Good God, I'm Sixty!

"Put another candle on your birthday cake"

Today is Labor Day, my birthday! “Put another candle on my birthday cake, I’m another year old today, happy birthday to me,  I’m another year old today!” Wow, the Sheriff John Birthday song  from when I was a little kid. The Sheriff John Lunch Brigade was a kid cartoon show that began in the early 50’s and ran for 20 years. I remember as far back as kindergarten watching the show everyday. I loved the Crusader Rabbit and Clutch Cargo cartoons.                                            Put Another Candle on Your Birthday Cake

Sheriff John was always promoting good health and eating right. I think he must have owned stock in DiMaggio carrots the ones with the greens still attached, he was always telling us to remind mom to pick up several bunches when she went to the grocery store. About midway through the show he had a birthday party complete with cake, candles and the birthday song for all the birthday boys and girls. My mom even sent my name in a few times and when the sheriff read the daily birthday list, on September 5th, he read my name on TV! “Little Johnny Sausedo from Baldwin Park CA. who is turning 5 today! Happy Birthday Johnny!” Man I was jazzed!

Yeah 60 years ago today I entered this world screaming my damn fool head off, fighting mad! How dare that doctor pull me from the warmth and comfort of my mother’s wombs How dare he destroy my nine month slumber! With a swat on the ass my life in the real world began. And for quite awhile there after it felt like life continued to swat me on the ass. Seems like every time I’d find some solace or peace of mind on my life journey it was always short lived someone or something always managed to mess it up! And I just don’t like my peace’ disturbed. Who does? Hell, sometimes I’d even manage to screw it up myself. Who am I trying to kid, I screwed things up plenty.

There was a time when I used to get downright angry. I suppose mad as hell is a better way to describe it. I was an angry teen and my twenties were no better. I suffered from the “Why Me” syndrome. I felt like life was forever screwing with me and getting in the way of some of my best plans. It really pissed me off! You see I realized long ago that I’ve got this monster living inside me. Back then it would rear its ugly head pretty often and raise quite a bit of havoc in my life. I could keep it in check most of the time, but when it got loose, look out!  In time I of course learned to control the rage and how to vent it so as not to lose control. Scream therapy, drugs alcohol , love anything that might keep the evil genie in the bottle.  As the years passed it became easier and easier to control the monster and now at sixty it’s pretty well bottled up. That’s not to say that I don’t blow my cool every once in awhile, I do, but the rage monster is just a shadow of its former self and I haven’t needed any artificial means of controlling it in since my thirties.

Sixty years old, unbelievable!  Who would’a thunk it? There was a time I thought I’d die before I was thirty. I used to tell my wife all the time, “I’ll never see thirty.” I truly believed it too! I thought that the way I was living would be the end of me. Boy was I wrong! So here I sit celebrating my 60th birthday. Sixty years of living, the majority of it pretty damn sweet! The good times more than make up for the bad times. My health is relatively good. Oh I’ve got a couple of ailments, but my doctor helps me keep them in check. I’ve got some aches and pains but who doesn’t? I hear my thirty something children making old people noises so I don’t feel so bad, I just make them more often. Yeah, aside from my constant companion, the extra twenty five pounds I’m carrying around in the form of man-boobs and a beer belly, I’m doing okay. Maybe this will be the year I get physical and actually do something about it. Didn’t I say the same thing last year? and the year before that, and the year before that, Oh well.

Yeah, I’m sitting here this morning thinking about all the life God has allowed me to live, all the graces He’s bestowed upon me and the wonders He’s allowed me to experience. Those obstacles He’s occasionally placed in my path are just a way to test my resolve, just part of the trip. All in all, my sixty years have truly been blessed. I’ll have to wait and see what future plans He has for me. It’s really been a good life…  Thank you Lord.

Life is a precious gift from God, examine it carefully, shake it a little, unwrap it slowly, take it out of the box and enjoy it for as long as you can. Don’t ever take it for granted.                                                                            In the wink of an eye, river of time flows by….                                                                                                                                                          J S





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