you say it’s your birthday?


For my 16th birthday, I got a drum cake. For my 18th, I had my first legal beer. For my 40th, I was feted at a great surprise party.  For my 50th, my wife and I celebrated – along with a number of family and friends from throughout the decades of both our lives – at a “50/50” bash.

But this year I had bigger plans. 57. Yeh, 57. That would be my lucky number!

Just think of it! Heinz 57 – 57 Varieties of flavour! 1957 – the year I was born! 57 – the number of years I’ve lived! 57 – the number on my high school football jersey!  57 – the number of times I’ve thought about how to pay homage to such a significant number while having some fun with it as well!

Seriously, I was born in 1957 and this year marked my 57th year. While this might initially not seem like much of a milestone, it was one I felt compelled to mark. This time, however, I wanted the focus not to be so much on personal indulgence or favour but on some kind of service.

I considered a number of large-scale fundraising efforts for Parkinson’s – from a marathon 57 mile walk (nah, Terry Fox did much better than that), a 57 day cross-Canada tour (I can’t be away that long – who will look after the dog?), a 57 stop tour of independent coffee roasters (I’m on doctor’s orders to reduce my caffeine). I worked through a number of these scenarios, bounced ideas off of friends, and in the end, found myself too weary to pursue such grandiose plans. I became convinced that there really wasn’t much to my obsession with the number “57” and it felt a little too contrived. And it didn’t help that my PD kept reminding me of its ever-present habitation in this old frame.

And now, as of today,  the clock ticks by on the end of my 57 years. The opportunity has passed me by. I have made peace with myself on this one (albeit one tinged by a minute sense of failure).  After all, it is just a number. I’m 58 today. Nothing special about 58. Or even 59 for that matter. But 60 –  just wait for 60!   Do I have some plans in the works for the big 6-0!


16 thoughts on “you say it’s your birthday?”

      1. I missed your birthday again! And this year I promised myself I would not forget to send a hello on your actual day! So happy belated RK! How about a date for a visit?



  1. Correct , just a year. Happy birthday you are an inspiration! I just copied this poem last week because I thought it was perfect for me! I am a wife/friend/lover/caregiver/ partner for my highschool sweetheart of 46 years😀 he turned 65, me 64 this year. Diag w PD couple of yrs ago, now early Alz😥 everyday is a new day, never the same or predictable.

    Eat the damn chocolate cake.
    Walk in the rain and
    splash in the puddles
    Ride with the windows down.
    Smile at everyone.
    Hug someone.
    Go barefoot.
    Take naps.
    Make lots of love.
    Try new things.
    Spend time with kids.
    Laugh every chance you get.
    Help others.


  2. Love your drum cake, and your spirit! Frank does 60 on May 31, 2016. I don’t hit that one until January 11, 2018. By then, I’ll have een what the rest of you did for yours, and maybe I’ll come up with something even better! Stay tuned, because you’ll be invited for sure. 🙂


    1. hi alison and thx for ur comments and the heads up on the dates. the story behind the drum cake is kinda funny – the cake my dad ordered for me for some reason never arrived from the bakery and the only last-minute substitute was this cake intended for a 4 or 5 year old! I was probably a little embarrassed but not too proud to eat and enjoy it 🙂


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