my birthday tributes

June 8, 2017. My 65th birthday. As humans reckon time, an important historical, social, and personal benchmark.

I am in a contemplative, and, in part, melancholy mood.

Yes, I am happy (not a word, given my intense early-in-life-and-unto-this-day-awareness of an inner shadowy specter of sadness, I oft employ) to be alive at this time in this world with, all things told, a preponderance of blessed memories, present contentment, and future hopes.

Yet, thinking of my immediate family, I ponder being an orphan and wonder why, beyond the reality of my being the youngest of the four, I am alive, whilst they are not.

WRA 1976

My brother Wayne. Between the two of us, the finer human being. Daily he abides with me in the harrowing (sorrowing) absence of his presence and the hallowing (sanctifying) presence of his absence. I love you, Wayne. Because of you, I have a resident, resonant sense of my better self.

Lolita & William c 1940My father, William, and my mother, Lolita. It took quite the while for me, well into my forties, to see through the veil of my childhood and adolescent disappointments, ever looming, actual and imagined, as haunting reminiscences of the deprivations of my want and need, to behold and honor how rich and real was your love for me. I love you, Dad. I love you, Momma. Because of you, I am.


10 thoughts on “my birthday tributes

  1. As one who passed this 2 1/2 months ahead of you, I greet you and wish you a very happy birthday, and a year filled with beauty and joy. Reading your words about being an orphan, my heart aches for the loss of your family and the singular pain that causes you. It occurs to me that one of the most beautiful and joyful things about your life is the way that you have created–and continue to create–an extended family of fellow faith-journeyers and dear friends, through your ministry, your writing, and your hospitality (a joint endeavor with the incomparable Ponthella). Love surrounds you. Happy Birthday and may you celebrate many more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for both your milestone birthday and your mood with us, your devoted readers. I’ve shared much joy and also some pain with you over these years of our chosen kinship. It’s hard for me to read of your pain regarding being an orphan.

    I’m comforted though by your awareness after years of processing and reflecting (and I’m sure forgiving) of how rich and real your parent’s love for you was…. and still lives within you to this day!

    Happy 65th birthday my dearest friend!! Sending you much love!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As you know, the road for me has been long and arduous getting to this blessed point. I pray to continue on this sanctified path of acknowledgement and acceptance of all that has been and is, verily, of all I have been and am. Love


  3. And to you, Sir, my tribute on your birthday! You are an impactful man, and I am glad to have you as a much younger friend.


    On Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 12:36 AM paulrobertsabernathy wrote:

    > Paul Roberts Abernathy posted: “June 8, 2017. My 65th birthday. As humans > reckon time, an important historical, social, and personal benchmark. I am > in a contemplative, and, in part, melancholy mood. Yes, I am happy (not a > word, given my intense early-in-life-and-unto-this-day-awarene” >


  4. Dearest Paul –
    Your words really spoke to me today. It is sad how it takes us to grow older to understand what others have done for us. I can also relate to your words regarding outliving your immediate family in that my stepfather, who has you by about 23 years, has expressed those exact sentiments to me off and on the past year. He also wonders why he has lived well into his 80s whereas both parents, his brother, and his first wife all passed in their late 50s, early 60s. As to me personally, as each year goes by, I contemplate that I have been granted many more years than my father who passed away at 40. I suppose that simply, God, in His wisdom, just isn’t finished with any of us yet. Love you and a very Happy Birthday!! Kim Tuck

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bless you, Kim, for sharing your poignant thoughts.

      Yes, it does seem, at least, for me, that it took mine own aging (and, I pray, growing in insight and wisdom) to see more clearly what my folks sought to do and, as I look at my life and my self, reasonably accomplished with me.

      Your stepfather’s ruminations touch me at a deep place of wonderment…

      All of which brings to mind my sense of that wondrous prayer in our Burial Office as we pray that our loved ones who have died will “go from strength to strength in the life of perfect service” in God’s presence. There is hope in that intercession that, indeed, as you say, God isn’t – is never – finished with us, for e’en in the fullness of eternity, there is growth in our knowledge and love of God for us to experience.

      Much love,


  5. Lovely tribute to your family. Special brother and Momma & Daddy live on in your sweet memories. Happy Birthday to you dear Paul! Now that the day of turning 65 is behind you (that birthday was hard for me too a couple years back), I trust you will enjoy every precious minute of the chapters ahead of you. Love to you and to Pontheolla too.

    Liked by 1 person

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