Celebrating My Libras

October 10, 2011

Yesterday my son, Brian, turned 30. Holy moley, where have the years gone? He was on my mind all day yesterday and I was sad to miss out on his big day. I looked up from my computer while typing and my eyes landed on this picture of Brian with a twinkle in his eyes and birthday cake in hand. This is the same Brian from the rowboat rescue this past summer who is no longer a child or a teenager or even a young adult. All of a sudden, I realize that my child is a man.

It’s quite a journey that you take with your children. From the moment I first held Brian in my arms, I could sense certain things about his spirit that I’ve watched remain intact through all the ups and downs of life.  That impish grin? It’s still there. And that independent spirit – Brian was about the same age as he is in the picture when he started watching cooking shows on tv. I remember thinking “he’s going to be a chef one day” and I would often suggest that he get a job in a restaurant to see how he liked working in the kitchen. He would say that he didn’t want to work for someone else, that he was going to own his own restaurant some day. And sure enough, when he was 28 years old, he did.

Brian was my first Libra. And I think it was when my other Libra, Ralph, passed away in May that I realized just how our mother/son dynamic had shifted. Brian rushed here with his sister, Amy, to be by my side and to help ease my grief. He has been vigilant about checking up on me and not letting me feel like I’m alone. Yep, he’s a man now, and I’m so proud of him.

I love Libras. My other Libra would have been 50 today. I always marveled at how Brian and Ralph had birthdays one day apart, how they both loved to cook, how they were both innately shy and sensitive but had that Libra quality of drawing people in. When Brian first met Ralph eight years ago, he was a little wary and protective of me dating someone. But the two of them soon bonded and always loved spending time together. Ralph would have been so proud (but not at all surprised) at how Brian stepped in to keep an eye on me.

This morning I took some of Ralph’s ashes and set out along the bike path that we must have traveled hundreds of miles together over the years. It was our favorite thing to do and the weather was flawless. I visited all of our usual spots up and down the Hudson river and sprinkled his ashes where we used to stop and rest – Ralph basking in the sun, and me, sitting under a tree in the shade. As I was approaching my final destination – the end of the bike path down by the Statue of Liberty, I got a flat tire. How many times had Ralph said to me ” Barbara, your tires need air. Barbara, you need new tires.” It was shot. I had to smile as I walked my bike all the way back home. I guess it’s time I learned how to change a bike tire and what to do when the chain comes off!

So, today I’m celebrating my Libras. I hope that you are lucky enough to have one in your life. If you don’t know anything about Libras, you can learn all about them here!

  1. What a wonderful post, Barbara!!

  2. Thanks, Rach! Can’t wait to catch up with you! xoxo

  3. What a beautiful tribute to two wonderful men. Next time I come to NY, can we walk the route?

  4. Barbara, what a sweet and beautiful post. I’ll hold you in my thoughts and prayers today.

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