I wouldn't be so quick to tout yet another birthday, but this year is different for a variety of reasons. When I picked up the mail yesterday, there was a large envelope filled with a few things; some were not a surprise to me, but there was one thing in this little package that brought me to tears. My Mom's cousin Ellen has been clearing out her home in PA getting ready for a big move. Her husband Joe passed away a few months ago and she is moving closer to her children. I can only imagine the memories that have flooded her world in the past few weeks. She called me last week to let me know that she had found some things of my Mom's - a Weight Watchers Diet Guide from the early 60's. Nothing fancy, but it had notes written in the margins in my Mom's beautiful handwriting. But the other thing in this envelope is what rocked my world on the day before my birthday - it was MY birth announcement that my parents sent out to herald the birth of their firstborn daughter. You see, both my parents passed away in the past year and as my brothers and I went through Mom and Dad's belongings we never found baby books for any of us. I kind of knew there wouldn't be - Mom had given me treasures of my childhood in bits and pieces. Things like report cards, immunization records, special notes and art projects that I had done as a child. Things I have always treasured. But this little card as shown above is the thing that I will treasure forever now. I never knew it even existed. Wow! So as I celebrate my birthday today with my family and friends, I relish the 48 birthdays that I had with my folks, mourn the fact that they are not here today to share this special day with me, and honor and thank them for the most wonderful years we did have together. Happy Birthday to you Mom and Dad for bringing me into this most amazing life!!!