Today I reached another milestone in my life--I turned 39. For most people this is not a particularly big deal, but for those who have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy it is a significant event. Every birthday I look upon as a personal victory against my disease. Last year, with my health problems and two month hospital stay, there were times I thought I would never see this day. But, the love and support of my family and friends and self-determination kept me going and enabled me to cross my bridge over troubled waters.
I had a big birthday bash on Saturday, July 7. I have had a party almost every year for the last 9 years. There is nothing I like more than spending time with family and friends. So, I use my birthday as an excuse to get everybody together. To me that is the ideal way to celebrate my birthday. Gifts are no longer important to me; to me the gift is being with friends and family.
The party was held on the nice, big lawn at the house of my sister, Bibbi and her husband, Rick. It was decorated in a western motif. There were hay bales, wagon wheels, and cow skulls scattered around the yard. There were cowboy hats for those who didn't bring one. The caterers had quite a spread of western style foods. I couldn't eat any of it, but I am glad the guests enjoyed it. I had my non western tube feeding. They don't have barbeque tube feeding. It was great to see the adults mingling and the children romping around. Everybody seemed to be having a genuine good time. The phrase eat, drink, and be merry truly applied.
The highlight of the day was the performance of the magician who performed some amazing tricks.He started his act swallowing fire (ouch!) One trick involved making a bird dissappear, then he took out a lemon, peeled it and inside was an egg. When he cracked the egg open, the bird flew out. In another trick he had a milk carton and poured out all kinds of drinks such as milk, chocolate milk, root beer, apple juice. The children really loved that trick. When he was done he ripped apart the carton to show that it was a regular milk carton with no hidden compartments. The most amazing was the finale when he levitated his daughter with a single broomstick to hold her up. I could not figure out how he did it. I always enjoy a good magic show, especially when I can't figure out how the tricks were done.
After the magic show, my 8 year old niece, Dallas Rose got up on stage and sang a song. It was very touching; I don't think there was a dry eye there, including my own. Dallas also had the idea to have a lemonade stand with the procedes going to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She wants to give the money to MDA during the Labor Day telethon in San Diego. What a thoughtful little girl! After that my sister had activities for the kids such as sack races and egg toss. It was great seeing the children enjoying themselves.
I returned home from my party feeling elated and blessed to have such a wonderful family and group of friends. I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate my birthday. Next year will be an even bigger milestone when I reach 40. I plan on being there.