On The Gifts of Turning 60

178037-850x565-Stars-60th-Birthday-CakeAnd a Modest Request

In February I rounded the corner on another decade, and I’ll be celebrating my birthday with friends and family over the weekend. I welcome your good wishes, but no gifts, please, unless you’d like to donate to a couple of causes close to my heart (see bottom of post). In the meantime, I will be reveling in some of the gifts bestowed on me by the past six decades.

Personalized Sound Effects

That would be the squishy, crunchy noise my knees make when I go downstairs. Not up, just down. If I want sound effects going upstairs, I have to wear squeaky shoes.

A Suit of Armor

Well, actually it’s more of an impenetrable slab of human brisket that stretches from my ribs to my hips. Hit me with your best shot! I’m well padded.

Non-Stop Video Games

Some of the foggy-floaty things obstructing my vision can be surgically removed from the outside. Those inside my eyes hone my reflexes as I blink and shake my head in pursuit of a clearer view. I’m up to skill level 60 in this game.

A Hirsute Scavenger Hunt

Every month my tweezers and I go searching for the hair that has been sneaking away from my eyebrows to colonize my chin and upper lip.

Free Highlights

Blonde, gray, what’s the diff? They’re both shiny.

A Larger Space to Dwell In

My concept of marriage has expanded and become more flexible, allowing my husband and me to express our identities as individuals and as a couple without the confines of straining to meet unrealistic expectations. Whew! I sure do enjoy the breathing room.

A Ticket to Adventure

Success is no longer doing something well, but trying something new. Failure? Not on the table. If I give my best and learn in the process, I’ve still succeeded.

A New Language

The word “son” entered my vocabulary when my beautiful daughter married the love of her life, and “grandson” was added when they presented us with the miracle of a new life.

Heavenly Music

What stirs the soul more than “Nana!” bellowed in the sweet voice of a little boy?

A Life Preserver

In three letters, G-O-D, who has blessed me, sustained me, and brought me to this happy occasion. As long as the Source of Life gives me life, I plan on celebrating and growing from all it brings. Even in the darkest heartache, I know I am never alone. If I’ve not been abandoned in the last 60 years, why should I fear those that remain?

Cheers to all of us who greet each day, each year with optimism, gratitude, and humility. Frankly, we rock this thing called life. (Still humble, just sayin’.)

And now for the modest request…

These two causes have touched my life, and every penny goes directly to good works. If you feel like giving, please consider…


MJMJ’s Army fights ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The world lost a good man when ALS took my cousin Michael Jaillet, but his memory and courage live on. The fight goes on. Help MJ’s Army find a cure and donate to research that will bring this fatal and heartbreaking disease to an end.


Cats Haven is a no-kill shelter for abandoned or injured felines in the Indianapolis area. They receive love, medical attention, and, if health permits, placement into permanent homes. This handsome one-eyed fellow, my guardian and companion, came our way because omikef their dedication.


Or reach out to any worthy cause that speaks to your soul.

Thank you!


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