I have had a few of my friends say, “I don’t have any more birthdays,” “I stopped celebrating my birthday,” “I’m too old to have a birthday party,” etc., etc. To me, comments like those are a selfish way to look at birthdays. One should be grateful God has given them another year to celebrate the date of their birth.

To me, birthdays mean another year of a blessed life, good and yes, bad memories of the past year and looking forward to the future. It’s not the matter of how many birthdays you have had, but it is the matter of how many WILL you have. People are constantly asking me how old I am.

When I tell my age, they ask, “What do you contribute to your looking so well?” (Ha.) When I’m asked that question, I say: 1. I laugh a lot; 2. I sleep well; and 3. I pray.

I have read in several magazines that laughter and being able to sleep are the two greatest assets in having a healthy life and well-being. I truly enjoy sharing humorous stories and/or experiences and telling jokes with friends and laughing together.

Five of my friends were discussing the matter of age. I then asked my friend who was sitting across from me, “How old were you when your mother was born?” She looked at me and asked, “What did you just ask me, Maggie?” We all had a big laugh over that!

I have several friends who find it difficult to sleep well. I can sleep standing up. I slept several blocks beyond my stop while riding on the bus and as I got off, I told the bus driver, “Why didn’t you wake me up?” He just shrugged his shoulders, smiled and said nothing.

I can take a nap, sometimes sleeping two or three hours, and three to four hours later have no problem retiring for the night.

I pray daily when I have my morning devotion and evening devotion before retiring. When I misplace something like my keys, glasses or address book, I pray and even as such, God helps me find what I have misplaced. Prayer is having a conversation with your Heavenly Father and/or talking to a dear friend.

You were born, that is why you are here. You had to have had a birthday (the year, month and day you were born), so why not share the event with your friends as you would a good book, a good restaurant, a good movie, etc.? I have no qualms about revealing my age even without anyone asking, especially when I have my “senior moments,” and do I have them!

Papa had five children. I was the second oldest, but he only remembered two birthdays, his and mine.

I will never forget my 16th birthday. He came home early from work so that we could celebrate my birthday with a few close friends and family by preparing his very famous fried chicken, always crispy and golden brown. For my birthday dessert, he baked a strawberry shortcake from scratch, which “melted” in your mouth. He presented this beautiful decorated cake to me with a smile saying, “Hapi bo-su-de, Maggie.” Papa always called me “Maggie” in moments of affection. (Thank you, Papa).




Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist and can be reached at Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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