Monday, August 4, 2008
Happy Birthday Laura
On this, the first anniversary of my daughter's 29th birthday, I have decided to share with you the toast that I gave at a recent early celebration of that event that was given as a surprise party for her by her husband. While I don't normally use this blog for personal stuff (yeah, like hell), I feel that the opportunity to speak a little bit about the aging process for all of us. Besides the chance to embarrass this young woman in public is simply too good to pass up.
We friends and family have gathered together here on this solemn occasion to mourn the passing of Laura Demaria's youth. Having now reached her third decade, she must leave behind at last, the final trappings of her childhood.
Watching now as her daughter Maggie grows and blooms into the young woman that we know that she will become; Laura will now have little to look forward to except to suffer the pangs of jealousy for what might have been in her own life. Remembering the days of her own childhood and adolescence, she must now confront the well-deserved guilt of her misspent and wasted youth.
Time will mark her as each year passes, and as she sees the reflection of every gray hair and every wrinkle in her husband Jim's loving eyes. Even his kind attention however, will provide no solace for the failing health and diminished mental capacity which soon will become her constant companion. Plagued by an ever-growing number of aches and pains as she enters this new period of her life, she will have to face life being referred to as "Mrs Demaria" by her students and treated with the respect of a senior citizen, with only her AARP membership to look forward to.
So while she's still able to hear and understand us, we say "Here's to Laura!" as she celebrates the end of an era. Never again will she celebrate the passing of another year. Her lot instead, will be a future filled with anniversaries of a date and of times she will soon only barely remember.
Now I know that publishing this probably means that I won't get invited to the next birthday party, but having a parent who can string a couple or words together coherently is a dangerous thing for a child.
Happy Birthday Kiddo. I couldn't love you more, nor be any more proud of you than I am today.