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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

A birthday is a great time to reflect and celebrate

courtesy photo

Some may know this already, but my birthday was last week.

It was a fun day, as friends and family sent me well wishes throughout the day.

The older I get, the more I tend not to want a big deal made out of my birthday. It has nothing to do with getting older—I still feel like I’m around 13 in my head, although the body doesn’t work as well as it used to these days.

As the years have passed, I’ve learned to appreciate the “Happy Birthday” wishes more than any gifts I may receive.

I was stunned and somewhat humbled to see how many people reached out through social media to send me birthday greeting.

Among those I messaged back and forth with was someone I haven’t talked to more in more than 35 years.

Back in high school, we both worked on the school newspaper and she had heard about my column last week regarding Holsten’s in my hometown of Bloomfield.

She reached out without even knowing it was my birthday, and once she discovered it, we had a long back-and-forth about how we each ended up living a few miles apart in South Jersey.

Throughout the day, there were many similar conversations.

Old friends talked about how we need to get together to have a beer or two and reflect back on a lifetime of memories.

I had aunts, uncles and cousins reach out and we had a chance to catch up on family news.

After a nice dinner out with my wife, Laura, we returned home to celebrate with my mom and kids.

The gifts were simple, a small box of some of my favorite chocolates, and a gift certificate to a local restaurant from my brother in Florida.

When it came time to blow out the candles, my mom had made a cake but I much more enjoyed the key lime pie Laura had picked up for the celebration.

The fact that we have pie every year on my birthday is no big shock anymore because I’ve always enjoyed pie much more than cake.

There are plenty of reasons for this, and I can always get into that argument in a later column.

Overall, it could not have been a better day. Hearing from old friends, talking to family, enjoying a good meal, celebrating with my mom and kids, and finally, a nice slice of pie.

Birthdays are always a great time to reflect on the things in life that mean the most. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by so many great people and that is the best birthday gift anyone could receive.

Dan Russoman is the news/sports director of The Gazette. Follow Russoman on Twitter @DanRussoman.


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