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Jan. 19, 2023 — A birth-month to remember

For several years, one of the things I loved to do was to help facilitate a birthday celebration celebrating three generations of women in our family. Each of them had birthdays within two weeks of each other in January, and having a cake and candles was a bright spot in a cold and wintry part of the year.

But the last few years have been sad ones when it comes to these three figures. My mother died in 2011. My sister, like me, is now a cancer fighter. Her daughter, the third generation, is an adult who is fighting for her mental health.

We got together a month ago for a few days during the Christmas break, and it was good just for us family members to be together, surrounded by nature, sports events, and the occasional game show.

Our family is, in a word, complicated. It has been a difficult few years without our parents, the rocks on which we relied for so much in our lives. But sometimes I can hear the voice of my mother or my father in my ear when I’m making a difficult decision. They were always so good for guidance, and their counsel remains with me to this day.

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