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You are My Sunshine

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

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I turned 46 a week or so ago. It's a tough thing to grow older, and birthdays are sometimes things to be dreaded.

I remember when I was a kid, birthdays were always something special. You got to bring cupcakes into class. People sang to you. You got presents

These days you get 100 well wishes from people on Facebook, and they all say the same thing because it's some Facebook scheme to entice you to use Facebook even more than we already do. I hate to think the people who wished me happy birthday on Facebook didn’t really mean it, and I did my perfunctory “Thank you to all the little people who wished me happy birthday” and that was it. But I don't play that game and never wish anybody a happy birthday on Facebook.

But that’s how birthdays are these days. No cupcakes, No singing. No presents.

Yup, 46 sucks just as much as 45 did and will likely suck as much as 47 will.

But when I turned 45 and again when I turned 46, and I hope it happens when I turn 47, I got a letter in the mail.

It was a standard business envelope with a big smiling sun decorating the front and a bunch of illegible block letters everywhere else on the thing in pastel colors. Inside was a piece of typing paper with more pictures and block letters that I think said something about how much the Lord loves me on my birthday.

It was clearly hand made and the return address was upside down, but it came from a woman in Beaufort, NC. I had no recollection of her, but my wife informed me that she was a member of the church where we were married, and we deduced that she must have found out that we were a year older from some church database.

That made sense because they started showing up after I left Beaufort, NC, and moved to Utah.

My wife got one too, and we were surprised that anyone remembered us. In truth, no one in the church even really knew our name, let alone that we were actually members who attended every Sunday.

Most Sundays when we lived there, we would get a warm smile and an extended hand from someone who we have never seen before, asking us where we were from and how we enjoyed “their” church service. They always had the same look when we explained that we had been attending the church for two years since we were married there and had been to every service, but had somehow never seen them before. They would smile and say “Oh well…_ and turn away to condescend to someone else.

Now, I am not saying the church was the entire reason we left Beaufort, but the church didn’t really cause any qualms in my heart when we quietly left town that April morning.

And so that was why it was so surprising that the church lady sent me and my wife handmade birthday greetings each year since. When it showed up this year, I knew I had to write about it.