I’ve had a few. They don’t seem to be such a big deal anymore. Birthdays…I’m talking about birthdays, not presents.  

About the only thing I have to look forward to with the coming of this birthday is that I will be old enough to begin drawing on all those Social-Security deposits. I remember years ago, wondering if there would be anything left to draw by the time I got there. I may not live long enough to get it all back, but it looks like I will give it a shot.  

When I was a kid, I was always excited about having another birthday, but my family didn’t make a really big deal out of them. I always got something, usually one present, and Mama always made me a homemade cake. The present may have been a toy truck or a model car later on. The cake was usually chocolate with fudge icing. I always licked the mixer beaters and cleaned out the bowl with a spoon. I still do when opportunity presents itself!  

Years later, when I served as pastor in Rainbow City, my administrative assistant, Ms. Jo, always baked me a Coca-Cola cake. I didn’t tell Mama, but Ms. Jo’s was every bit as good as Mama’s, only I didn’t get to lick the beaters or clean the bowl.

A couple of years ago, I was speaking at a church in the Rainbow City area and my dear friend, Ms. Jo, not only came to hear me, she brought me a Coca-Cola cake…and it wasn’t even my birthday!    

The best birthday present I have ever received came in 2009. That gift didn’t actually come on my birthday, which is the 28th, but two days later, on July 30th.

That gift was a beautiful, blue eyed, baby boy. William Andrew is his full name, but we call him Drew.

If you are a regular reader of my column, then you know who Drew is. He is my and Jean’s only grandchild. He will be 12 next week, and I will be five-and-one-half times that! When I first heard he was coming, and that his ETA was around the last week in July, I hoped, and even prayed, that he would be born on my birthday. His mother disagreed, saying everybody needs their own day. I accused her of holding out for a couple of days before he was born.

Being a grandfather, and having a grandson like Drew, is more of a blessing and joy than I could have ever imagined, but what a week that was back in 2009.  

We had moved to Opelika two years before Drew was born, but because of the housing-market crash, it took us two years to sell our house back in Southaven. Finally, we managed to “give it away,” and closed on a house in Opelika just before Drew’s grand arrival.  

He was born on a Thursday. Drew and his mother came home from the hospital the following Saturday, which happened to be the same day we moved into our new house.  

It was like a 3-ring circus around there when the mother and new-born baby stopped by for everybody to ooh and aah over the cutest newborn we had ever seen.  

We couldn’t celebrate long that day, because there was too much work to be done, but we’ve had 3-day celebrations (28th-30th) every year since.

Even though he overshot the runway by two days (thanks Ashley), I still have to say that getting my one-and-only grandson is the greatest birthday present I’ve ever had!  

Happy birthday Drew! I love you buddy!          

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