So my daughter Catlin, my oldest child, asked me a month ago or so what I was planning for my birthday. I said let's have a little dinner. She said, it's your 70th pops, you gotta have a party. So she threw me a wonderful one last night. So my three children and two grand children, some old friends and new, young and old (from little kids to older than me), from near and far.
I was flattered that folks could make it on a holiday weekend, a lot couldn't, and was gratified that I know so many wonderful people who care about me and who I care about. Some good food and then my oldest son, Miles, read a poem one of my oldest and dearest friends, Terence Winch, had written and sent because he couldn't make the party, followed by my daughter singing in her angelic voice "The Fields of Athenry"—our Lally clan anthem since my father's father was an immigrant from a little crossroads right outside Athenry, his name too was Michael, as is the man being sung about—followed by a poem by the first friend I made when I moved back to Jersey in '99, another Mick (this one originally from Brooklyn, Bill Lannigan) who those who know me thought really showed how well he got me.
Then the band Miles plays bass in, BELL ENGINE, played a great set that got people up and dancing, starting with me. This was sometime after 8PM and I kept dancing through their set into the dance mix I had selected from my iTunes library, with whoever would join me for the next almost four hours. I got that high I get when I dance for a long time, maybe like a runner's high after a certain distance. I can't think of a better way to have celebrated making it this far.
I wish you all could have been dancing with me, and I hope I remember to do it more often because it certainly is an affirmation of life, boogieing all the disappointments and future challenges and hurts and vulnerabilities into submission or remission or transcendence. Do you wanna dance?