dragged home in the midnight. She thanks me for beating the payment for scholarships to Tennessee State when the disrespectful guidance counselor asked “Why on earth go to that school? You won’t get any money.” I told her to watch me! She remembers me cheering when she received that TSU scholarship and summer internship that night of her high school graduation. She still remembers my tears when she walked across that TSU stage not once but twice to receive her degrees. But, she glows the most when she talks about me receiving my degree from TSU.
I’m constantly learning from her, and the best lesson in an instant as my birthday got better with that text promising a lively rendition of Happy Birthday later on, was I’m so blessed and loved which never stops regardless of the birthdays. I realized that even though she’s grown and I’m getting more grown (smile), and the child support checks stopped years ago, I’m the recipient of the best gift ever, “my child support”.
[Janet E. Blakemore is a former full-figure model, former director of a modeling school, retiree from TN State Government, and an awesome, vibrant spirit of a person. In addition to writing, Janet is an entrepreneur who enjoys retail therapy, being a Tennessee State University alum, and time with her adult daughter and extended family. ]