The Battle of Hastings, 1066. This is how I remember the date of my father’s birthday.
October was so filled with birthdays of so many friends and family members when I was young that I had to take some extra measures to remember when each one was. My mother (30th), Dad (14th), my best friend in grade school (24th), my best friend in high school (31st), my first boyfriend (29th), my eldest nephew (30th), and another high school friend (16th) all celebrated October birthdays. My dear next door neighbor who lived to be 105 and was like a grandmother to my daughter was born October 7, 1904.
I remembered: 10 – 14, 10 – 66. My dad was not evil so his birthday could not have three sixes associated with it and the birthday I confused with his was a high school friend’s who had a 10/16 birthday. His birthday could not be 10-16 because his birthday was on the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and if it was the 16th the anniversary would be 10/16, 1066 – three 6s. And growing up in the Bible belt I knew three 6s was bad news. (I so wish I had not grown up with such superstition!) So his birthday must be on 10/14/1915.
Does anyone else in the world use such convoluted memory tools?
My mom would be celebrating her 100th birthday on the 30th. I think she was actually born on Halloween, as her mother always told her she was born 5 minutes before midnight. Midnight would have meant Halloween and thus a questionable alliance via birth with dark forces.
Mom and my friend with the Halloween birthday loved their connection. I guess there was something about being born on a high holiday of the Old Religion that connected them. My friend lived to be 21 and died on Friday the 13th. My mom lived to be 92.
Birthdays of those who have passed on can be odd, especially when the cluster contains more who have died than those alive. But I’m going to have a cake for Mom’s 100th birthday. We celebrated my 50th birthday together a few weeks before she passed on. Dad liked apple pie. I think I will make a pie this weekend. Why not?
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