Monday, July 16, 2007

Prime Numbers

Today I celebrate my 53rd birthday.

Today Nathan Mass celebrates his 101st birthday.

This birthday--this whole year--is a milestone of a sort for me. Five years ago at this time I was going through treatment for breast cancer. Today I remain cancer-free. I've made it to the first plateau of the disease on the positive side of the statistics--five years of survival with no recurrence.

I feel as if I've reclaimed my body. I've written here and here about working to lose the weight gained in these past five years. There's also been weight lifted from my mind. That change is more subtle, but equally important. I notice it in the deepness of my yoga practice and my connections in prayer.

What is hard is to wrap my brain around the fact that I am middle-aged. Am I in, as they say, the prime of my life? Could be. Fifty-three is a prime number, so it's as good a place as any to start. Stay tuned to this blog and I'll let you know how it goes.

One-hundred-one is also a prime number, which brings me to my friend Nathan. He's already made an appearance in this blog on the 11th day of the omer--another prime number. He may not hear much, but his mind is still very much in tact. He still finds ways to enjoy life, flirting with all the young women around him--which, in his eyes, includes me--with much wit and laughter. Yesterday I went to his birthday party, and saw him surrounded by family and friends. He occupies a prime place in many hearts.

Five years ago on my birthday I sent out this photo of Ken and I with our bald heads together.

Today I also post this photo of Nathan and I, taken at his birthday party yesterday.

We may be on different edges of life's prime, but I'd say we're both survivors.

Happy Birthday to Nathan

Happy Birthday to me


Katherine Hollander said...

Sweet thing -- I am so happy to join in your celebration and be your friend. Best returns of the day and happiness overflowing like a kiddush cup, with love Katherine

ByTheBay said...

Mazel tov on staying cancer free! And happy, happy birthday.

-A reader

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your special day. Each stage of life brings it's own challenges and opportunities. The key I have found to growing older and staying younger is to always look forward to what special opportunities for growth each new stage of life has to offer.
Mazel Tof to you.

Randy H.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Marilyn! And many, many more, healthy & joyful. I will really miss seeing you when our shuls go there separate ways...

Big birthday hug!
Laura (from Ner Tamid)

Anonymous said...

Dear Dear Marilyn,

Your message today was wonderful and comforting for me.

I wish you (a day late) the happiest of birthdays. I could see your joy on Shabbat!

Maybe there is a spiritual connection here, and maybe not, but I am sad to share with you some news. Typical mixing of simcha and tsuris that we all know so well.

The friend that I have been praying for in Israel for many months, Nava Bat Salima v'David passed away yesterday on your birthday. She is the sister of Aram's father, was 45 years old and succumbed to breast cancer. She leaves behind a husband Shaul, three wonderful sons (Shachar, 18, Segev,14 and Snir, 8), her parents, one sister and four brothers and 11 greiving neices and nephews, one of whom is my dear Aram.

Your victory over this terrible disease is a huge comfort now, as I remember Nava with love.

Love, Debby