A Word About Birthdays

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A Word About Birthdays
1966 Albert Street Cowansville Quebec

July 24, 2020

Today another year has gone by and next year I will enter into another decade that begins with the lucky number seven. Frankly, due to my family’s health history I never thought I would live this long, but I have, and have always vowed to make each year count.

This is the only birthday photo I have, and I have to thank this wonderful woman from Cowansville, Quebec, Agnes Rhycard, and my grandparents for getting me to the year 1966. There is Linda with her “Parent Trap” hair and some suit she made out of broadcloth teaming it up with bare legs and sneakers. Next to me is my late sister Robin, and you can tell by my face how much I hated birthdays even then.

I have always believed a day dedicated to your age shouldn’t matter and you need to celebrate every single day. We all know time never returns. Sometimes I wonder if I feel like this because I never really had a childhood, and was raised with the upbringing of keeping a ‘stiff upper lip’. The only childhood birthday I remember is when I was 6 and I can still see a swan cake and many friends under the old apple tree in the Albert Street backyard. That memory will last in my mind forever.

My family is planning a celebration tonight and that is what means the most to me. Being together– and being my regular Beverly Goldberg self. I have changed this year in some aspects and I don’t know if it’s the COVID-19 isolation or what. I don’t mean to be a Beverly Goldberg twin, but I guess it’s always been my way of caring. This week my daughter-in-law had some wise words for me:

“Maybe it’s just better you don’t know what goes on.” and she is right. 

So that’s my new mantra, and when one of my car enthusiast sons has this big smile on his face because I have the OPP’s  “You are going this fast” machine on my front lawn, I am not going to even question what he has in mind. It’s better that I don’t know.

I get up each morning thankful to be alive and am thankful for my community and the history I research and write about each day. I am thrilled to represent my town as a councillor and listen to people and try and help. Granted I quickly learned that I can’t change the world, but sometimes being like Beverly Goldberg does come in handy. I am so honoured to know so many people, and there is no reason to wait a full year to say thank you for being in my life. We should be grateful that most of us are fortunate to celebrate our birthdays once a year knowing that back in time they celebrated their birthdays because the average age of death was 35-40 years.

When I was 16 I wanted to be 18. When I was 18 I wanted to be 21 and after that it stopped. Today I am reminded that as a young hippie in the 60s, or was it the 70’s, I can’t remember anymore– I had chosen words for my father on his birthdays. I would constantly remind him of my belief that people over the age of 30 should be sent to farms. Well Arthur Knight never forgot those words and on my 30th celebration he handed me my birthday card and asked me when I was leaving for the farm. Touche! I now live and celebrate one day at a time.

So, I only have one wish for my birthday– and that wish is YOU. To my friends and to all the people that read me every day, once a week, or once a month. I just want to celebrate this day with all of you in my life. I’m getting older, I’m getting wiser, (that could be out for debate) and I am getting stronger, but most of all I sail my daily boat with your love. I am so glad all of you were born and we get to celebrate life together. Thank you for being in my life.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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