Saturday July 26 2014

Birthday privilege

By Min Atek

Today happens to be that day when I celebrate my birthday. Several years ago on a day such as this, at about 9pm I made my entrance. I will take the liberty of assuming it was a grand entrance seeing as my dear mother is not about to be dramatic about it and give me further details. I was a relatively big baby with lots of hair; that detail I got to know when I had my first child. Somehow, at that point my mother felt liberated enough to share those particular details about my own birth.

Celebrating a birthday is a somewhat new phenomena for me; I will assume that means I’m growing wiser but to see another birthday and another isn’t something to take for granted. One of my classmates, who also happens to be a year older than me drove the point home when she said that growing older is a privilege.

It’s a privilege not everyone gets to have and so those who have it ought to celebrate the achievement. And so, whereas I will not proclaim it on the roof tops about how much older or younger I have become, today, I celebrate this honour and privilege. I think of my elder brother who passed on when I was finishing Senior Six.

I think of my other brother from another mother who passed before his 34th birthday and that makes me grateful. I did not sign a pact with God that I should be living to date so am grateful for the chance to be alive and for a chance to make a mark and a contribution in this world.

My seven-year-old son repeatedly asked me how old I was and I told him I was 92 years old. The number shocked him and silenced him to this date. I’m not about to provide him with finer details just yet and unlike some musicians I will not underestimate my age. However, I will sing and give thanks. I will be thankful in my heart and I will continue to make an effort with all that is within me. I aim to fulfil the purpose for which I was created. It sure feels good to be here, so, warmest birthday wishes to me.