What are the Odds?
Fate and some Odd Magical Power Beyond any understanding must have had a plan…a plan to make this day the most life-impacting day of the year…just for ME. I do think it is the plan they had for me….
What are the odds that the three most influential, important, and significant men in my life might somehow converge, intertwine, and mark each 29th day of July indelibly into my memory and on my heart … etched there until I breathe my last breath? This is the story of the common bond we share and why today means so much to me.
This day, the 29th day, of the seventh month, never meant a thing to me, that is, until…
I fell in love with a man who claims this very day as the anniversary of his birth. My Sweetheart was born this day, in 1942. Up until we met and became a couple I had no reason to give this day any special thought or importance. For many, many years now, it is the day I send an extra special prayer of gratitude and appreciation heavenward for the gift in my life that I have been so blessed to have and to love each day. He has been here for so many happy times and also beside me through the harshest, most painful days of my life. His love means everything to me. He makes me feel safe and cared for… loved.
Because of him, this day would become one of celebration, happiness, joy, and good things.
So Today, I wish for him, a special and love-filled birthday wish…
Happiest 72nd Birthday, my Sweetheart! May you always be happy, healthy, and filled with the joy of living your life to the fullest — today, and every single day to come, for many, many more years to follow. Thank you for showing me what love is supposed to be. Thank you for loving me and accepting me as I am, flaws and quirks aside. You have been the axis of my universe, my strength, my friend. I cannot imagine my life without you in it…I love you and adore you. I am so proud of you, too. I am truly blessed to share a life together with you, my love.
Years later, the 29th day of the month of July would take on added importance, in a different way, as it would mark this day as one of personal loss…in 2004, when another very special man in my life, “Mr. H” passed away and out of my life.
“Mr. H.” is the real-life person under the blog’s “Mr. Becker or Mr. B” who regularly appears in my “Episode” posts.
His part in my life was rather brief in terms of years, yet of infinite value for the role he played, to make my life special and meaningful in helping me to reach a lofty goal; one I wanted so badly to obtain at that point in my life …because he simply believed in me, as a person. Without “Mr. H.” I could never have become a funeral professional, universally trained, schooled, licensed, and experienced in the personal service of comforting the bereaved, skilled in the art and science of embalming and caring for the deceased, the physical restoration of the severely traumatized deceased, educated in the practices and procedures of funeral home, cemetery, and crematory operations…it sure wasn’t an easy line of work…he wasn’t always the easiest man to work for…but he was the one who gave me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see if I could hack it and go the distance…and…I did. I am forever indebted to this fine man for giving me a chance when no other was willing to give it to me. I resolved that, no matter how hard it might become, I was going to stay the course, never giving up. I owed this man to see this through to completion. I had to show myself I could do it, too. It was what I wanted, more than anything. It was quite a wonderful feeling when I realized I’d made it.
When I finished mortuary college, Mr. H. was there at my graduation. He showed his pride much as any father might. My own father and mother were unable to attend, because my father was fighting for his very life after a devastating accident…so it meant a lot to me that Mr. H. was there for me; he was very much like my father in his ways, beliefs, and personality. Like my dad, Mr. H. was at times hard-to-please, gruff at times, and demanding as a teacher. They both wanted me to set my bar higher, work myself a bit harder, and go a little further than I had to — it seemed they both knew I could achieve a level of excellence— that which I myself was unsure I could even reach. Neither one would ever accept less than they knew I could capably deliver. Because of that tough love, I am a better overall person and human being, I am certain. His years of tireless service to his community finally took their toll on him, and his heart gave out…He once explained to me that old funeral directors don’t ‘retire’… they work until they die. His words rang true as he dedicated his life to his purposeful work until the very end.
So, where ever you may be, Mr. H., please know I couldn’t have gotten there without your tremendous support and willingness to take a chance on me. Thank you so much for everything. I’ll never forget you…never.
But, what are the odds…that an even more incredible event, one which would be life-altering, would occur on the 29th day of July, several years later?
I do not know of how or why it came to happen, that the day should earn a foremost place of importance in my memory — it was this day in 2010, when my beloved and much cherished dear Daddy died, going at long last, to his eternal rest and peace… I miss him so very much.
“I love you, Daddy. You live here inside my heart and in my precious memories every day. ”
I would be that much less of a person, without each one’s meaningful gifts, influence, and love in my life.
When I feel on the brink of tears, I will smile instead, and remind myself: This is going to be a special day; One worthy of celebrating, for so many reasons, on so many levels, in several different ways.
©2014, C.S. Thompson.