But I’m still here. On the morning of my birthday, these realities crashed over me like surf.
Outside, the first snowfall blanketed the Maine landscape, quiet as prayer. Inside, my two-hour tearfest proved to be a long overdue cleansing. I hadn’t cried for many months, and when the tears don’t flow, I get spiritually backed up.
I knew exactly why I was bawling, and with every heave, I had to count the many blessings in my life.
Later that evening, Job and I drove to Boston to celebrate my birthday with my dear sister-friend Gail over a luscious dinner at Café D in Jamaica Plain, where another friend, who happens to be Gail’s roommate, bartends. The braised pork shank I inhaled was so well-executed (I just had to suck on the bone), I swore the preparer had to be colored. But the demure queen, who hailed from San Francisco, was white as the snow that had fallen in Maine that morning. No matter. He swore he possessed soul anyway. He was right. I love it when someone smashes my stereotypes like the potatoes drenched in cabernet gravy hidden beneath the pork.
A Family Celebration
Saturday featured the event of my birthday weekend: the 20th Anniversary Jam(boree) of the Harvard Callbacks, a co-ed a capella singing group that I co-founded as a freshman, the year, according to the program, that the current group’s president was born (gasp!). I was unable to attend the 15th Anniversary Jam because Spirit compelled me to travel to Milwaukee to search for my birth relatives, an unbelievable journey that proved fruitful and resulted in this very blog. But only the death of a family member (or my own) would’ve kept me from physically attending this year’s celebration, and had a family member passed, I might’ve missed the funeral and observed their passing in my own private way. Blessedly, I didn’t have to make such a choice.
The concert poster. Notice the Callbacks insignia. My husband's last name is Blom and I often receive mail addressed to Craig Blom. Coincidence? I think not.
tags: spirituality, gratitude, Harvard Callbacks
And, oh, what a celebration it was. I was so thankful to be there, so overwhelmed. Five generations of Callbacks performed. I felt honored when my alumni group chose me to solo one of my all-time favorites, “The Shadow of Your Smile”, which I had arranged bossa nova style during my tenure as the group’s music director.
At the concert’s end, more than 75 members of the great extended family were on the stage of Sanders Theater to perform our signature songs, “Old Irish Blessing” and Joe Cocker’s “The Letter.” Five members of my group brought their tots and babies onstage for the final songs. Myles, the three-year-old who belonged to a pair of Callbacks who fell in love and married after college, let out a timely yelp. In tune.
I could’ve never imagined 20 years ago that it would come to all of this. I was deeply moved and humbled to be a part of it. To be so well-received and appreciated by my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and great great grandchildren and many of their parents for putting it all together along with Morgan, my co-founder, and the founding members in the Straus common room back in the fall of 1986.
It was the perfect centerpiece to the perfect birthday weekend. And with my husband by my side, I couldn’t have been more grateful.