“It’s as if the whole world hijacked Sammy’s special day. And believe me, as his father? That really pisses me off.” --Peggy Sarjeant
So, here I sit on the eve of 9-11, as it has come to be called, and consider what one does when their birthday has been “hijacked”. What do you do when the date of your birth is associated with pain and mourning for the country…for the whole world even? When celebrating seems like heresy? When people hear your birth date and groan? When they say, “Oh, I could never forget that birthday” and then they do.
My friend & talented writer, Peggy, wrote a very poignant story a few years ago about Sammy—a 7 year old who doesn’t understand why he can’t have cupcakes at school on his birthday of September 11. It is a story to which I can totally relate, because if you haven’t figured it out…my birthday is 9-11 ☺.
I struggle a little with what to write here. The therapist in me has lots of deep analysis of what this all means. The magical thinking of a child and my own personal ego kick into play and say the Twin Towers crashed because of me. Yikes! Do other people’s minds go off in crazy directions like that? Add to this the fact that my father died in a truck accident the day after my 19th birthday and you have a whole lot of crashing going on around my special day. So, it’s no wonder I have some pretty strong feelings surrounding these days! (Fortunately I have amazing support & years of therapy under my belt or I could really be “off to the races” on this one! ☺)
There is so much “stuff” that surrounds our birthdays anyway. People seem to either love birthdays, hate them or pretend that they do neither. If you really think about it, however, doesn’t the kid in each of us really appreciate a little celebration? A little recognition? (And, in case, you are shaking your head and saying, “Nope. Not me.” The therapist in me would challenge you to ask yourself why you feel that way ☺. What kind of “stuff” surrounds your birthday?) So, why do I write this post? It is not for a pity party, because I don’t feel pitiful. Maybe it is just my own way to say, “Happy Birthday” to myself and to even agree with Sammy’s dad that yeah, even though the Twin Towers did not crash to punish me, it “really pisses me off” that they had to crash at all, much less on MY day!
9-11 is a day of notoriety and in my own sweet selfish Lucy way, I want it to be all about me. However, the more compassionate and thoughtful Me commiserates with our country and grieves the tragedy that this day remembers. (The Painted Painted Prayerbook had a thoughtful post earlier this week which you might enjoy.)
I am very blessed to have a wonderful group of supportive friends who have chosen to celebrate 9-11 a couple of ways. They have set the goal of each home and business displaying a flag tomorrow to represent unity. In addition, they have committed to light a birthday candle for yours truly. I hope you will consider doing the same. I plan to ☺.
p.s. I hope you will come back tomorrow and wish me a real "Happy Birthday"!