Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. He had a tough one, as he spent the previous day in the ER and his birthday more or less recovering from that grueling experience. But he made it to 87, and that counts for something. At this point in his life it’s one day at a time, and that’s OK. Every day is a little win.

Thinking about birthdays, it turns out I can remember a lot of mine, at least the big ones.

On my 16th birthday my parents threw a party for me and my best friend Mike Delvizis. Little did they know that Mike and I had conspired to only invite girls. We thought it was great, but my Mom was pretty pissed. Chalk it up to being 16.

For my 20th birthday some of the guys at the steel mill (my summer job) took me to Huntington for a night of pub crawling. I don’t remember much of it. Probably for the best.

For my 30th birthday, I played tackle football with a bunch of the “young guys” just out of college at my workplace. They didn’t invite me originally, as they considered me old. At the game, I scored every single time I touched the ball. None of them could tackle me or catch me in the open field. I proved my point (not so old, huh?), and they never invited me again.

For my 40th birthday, daughter Emily and her then-stepsister Janay made fun of me becoming an old man. I received a cane and some other elderly assistance items. They had great fun, and I was just happy to be with them.

On my 50th birthday, I think K threw me a big party at the CA house, but I wasn’t into celebrating much. Pretty sure it was a great party (the parties at the CA house kind of run together after all these years). Fifty was the first time I felt old, so I think I downplayed that one.

For my 60th birthday, we got the extended family together in KY and had a great time at Emily and Greg’s house. At least until a relative got wasted on bourbon and accused me of some stupid/evil stuff, at which point the goodwill spell broke and we parted ways. I’ve always regretted that event – it was so outlandish, and it kinda spoiled the day for me.

These days birthdays are just a warning post that says “objects in your windshield are closer than they appear”. There’s not as much runway left as before. But it makes me thankful for every good day.