Happy Birthday to ME!

It’s my birthday today. I am 58 and I’m darn proud of it!

58 was a birthday I was looking forward to more than any other. For you long-term blog readers you know that my husband passed away from lung cancer when he was 57 1/2. With my own cancer diagnosis didn’t know if I would ever make it this far…but I’m here. I’m happy, and I am looking forward to another year.

Back in 1965, there was no camera in the delivery room or even at the hospital. The first pictures I know of that were taken of me was on this day. I’m assuming it was at my baptism because the photo is dated March 1966. My dad, who is holding me in the picture, was a farmer and I can count the times he ever wore a suit so this day must have been special. I recognize the lamp as being at my parent’s home so I can pretty confidently say it was taken at my baptism. My dad was 46 at the time.

I was the youngest in a family of five kids. I had three older brothers and one older sister.

The next two pictures were taken when I was almost one. You can see I’ve had chubby cheeks my whole life. HA!

I know many people dread birthdays. I did at one point in my life. I was “29” for about four years. I just didn’t want to be 30. So if anyone ever asked me how old I was, I would say I was 29 for the second time…that meant I was 30. I think I was 29 for the 4th time meaning I was 32 before I told anyone how old I really was. For some reason, I didn’t want to own my age.

Today I’m owning my age in a big way. I am proud to be 58. After living life a few more years past 29, I’ve come to know that people don’t always make it to 58 so birthdays are a good thing to celebrate.

For me, my next big birthday goal isn’t 60 like most people have. My birthday goal is 62. My mom was almost 62 when she passed away. I’d love to make it to 62.

One time I told my kids that my goal was to live to 62 so I could get passed the age my mom was when she died. I was half joking and half serious. When you have cancer, talking about death and even making light of it can happen. It has for me and my family.

My daughter Kelli was taken aback by my comment. She was flabbergasted that my goal was only to live to be 62. Then I made the comment that if I got to 62 I would be willing to consider a new goal. HA!! I’ll take whatever God gives me and be thankful if all along the way.

So I guess what I want to say to you all is…celebrate each birthday. We don’t know how many we will get. When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer right after my 50th birthday, seeing birthday number 58 suddenly wasn’t so certain. I sure am thankful I made it this far…and I’m hoping I just might make 62…not because of social security…not any of the typical reasons, only because it means I celebrated more birthdays than my mom did…and she died way too young.

I’m off to celebrate. I think (I actually know) a Bloody Mary will happen before I go to bed tonight. Cheers friends…and I wish you all many happy birthdays beyond 62…and even further. Whatever you do, celebrate those birthdays. We just don’t know how many we will get.

83 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to ME!”

  1. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Happy birthday, Jo!! May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Blessings!!!

    1. A blessed birthday to you my friend. Every day is a gift and you open them with such joy, it affects lots of us too. Enjoy that Bloody Mary, girl, you deserve it

  2. Many happy returns for today Jo. I completely get you I’ve had those kind of goals 49 the age my aunty who everyone said I looked like died of cancer, 64 the age my mum died of cancer, I got to 53 and got breast cancer I’m now 63 64 in May next year so that’s my goal at the moment.

  3. Happy Birthday Jo! Wishing you many more years. I can relate to your birthday goals. My dad died at 48 and my mom at 61, both much earlier than prior generations.

  4. A very happy birthday, Jo. I understand your goals. My dad died when he was 50 and my goal was live past that and I have. I’m 69. My next goal is live past 85 and that was when my mom died. Live each day to the fullest and enjoy your Bloody Mary!

  5. Happy BD Jo . I pray for peace , love and joy as well as success on your upcoming treatments . Will get a post put together with the community Quilty projects I’ve been working on . Loretta

  6. Susan from Michigan

    Happy birthday Jo! You have brought so much sunshine to the lives of others: family, friends and strangers! You have shared so much of yourself with us. Have a blessed day!

  7. Happy Birthday Jo! I too, had an aversion to turning 30. Just wanted to stay at 29.

    Praying that you will celebrate far beyond 62. ❤️❤️

  8. This world is a better place for having you in it for the last 58 years, praying you get many more. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  9. As per your usual, you’ve written a very relatable message. My dear, dear MIL died at just 54 from a rare, unpronounceable condition. When DH and I neared 54, it was very much on our minds that we were reaching her death age. Yes, be grateful for every year God grants us! May your day, and the whole year, be full of blessings for you!

