Thoughts On Another Year

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Yesterday marked a notable day for me, when I took one more step toward the half-century mark which I will cross next year. It brought to mind some thoughts on the day all of us celebrate each year, that day we first saw the light of this world on our birthday.

Just out of curiosity I looked up celebrities who share my birthday. Mark Zuckerberg also became a day older yesterday. I should have sent him a Facebook greeting. The Facebook genius and billionaire turned 34 this year. He is still a youngster but has made enough money to fund the government of a small country.

In an indirect way Mr. Zuckerberg’s invention has made thousands of birthdays brighter. Any of us with accounts on Facebook will get multiple greetings on our big days. I have gotten to the point I enjoy those greetings from people I would not hear from if there was no such thing as Facebook.

George Lucas also celebrated yesterday. He was the director of the Star Wars series. He is another successful Taurus. I hope the force is with him.

Others who have birthdays on May 14 include football players Rod Gronkowski, Clay Matthews, actress Kate Blanchette and I’m sure many others.

I should have sent Mr. Gronkowski a card with a note telling him just how much I don’t like him and his New England Patriot counterparts.

On the other end of the spectrum, the day has been the last on the earth for some. Hugh Beumont, better known as Ward Cleaver, had a heart attack and died on this day in 1982.

I will always remember that Frank Sinatra died May 14, 1998. He died only hours before my grandmother. She held on until just after midnight May 15. I will always believe she hung on just long enough not to have the date of her death on my birthday.

The date is also celebrated in several ways around the world. May 14 is flag day in Paraguay and National Unification Day in Liberia.

Over the centuries May 14 has had notable events. Perhaps most notably, historians estimate it was that date in 1607 when the first English settlement was established in Jamestown, Va. It was also the day that Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition of Lewis and Clark. More recently Seinfeld, the successful program about nothing, also aired its last episode on this day in 1998.

I have the unique distinction of celebrating my birthday on Mother’s Day approximately once every six or seven years.

It bothered me as a child when that happened, as it took a little attention away from me. Now, I realize from my own mother, wife, daughter and late grandmothers that mothers are a whole lot more important to the world than old guys like me. Now I’m glad to share the stage with women who do so much throughout the year.

I am now approaching five decades on this earth. As of approximately 8:30 a.m. yesterday I’m officially less than a year from that. People joke about the doom and gloom of growing older, but I have a simple saying in relation to that.

Getting older is a whole lot better than the alternative. I have done multiple stories about people reaching the age of 100 and beyond. I recently interviewed a local lady who turned 105, so maybe I still have more years in front of me than behind me.

Tom Woerner is a reporter with The Daily Record. Reach him at 910-2302038 or twoerner@mydailyrecord.com.

WOERNER’S CORNER

TOM WOERNER

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