NOTES ON A FOURSCORE CELEBRATION
and “enjoying math”
March 18, 2018 – The Day of the Celebration
Notes On A Fourscore Celebration
My present is your presence and your presence is my present. The language of Shakespeare is wonderful because it allows one to tweak words in different ways and come up with the same meaning, it is so malleable. Welcome all.
Why do we celebrate birthdays? I will probably get a dozen different answers, depending on the age of the responder, in short the answer is age dictated. Birthdays to the very young like our two grandchildren Griffin and Beckett, and their cousins Chris, Jomar, Dylan, Bentley and Emma Lily means ice cream, cakes, balloons, new toys and fun. The other day Griffin said something that I thought is cogent, he claimed that he is sometimes difficult because he argues he is at a difficult age; he is between ten and teen while Bexy my co-“Februarian” celebrant is just happy with no hint of worries when he turned 6. To the teens it may mean dancing, dates, an outing or just hanging out with friends. To the forever young a quiet dinner for two at a special restaurant with dancing optional. To the seniors it may just mean the yearning desire to remember shared memories, or the stealth wish just to be remembered or to bank more memories of a beautiful day, like today, with family, extended relatives, relatives-out of respect and friends. It is for all the latter that today together we break bread.
Who started the celebration of birthdays? Does anyone know? Actually the celebration is pagan in origin. The pagans believed that in the special events that mark one’s life there lurk some evil spirits that must be expunged. If this belief rules then the White House needs to celebrate birthdays twice a day, every each day continually. Furthermore the celebration symbolically and ceremonially involves the lighting and blowing of candles, again to blow away the evil spirits. The White House instead of nurturing and allowing 10,000 blossoms to bloom, currently expends its time chasing incessantly 10,000 candle lights to extinguish.
Since the candles needed a pedestal to perch on, so enters the cake, the cake is baked and the blowing of candles is born. (I made the last one up) Historically, however because it is pagan in origin, Christians shunned it until the 1700 when birthday celebrations are accepted in Germany.
Fourscore is a nice chunk of time isn’t it? But TIME travels… fast, continuously and always in one direction, mainly forward. It waits for no one. The minute that just went by is not retrievable, or even the second, or a nanosecond. You can’t go back in time, you can only look back at it. When I am alone in my thoughts I ask, “Where did all the time go”? My fourscore spans FIVE generations of Sys, of which three are amply represented here. I have an only uncle in Shanghai and he is 100, he is the last of the second generation.
My brother Dorland, and sister-in-law Pin live here and without them Milan and I can’t snow bird annually our way to Vegas, they have been pivotal to our stay in Vegas in every which way. To both our profound thanks and deep gratitude. But it is also evident, that my brother proved to be the more prolific one. He and Pin are the parents to five, grandparents to 12 and great grandparents to two. About 50% of the faces you see today belong to them and vicariously Milan and I make some small claim. Through the years I have seen the younger generations go thru their babyhood, childhood, teen hood, college, career choice, marriage and parenthood. This panorama is etched in my years and I feel the richer.
“I HEAR YOU…” OOOPS I LOOKED AT A DIFFERENT CARD…SORRY….IT IS SOMEWHAT MISTY IT MUST BE FROM DAVID DENNISON.
On a separate note, what is the etymology of Lolo. Lolo means Grandpa and is universally used in the Philippines. I always thought it was Spanish in origin, it may still be, but Spanish people do not have it in their lexicon. I theorize then that while the etymology may still be Spanish, probably from the word Abuelo meaning grandfather. I suspect Lolo is derived from the last syllable of abuelo, and because children who just start to verbalize tend to iterate the last syllable of a new word they hear, thus Lolo came about along with Lola which is for grandmother. As for how Chiapo came about in our family it is yet another story and I will let my wife explain that.
With that I thank everyone for sharing this day with me. Special thanks and appreciation to the eloquent speakers who spoke on a subject that wants in eloquence.
Date: February 5, 2018
Delivered: March 18, 2018
Venue: Canaletto Ristorante Veneto
Piazza at the Venetian/Palazzo
Las Vegas, NV