She is awakened on her 75th birthday morning with sounds from a jangling phone on the nightstand next to her bed. As soon as the receiver is lifted, there is a family singing Happy Birthday. The singing is so in sync that she can distinctly pick out the owner of each singular voice as it takes its place in choir. As the phone is replaced on the charging stand, she opens the blinds and sees that the exact cloud covered day she ordered has been delivered. The patio furniture pieces have been beautifully restored. The restaurant where dinner was to be enjoyed is closed for emergency repairs. She loves Taco Bell, so there is no problem.

Lots of lovely birthday calls ensue, cards abound, and Facebook messages pour in, plus emails galore. Many little slow downs in the past several years, but she will not give in to them. They are part and parcel of what this staying alive issue denotes. She is happy about surviving thus far.

During a much-enjoyed stint lying down, her mind wandered. She wondered if she had many dreams. No dreams came through that she could remember. None recently. Good she thought. No one can analyze me through my dreams, who would want to anyway? Good happy life, and no needs or wants, well, maybe one. An award. She does not want an award for doing her life; living is done with no awards. Rewards by the multitudes, awards, none. She thinks she wants an award for 53 years of marriage and whatever that has required. She thinks, certainly she deserves one.

So now we get to it, she wants an award for service. She thinks about a diamond-encrusted tiara, even a full-blown crown she would not refuse. Being ridiculous, not really. You give thirty years of service to your company and get a gold watch; soon she would be owed one for each arm. Maybe they don’t give gold watches anymore, so maybe they give bonuses. She has

never received a bonus. They give a trophy for great accomplishments. They give many things denoting distinguished achievement. She realizes that the job is not over and hopefully will go on and on and on. But, in the meantime, perhaps she can wear a merit badge or a badge of courage; it takes a great amount of courage to serve. They distribute award ribbons, 1st 2nd, 3rd place ribbons. Oh never mind, she muses to herself, who wants 2nd or 3rd. Is is possible to just collect brownie points whatever they may be? You might have, and she has, many cups with business and organizational names printed on them She has a Happy Birthday, Happy Mother’s day cup, too. She thought she would hate a coffee cup stating years of service up to the present, but would accept it with a grin of pleasure that someone has noticed. She reminds herself that there are many ways to represent service, but in the morning, she thinks she will go out and purchase something lovely for the home they share, the home that represents all of the service!


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joyce Rettela
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 11:30:47

    Sheila, Is this you musing about yourself? Just when is your birthday? Your 75th has to be somewhere around now, because we were all in the same grade many, many years ago.


  2. Sheila Clapkin
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 11:37:37

    Yes, Joyce we were all in the same grade, many, many years ago. I have a photo of you, Kathy and Janice. I will scan and send immediately.


  3. Sheila Clapkin
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 11:39:03

    I forgot to include my birthday is Sept 19th! I have many nines in my birthdate which is lucky.


  4. Nuala Ryan
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 16:00:03

    May you enjoy many more years luxuriating in your home, dear Sheila. Nuala.


  5. Dina
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 16:59:18

    I think the best awards are not tangible. For instance, respect, admiration, adoration, and mentorship. I bestow these all upon you!


  6. Carly Marshall
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 19:39:15

    Yes I agree with Dina. You may not have your trophies in material but in respect and love!


  7. marci
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 20:34:43

    All your children and grand children stand as a trophy.
    “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
    ― Winston Churchill


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Oct 17, 2014 @ 09:25:15

      You hit the nail on the head. Got my awards and rewards. Our family is magnificent. Everyone is beautiful, kind, introspective, helpful, generous and loving. And much much more.


  8. April
    Oct 19, 2014 @ 11:22:27

    grandma you are such an amazing person and no matter what you deserve every wonderful award in the world!


  9. Sheila Clapkin
    Oct 20, 2014 @ 13:27:37

    Oh how lovely of you to send this comment. I certainly am lucky and truly believe I deserve you as a precious special person in my life. Thank you so much.


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