I was reminded yesterday by my iPhone calendar that today is the birthday of my good friend Wayne Tanous. Wayne, as most who will see this post know, died just over a month ago, so his memory is still really fresh.
I really didn’t need the reminder, we had been observing his birthday for years, much to his chagrin.
I had occasion to mention this to Bumper, aka, Terry Baumgartner, one of his good friends who also loved him. Bumper, who expresses a disinterest in Martinis, asked me to have one for him in Wayne’s memory this evening. I am happy to oblige. I will have one for him and I will have one for myself as well. I think Wayne would grudgingly approve, though he himself preferred Crown, or Windsor water, very little ice, I like Martinis to mark such occasions.
The poem that accompanies this post is one I wrote on another occasion, and I think it still works for me as a thought about these thing we call “birthdays.”
Birthdays count years.
They are markers we use
To measure the time of our lives.
From the first to the last,
They tell the world a person was,
And how long they were.
Birthdays tell the world a person was,
But they don’t tell why a person mattered.
That’s a job for the people they touched.
It’s Wayne’s birthday today.
This is the day that marks his time
From the first to the last.
Tonight, I will have a Martini
And remember, why he mattered
To so many others, and to me.
Happy Birthday Martini from Bumper and Me.