• Rev. Virginia O. (Ginger) Bassford, PhD


I hate surprises. Especially on my birthday, I hate surprises. Tomorrow is my birthday. Try as I might to not be a curmudgeon, in the past my birthday has been a bummer.

My mom always seemed to be able to stain my birthday in one way or another. I remember “birthday spankings” that were really hard, genuine, spankings; being grounded; having things taken away on my birthday. Awful.

On the other side, Daddy was always the bright spot in my birthday. From the time I could remember he made the day special by waking me up. Simple things. Calling my name. Tickling my feet. Ringing a bell or clanking a pan. Blowing smoke in my face (he smoked a cigar) YUCK! Daddy died when I was 20. I wanted to just stop having birthdays. For decades I did.

Ignore them. Pretend they weren’t happening. Take the day off. Close the door and block out the world. Each birthday was filled with tremendous grief of memories and the fact that I miss my dad. But tomorrow is different!

For the first time since I was 20 I’m excited about my birthday tomorrow! Isn’t that curious?! I may have figured out why.

There is a friend in our conference office – Julian Hobdy – Julian and are twins! He’s at least a decade and a half younger than me, African American (I’m Norwegian), but we are twins. Brother and sister, united in Christ. I must say, like many of our dear friends in the Central Texas Conference, it’s cool to have siblings! Having someone to laugh, cut-up, and make fun of birthdays with is a wonderful gift! Thanks Brother Julian! Happy Birthday!

Now, what about that surprise party…

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