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I know, you’re looking at the banner up there and thinking, “Hey! Wasn’t your birthday last Wednesday? Your birthday is over, man!”

And to you I say, “No,  you shut up!” Because my birthday isn’t over until I say it’s over. Your birthday isn’t over until I say it’s over. If your birthday is today and I can’t see you until next Tuesday then by God your birthday isn’t over until then.

Today I went to see my mom. I got into Challenger and drove the road hard until I got there, where my mother lavished me with birthday gifts and probably the greatest birthday card ever printed. I’m thinking of taking pictures of them all, but if I do it won’t be until tomorrow because I’m tired.

We had the usual, but always good, breakfast at The Bluebonnet Cafe then we wandered around Wal*Mart so she could get Junior some toys to play with. Then we went back to her place and critiqued cooking shows. All of which I enjoyed.

Once, a long time ago, I was going with my then-girlfriend and two of her friends to a state park in upstate New York. We packed up the car with no problems. I was feeling pretty good and looking forward to spending the night in a cabin in the woods. No worries.

We started driving up and somewhere along the line I sneezed. Just a sneeze. After that, as each mile passed my muscles started to ache. My joints started to hurt. My head became fuzzier. By the time we reached the park and our cabin I was 100% certifiably sick. I don’t think I left the cabin once I got there. I’m not even sure how long I was actually awake. By the time we were leaving, though, I was starting to feel better. At least, better enough to drive back.

You may be wondering what the point of this is. This morning I was feeling fine. I got into the car and drove over to my mom’s. I didn’t sneeze, but at some point while walking around the store my muscles started to hurt. My joints started to stiffen and ache. Even now, I feel very tired and drained. My legs hurt just to walk and it’s actually a chore to type this because even my forearms hurt. If you’re thinking this post may be shorter than usual, gold star to you!

Either way, it’s a good thing I got out. Today would have been my wife’s birthday. It’s been weighing on my mind heavily for a while now. I miss her, I really do, and what I didn’t want to do was sit around the apartment all day thinking about and feeling miserable. So, while it would never erase my thoughts or feelings today, it was nice to get out and spend time with my mom.

On my way home I stopped at the grocery store. I needed to get a few things to put my new birthday gifts to good use. Plus, Mom gave me $20 so I blew it on Chinese take-out. When I got home I had a bunch of bags and stuff to carry up to the third floor.

That’s when I saw that there was someone else in the world who also believed my birthday wasn’t over quite yet. Attached to my door knob were two balloons, a  bag of what looks to be left-over Halloween candy, and a note saying “Happy Birthday” from the people at the apartments. That was very kind, but it made opening my door almost impossible. As it was, I burst one balloon trying to get to the door knob.

Still, very nice of them.

And now I’m calling it a night because my body hurts, my minds hurts, and I feel very tired.