  10. Celebrating YOU today from the end of my dirt road! You are a special lady – I recently stumbled upon a YouTuber named Amy Dement and she has a tagline that made me think of you: Remember, you make the world a special place just by being in it. May your day be filled with all the things that bring you joy!

  11. Patricia Ratchford

    Happy Birthday, Jo!!! Make it a good one!! I’m a Pancreatic Cancer Survivor! You’ve got this! I’m new to your blog so I missed the news about your treatments. Hang in there, girl! I will be 81 in January. My dad passed when he was 58, my mom passed when she was 76. So I’m so glad to still be here! Love you and look forward to watching you for many more years!

  12. Happy birthday Jo! And may there be many more! You make the world a better place for being in it! Thanks for all you do and for being such a special friend.

  13. Happy Birthday, Jo! 58 is a great age! You are so right that too many people don’t have the privilege of making it that far. My dad died at 54, my son at 43. I know both of them would have wanted to have more time, especially my son. His twins were only 6 years old at the time. I’d be happy to go back to being 58 instead of heading for 72. Didn’t have nearly the aches and pains at 58. Anyway, hope you are having a great day and that you get that Bloody Mary before the day is over.

  14. Happy Birthday! My family likes to call it our “ birthday month” and enjoy everyday of our month. Have a great birthday month.

  15. Happy birthday, Jo! I hope you had a beautiful day and enjoyed a Bloody Mary. You are so right, we do not know how many years we are allotted on this earth. We should celebrate each day because our next is not guaranteed. I pray that you will celebrate many more birthdays!

  16. Happy birthday Jo, and many more. I was amazed when I stopped to calculate that I’ve been following you for 10 years…where did that time go? Enjoy your Bloody Mary and birthday. Hugs.

  17. Happy 58th!! I sure do hope you make it to 62 and beyond!! Wishing you much happiness as you celebrate with your love ones!!

  18. Happy birthday Jo! Enjoy your special day and your bloody Mary! I’m looking forward to reading your blog for many more years. :)

  19. Happy Birthday To You
    I’m like you – I don’t mind Birthdays as some people never get to celebrate one. My brother died at 20. I’m happy you are doing well and that your family is by your side. I know the treatment won’t be fun but for “Just Today” that is what matters and is Your goal then tomorrow won’t seem so hard. God Bless and keep you and your family in perfect peace.
    Hugs june

  20. Blessings of the day to you, Jo! Thanks for the reminder that each day is a gift even in the midst of difficult times and each birthday is truly a reason to celebrate. Eat the frosting first, I say! Kris

  21. Happy Birthday Jo!! It’s wonderful to reach that 58 –prayers that 62 will be in the cards for you too. I’ve had a goal in mind too–that I wanted to be able to say I made it longer than my sister–she was 92!! I have 6 years to go. No, we never know how much time we have and just lost my oldest child -she was almost 64. So sudden that we are all left not feeling like it is real.
    So hope you are enjoying that Bloody Mary!!! Sounds good!!

  22. Happy birthday, Jo. I’m hoping you’ve enjoyed that bloody mary by now and have been getting a few stitches in.

  23. Happy Happy Birthday Jo! You have the best outlook on life and have given us that energy as a gift we all cherish. Kick up your heels today and enjoy yourself.

  24. Happy Birthday Jo!! I wish for you to see 73, that would make me 83 and I would love it! I always celebrate my birthday for the whole month of February. ❤️

  25. I’ve always looked forward to each ‘+10’ year mark. Women in bith sides of my family do late 90’s to 100’s. Men try to keep up. Your positivity is a huge strength for your continued health fights. You & God are the strongest fighters . Go Jo!!! Happy 58, every one after this will bring happiness, family, blessings, & God’s will. Best wishes & Prayers.

  26. Happy Birthday Jo, a brand new year in front of you. I admire your spirit and strength in the face of adversity. God has blessed you with a loving heart, a loving family and a huge bunch of blog readers who care. I hope you enjoyed your day.
    My youngest daughter is 53 today, she has many health challenges also, but she has your “will go forward” spirit. How can I complain about my aches and pains when you and others face such adverse issues and keep smiling. Thank you for sharing your joys and sorrows with us. May God grant you many more years.

