The Quarter of a Century Birthday. - Uncover Ostomy
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The Quarter of a Century Birthday.

I’ve made it.

I’ve survived what life has thrown at me.

For 25 years.


I used to love birthdays – when I was a small kid. I mean, why wouldn’t you? Cake, presents, clowns, the whole rigamarole. The best.

Then I hated birthdays. Right as school started, no one was around to celebrate. Or they were, but I wasn’t yet assigned a locker for people to decorate… Not that there were many friends to decorate my locker. (That’s what happens when you’re a weird kid, or end up in the hospital for years, or go to a completely new school without social skills to make friends.)

A few years later, birthdays were awesome again. Frosh week, bars, classes hadn’t started – or I could crawl to a class that started at 2pm the next day (praying not to throw up). Everyone was back in town and ready to party. It was great.

But once more, birthdays sucked. My dad died 4 days before my birthday, and for the past 5 years, I hated that time of year. I also broke up with boyfriends around the same time, moved to another city, and then moved back, and didn’t have many people around to soothe the pain of getting older. Not so great.

This year… this year, though, has been a good one.

Even though I woke up, worried about the wrinkles that would suddenly appear on my face once I began rolling down the hill of old age (I checked – I’m safe, for now), it started off great. I rolled over to see the most amazing guy I could ever ask for who wished me a happy birthday before I could barely get my head off the pillow. He surprised me with a beautiful gift, and started my morning off right.

I ran to work, like every normal day, and was greeted with birthday wishes from my whole office, accompanied by special cupcakes just for me (but I shared, don’t worry.)

Then, I spent the evening enjoying some delicious food with my family. What more could you ask for?

I couldn’t get a picture of the family, though, because throughout the day, I kept receiving heartwarming messages from friends, past colleagues, old roommates, cousins, UO supporters, acquaintances, all wishing me a special day – so many, that my phone died. (I’m still getting messages now, as the night goes on, but I plugged it in!)

Maybe it’s maturity? I mean, 25 means you have to be mature, right? Or maybe it’s because, as the years have gone on, and I’ve been through so many things, that birthdays are really just about making it through another year. I mean, making it through 25 years is not something that I thought I could do. I don’t even think my mom, at one point, thought I’d make it this far.

But here I am.

As my dad would say, I’m “over the hill, feeling the wind in my hair as I roll down the other side.”

Here’s to 25, more. And then some. Right?

Jessica Grossman
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