Today is my big brother Tommy’s birthday. He would’ve turned 67.
Tommy slipped away from our family under much protest and tears 5 short years ago.
August was always a favorite month of mine because my big bro’s birthday was 10 days before mine. We always had a lot of fun with that as kids, young adults and even entering our now gray senior years.
I remember Tommy’s 60th birthday, he got a lot of teasing complete with black balloons. I believe he wore his ‘I’m 60’ t-shirt with pride…it opened a door for him to tell old people jokes. My big bro was one of the funniest people I knew…always a smile, making jokes, weaving a story so stretched you couldn’t see the truth if it kissed you on the lips!
I moved to Stuart Fl in 1979 with Tommy to help pull myself together, trying to get off drugs. My first hubby Joel, my soul mate, joined us 6 months later. I have to admit, it was one of the happiest, most fun filled, full of laughter times in my life! I miss Tommy, I miss Joel, I miss my youth and all the hopes and dreams that I had in those years while living in FL. Tommy got me through some rough times.
So in 10 short days, I will say goodbye to my 50s and enter a new phase in my already way to short life. I will adjust my life to embrace slowing down more, tending to new aches and pains, ignoring the lines around my eyes, the thinning skin, not get annoyed that I can’t haul 50lb bales of hay anymore (oh darn, now Super Farmer has to do it all!), not to get discouraged that it takes more time to get up from the ground when I take pics, and convincing myself that it’s okay to forget where I placed my car keys…again. I don’t want to be 60…it just sounds old.
The one thing that will surely bring a tear to my eyes on my big SIX O…is knowing that my Boom Boom (Tommy’s nickname) won’t be calling me up so he can tease me by saying, “come on up, old age is fun!” I’m positive he would have flown home to help me celebrate entering into my ‘latter years’ with lots of laughter, a trip down memory lane of our non stop laugh-a-thon until you cried, life in the mobile home park known as Natalie Estates in Stuart FL with Joelie Cakes (my pet name), and of course our favorite must-play-every-time-we’re-together card game ‘Peanuts!’
I miss my bro and I’m going to miss my 50s…the decade where Chad and I started Addie Acres…becoming a llama mama, watching Chad learn how to be a farmer along with lots of advice from me who never knew where eggs came from, becoming a grandma for the first time…learning what love looks like through a child all over again. I started writing more and figured out what a camera was for. God opened up my life in an adventurous way in my 50s…its like I became alive for the first time…a farm, llamas, small children again, roosters that never shut up, beauty in small things like a frog’s eyes just above the water, a goose feather dotted in water droplets, newly hatched cygnets following their parents in the sunset, God’s beauty in the sky as the sun kisses the horizon bringing out the stars.
I was able to free myself from past pain… finally laying it to rest because, in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter.
I discovered His beauty in a fresh way through the lens of a little red camera, and learned to laugh more (mostly at Chad)…not taking myself so seriously. I also experienced God’s love and faithfulness the last 10 years in a way I didn’t know existed as we walked through some difficult times here on the farm. I would like to say that I’m more relaxed, and I don’t sweat the small stuff. I choose not to battle, not engage in drama, and I’m learning to put everything in God’s faithful hands even though He has to pry my fingers off it once in awhile. I’m sure this next decade will bring new challenges, a different way of doing everyday tasks as arthritis settles in more, a new perspective looking in the future that brings me closer to going home as I say goodbye to people I love as we grow older. I guess in a way I’m looking forward to slowing down with the man who has my heart, who holds my hand in the Jeep just because. So in ten short days, my life enters a new decade…one that I pray is filled with more of Jesus, laughter, good health, all my marbles, more cuddling grandchildren, and maybe a new baby goat!