  27. Cheers for your birthday and many more, I proud to be 71 years old as my son just made it to 21 and 14 months later our youngest daughter only made it to 19 and a half. Age is only a number. My husband of 53 years says he is only as old as the woman he feels. LOL.
    Blessings ELISSA

  28. Happy birthday Jo. I hope your day was full of smiles and that you did get that Bloody Mary. Wear your pretty new bracelet and enjoy your special day.

  29. Happy, happy, happy Birthday, Jo! You are so right that there are no guarantees for any of us. Each and every day is a blessing.

  30. Beryl in Owatonna

    Hope your day has been very special!! Happy Birthday and many, many more!! My 81st will be next Saturday, I have out lived both of my parents and grandparents but not 2 great grandmothers…the 85 I can probably meet, not su sure of the 96 year old one!! I am praying the Lord will come before that!!
    Again, Happy Birthday!!

  31. Happy 58 years around the sun! I wish you many more years ahead and I love the idea of embracing our birthdays, they are special. Your dad was a handsome man and the pictures of you are adorable.

  32. Happy Birthday Jo! You deserve all the wishes you receive today for being the wonderful person that you are. Many many happy returns!

  33. Happy birthday, Jo! I hope you meet that goal! My dad died at 62. I still have my mom. She’s 74, but we also have her mom who’s 97. I don’t want to live that long.

  34. Happy Birthday, Jo!
    I’ve been reading your blog for the last 4 years and hope it and you continue for the next 4 years. Cheers!

  35. Happy birthday, Jo. Celebrate all day long!
    I’m the oldest in my family (76) with all my siblings, aunt and uncles going before me. Since I turned 70, I’ve had the attitude that I celebrate my birthday all year long. Life is precious and every day is a gift. Enjoy!

  36. Shirley from Calmar

    Happy birthday. I pray this year is God’s plan to bring you through an easier treatment and bring you to be cancer free, making it your best year ever. I pray every year after will continue to get better.

  37. Wishing you the best birthday ever! Happy, Happy Birthday! My goal is 100, I’m 78 right now. John (hubby) is 86 will be 87 on Dec 21st. He shares his birthday with one of our grandson.
    Now the biggie for me! On December 19…we celebrate our 60th Anniversary…whew…hey that’s a long time…and only one man! lolo
    Never thought about it before…60 years! Now the goal is 65!
    Merry Christmas!

  38. A day late wishing you a Happy Birthday but celebrate for as long as you want to. At 82 the birthdays come pretty fast or else I just live in the fast lane. Best wishes for everything coming up in your life.

  39. Happy Birthday! I love the pictures of you as a little. We can really see you in your grandchildren’s faces. My mom died at 42 so my 43rd B’Day was a big deal for me, so I can relate to how you ‘re feeling. Blessings for this birthday and many more to come.

  40. Happy birthday, Jo! Love the pictures of you as a baby. Hope you have many more wonderful birthday celebrations! I get it, the birthday goals; whether one has a health condition or not, it’s something people bear in mind, the age their parents or other loved ones were when they passed. My dad’s milestone was to make it past 60, because that’s when his father died, and he lived to a healthy 85. My mother had a stroke at 62, so for me to hit 63 this year was a mental tick mark. Wish you all things good on your birthday and in the years to come!

  41. Happy Belated Birthday, Jo! I didn’t realize your husband was so young when he passed away. So young. I agree with your birthday philosophy. No particular age has bothered me so much as my next one in 10 days — 70!! I am extremely grateful to reach this age (especially as a 23 year cancer survivor) but I feel I am now officially OLD/elderly and my body is starting to agree! It’s surreal! Anyway – I hope you have (had) a great birthday and sincere wishes for many more!

  42. Busy week and I missed this post, but I can’t miss the chance to wish you a very happy belated birthday. God’s blessings always! You are a gift to us! I hope that bloody mary was warm and spicy, just like you!!

  43. Judith Fairchild

    Hope you had a the happiest of birthdays. I have made it to 78. My goal used to be 98. As mom made to 97. Now I just enjoy each day as it comes and am happy to see it. I had a bout with cancer about 14 years ago. Thankfully it was caught in stage one. So I know some of how you feel. Enjoy every bit of everyday as the gift it is. Praying for Jesus’ best for you and your family.

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