Well I was going to avoid telling everyone that I had my 40th birthday on St. Patrick's Day. But, because of a gift I received yesterday from my mother, I have to let the cat out of the bag.
One of my gifts I received from my mother was an antique book titled "Life Begins at 40", by Walter B. Pitkin.
At first I didn't know what to make of it until she told me to open the cover. The first page had my Grandfather's handwriting on it with the date 1937. This book was a gift he gave his father (my great grandfather) for his 40th birthday. He wrote:
1937Take a look. Then read this book, you'll like it, (I hope). With all the luck in the world for a Happy Birthday.
From your loving son and Pal,
I never even knew my Great Grandfather called my Grandfather "Squeeze".
Then, on the next page, more writing. My great grandfather gave it back to my grandfather on his 40th birthday.
1961 Best wishes to a loyal and devoted son. Love, Dad
It doesn't stop there! My grandfather gave it to my mother (the eldest child) on her 40th birthday.
1987 Dear Cheryl,
I gave this book to your grandfather when I was 16 years old. He gave it back to me when I was 40, so it rightfully goes to you on September 15th-your 40th birthday. I am very proud of you and the family and love you all very much. Dad
I had no idea "the book" even existed. The last writing is from my mother to me. She knows what a sentimental sap I am, so by now the tears are beginning.
Turning 40 is o.k.!!
What I can't believe is that my "little girl" is 40. It's actually a special day because this book, which is seventy four years old, is now yours. Grandpa would be so proud to know that this is being passed onto his first grandchild~ I know, here come the tears.
You are as special a mother as you are a daughter.
I was not happy about turning 40, but getting this book made it all worth it. I just wish my Grandfather was still here to have shared the day of me receiving it. My oldest son who is now 15, will receive it from me for his 40th 25 years from now. The book is so frail, but I hope it lasts forever and becomes a never ending tradition that began in 1937.