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Bill Ellis: Observing a birthday every year of life

Jan. 27, 2013 @ 09:30 PM

Every birthday we celebrate the fact that we were born into life somewhere and at some time. A mother and a father made our birth possible. We are indebted to them and God for our very existence.

Have you known children whose birthdays were celebrated by lots of fanfare each year? In some families a birthday is a big event -- parties, trips, clothes and cars -- they can become extravagant. Not so in all my years.

We remember and celebrate birthdays of famous and significant people like Jesus Christ and others like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Newspapers and magazines often list birthday dates of celebrities.

Every year of my life, I have celebrated a birth date or a birthday That is also true for you and everybody you know. Oliver Wendell Holmes, one of the great minds of America and wise in his ways, said, "A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called old for the first time."

I might be tempted to differ with Jonathan Swift of Ireland, who nearly 250 years ago is reported to have said, "No wise man ever wished to be younger." It is easy to remember what we often call, "The good old days" when we were younger.

Today, Jan. 25, I will observe another birthday. If my mind and body continue to function as well as they do now, I would welcome many more if Kitty continues to get younger and prettier. My birthday has always come one month after Christmas.

The first birthday party I ever attended was for Benny Larabee. He and I were in the same grade. Eva Joyce Bailey was 9 and I was 10. Some adult devised a game that meant a boy and a girl had to be seated close to each other.

The object was to kiss the girl without having a flashlight beam shine on you. I quickly kissed the prettiest girl in the community -- the first time I ever did such a thing. Kitty and I saw Eva Joyce on Sept. 27, 2012, and I did it again. She was still beautiful and was married many years to my preacher-friend Calvin Martin.

On Dec. 5, Kitty and I attended her funeral. I saw her brother, Tom, and sisters, Bobbie and Gloria. I had not seen them since I was 12 years old.

Pauline Joyce Porter and I have birthdays the same day and so does Dr. Bryan Chapman, whom I see at church every Sunday. My closest Putnam County friend was Bill Chapman, who celebrated his birthday on Dec. 26. My Mother's birthday was Jan. 23, so we could celebrate three days -- Jan. 23, 24 and 25.

May we all have many good birthdays in years to come. Kitty and I would be honored to help you celebrate yours.

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist who can be reached at P.O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; phone 304-757-6089.