Today is Baba’s birthday—a day we never celebrated because we were told she did not know the day of her birth, so we observed the day on Mother’s Day. Maybe she only remembered the month as May. Still, I don’t understand why my father did not know the specific date since I have found several documents, including a journal written by her daughter, stating that my grandmother was born on May 15, 1886.
When I wrote my Mother’s Day tribute to her last week (Baba- A True Survivor), I forgot to mention this detail since I never knew the specific date until I uncovered it via Ancestry.com and my aunt’s journal. This lack of knowledge makes me think that even her own children did not celebrate the day—a thought which I find to be so sad.
I think back on my son-in-law’s birthday last week. His four-year-old son was so excited to celebrate his dad’s big day. He told my daughter what kind of cake to make or buy, and was quite insistent that they have balloons and goody bags.
Well, the goody bags did not happen, but when my daughter suggested they get party hats instead, my grandson happily acquiesced. They decorated the cake, added the candles, and after dinner, they all put on their pointy birthday hats and sang to Dad. What family does not enjoy celebrating each other’s day?
When my father was growing up, I wonder if his family celebrated any birthdays. Did they invite their friends over, did they just have a small family party, or were their birthdays just another day? I just cannot believe they ignored the birthdays of any of them. So why didn’t Dad know?
This evening, when I have my dinner, I will lift up my glass and toast to my grandmother, Efrosinia Petrovna Wardamasky. Happy Birthday, Baba!