You Were/Are: The Birthday Girl

October 22, 2010

Does this day feel particularly special to you? Yes, I know it’s your birthday. What you might not realize is that it’s been your birthday five lives in a row. You’ve lived in feudal Japan, fourteenth century Finland, Timbuktu during the Songhay Empire, and early twentieth century Las Vegas. But you’ve always arrived on earth on October twenty-second.

It all goes back to Japan. In the twelfth century, you were the wife of a legendary samurai. Though your name has been lost to history, in your time you were almost as well known as your husband. While he was away (and he was often away), you used your wit and your wiles to grow the family fortune. And you never hesitated to defend that fortune with a deadly naginata. Though you were young, people traveled for miles to seek your council on issues that ranged from animal husbandry to the proper treatment of carbuncles. There seemed no limit to your wisdom.

Over time, however, you became unhappy. You were anxious to settle down properly (perhaps even start a family), but your husband was never at home. (The wives of other samurai often took such matters into their own hands. But you adored your husband and never dreamed of betraying him.) The letters you sent to the battlefields of Japan would have made the Emperor himself shed a tear. At last, your husband promised to return.

No matter what happened, his last letter read, he would meet you on your birthday. October 22.

I think you know where this is going. He didn’t get there. And you died of a broken heart. But this isn’t a story with a tragic ending. You both remembered what day you were meant to meet. So you’ve both returned to earth on October 22. (And the universe has made sure that the years match up.) You’ve found each other in three lives so far. I hope you’ve found each other in this one. (If not, just wait.)


3 Responses to “You Were/Are: The Birthday Girl”

  1. Abby Says:

    THANK YOU! It’s so beautiful! And, just so you know, we found each other once more…

  2. Jennifer Says:


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