02 April 2009

Birthday Wishes

So today is one of those millstone milestone birthdays. I am now 40, which I understand means that I am officially ancient. Not quite as old, mind you, as Joe, who turns 50 on Saturday, which I'm told is just past decrepitude (He's a huge attention whore, btw, so go say hi). Since I'm between nights on at work today, things will be low-key, but David is planning a surprise party for me on the 18th - the surprise, of course, being that I only know the date and none of the details. I wanted, though, to share a little (pre-)birthday surprise and a birthday wish.

Last night I had a visit from Phoebe!

040109Phoebe! 001

Funnily enough, I was thinking about her just last week before I came home from India. She's doing great other than some significant arthritis in her left hip from the fractures, and she's scheduled for surgery to deal with that next month. Her owner is still going through issues of his own 15 months out and has only just graduated from an external fixator to a splint. All things considered, though, the family seems to be getting along well, and it is due in no small part to all of you readers who contributed to Phoebe's care.

Which is actually why I was thinking of her last week. While I was in Riwalsar, I met this lovely Tibetan couple:

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That's Sonam Yutron and her husband Lobsang. Those of you who read Joy's and Nyondo's blogs will have already read about Sonam Yutron's medical problems. If you haven't, though, take a few minutes to go read this post, and I'll wait here for you.

All done? Do you see now why Phoebe came to mind? It's because all those little $5 and $10 donations really added up to something simultaneously tangible and transcendent. A latté here and a burger there actually changed people's lives. While I was in Riwalsar, Sonam Yutron was doing even more than leaning on someone else. She was out and about under her own power, puttering and sweeping and doing all sorts of little things she'd been completely incapable of for years until all these tiny little donations added up to something far greater than their sum.

Unfortunately, right now the Tso Pema Medical Emergency Fund is bust. What little has come in this year has already gone to help people in need. The Feral Wives have dipped heavily into their own pockets to keep things going for the people who really need their help and have had to be very selective about what they can and cannot help with. Obviously this is in no small part due to larger economic forces, but that doesn't mean the need has gone away, and clearly a lot can be accomplished with even small donations.

So my birthday request for all of you is to see if you can spare a venti mocha or two to help replenish the fund (Paypal button on Joy's blog). Even $5 can be enough to buy a few months worth of meds for someone, so it's not an insignificant amount. There's no tax deduction to be gained, but there's a very sweet elderly Tibetan couple, among many others, who will be eternally grateful and say prayers for you, which is really a far richer reward.

040109Phoebe! 003

24 comments:

Chris said...

Happy birthday!

Paul said...

Happy Birthday, Mel!

JoVE said...

Happy Birthday. 40s not so bad. I'll be 45 at the end of the month. And 40 really is where you can just relax into being who you are. finally.

Julie said...

Happy Birthday, Mel!
(I'm heading over to Joy's blog now)

Phoebe looks wonderful. I'm glad to hear she's doing so well.

margene said...

Happy Birthday, Mel!!

Rabbitch said...

Y'all made me tear up. I'm claiming it's 'cause I've only slept 4 hours in 2+ days.

Yeah, that's it.

And happy birthday again, you old poop!

Luuworld said...

happy b day! hope you had a great day. best wishes for the new year. 40! cheers!

Judi said...

Happy birthday to you - and forty is only a beginning, wait til you see all the wonderful things in store for you. And you will finally be old enough to appreciate them. Life is wonderful.

Kenneth said...

Many happy returns of the day!

When I turned 40, a friend of mine called me a baby old person. I kind of like that image of starting out on a new journey.

Leslie said...

You're so young! I'm happy you are going to school and being brave enough to do all the things I wished I had done 20 years ago when I was your age.

May you have many more happy, healthy years surrounded by loved ones.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!

50..decrepitude...jeez, I'm almost 61. 'Course some of us age gracefully...

Thank you for posting the wonderful photos.

obscure

(formerly) no-blog-rachel said...

Happy, happy birthday, you youthful thing you! (I can say that - I'm almost as old as Joe.)

anne marie in philly said...

yayz for phoebe!

and YAYZ for 40, and 50, and 55...we get better, not older!

happy birthday, dr. mel!

Lisa/knitnzu said...

Happy Birthday you old geezer... next thing you know you'll be wrinkley and toothless (snicker snicker... you are younger than my younger brother!). Glad to see Phoebe is doing well... I know a young person who was in one of those splints for maybe two winters. Done and done for the tso fund, what a nice birthday request.

katrynka said...

Happy Birthday! I went and made a donation... I just realized I could have made it in honor of your birthday! Oh well, the money is just as good even so.

Thanks so much for promoting the idea that what ever little bit (or lot!) will help.

Debbie said...

Happy Birthday! You just get better, not older.
PS – I've just been over to Joy's blog – what a great effort.
- Loving 43 in LA

James said...

Belated birthday greetings Mel.

Janet (aka James while visiting in Seattle)

ellen said...

Happy Birthday - I think you'll like this side of the hill just fine.

And thanks for reminding me that someone else needs my spare cash.

kmkat said...

Happy birthday! My b'day present to you is a donation over at Joy's blog. Thanks for the reminder.

btw, 40 is not ancient. 50 is not ancient. 60, the number looming on my horizon, is ancient. At least until 70 looms...

Sheepish Annie said...

40 ain't so bad...not that I'm admitting to having turned that corner or anything, mind you. :)

Thanks for the follow up on Phoebe. It's so nice to know that she is doing well. Also thanks for the links to the donation sites. (my verification word is "payed" which I think might be a sign of some sort!)

Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day!

Sam said...

Mel, i know you've heard it before but i just have to ask: are you aware that 40 is the new 30?? hahahaha. Happy birthday!

stephen said...

I'm a wee bit late with this wish for you to have a very very Happy Birthday. Hope you had a grand day!

Christine said...

Welcome to the 40's. Happy Birthday!
Thanks for the post about the donation. It's so empowering to think that we can donate a small amount and have it mean so much. It's easy to think that unless you have a great deal to give, it's not worth it. This truly is.

Happy Happy!
C

Alwen said...

For my 40th, my parents came and helped me remove and flush the accumulated lime flakes out of my water heater! A birthday present I'll never forget.

I went to donate when I first saw your post, but had to slide some more money into my Paypal account first. So happy birthday late!