Writers are intrigued by mysteries. Some writers, like my friend Paul Herd, writes mystery novels as Thomas S. Mulvaugh but I haven't attempted the genre.

Writers are intrigued by mysteries.  Some writers, like my friend Paul Herd, writes mystery novels as Thomas S. Mulvaugh but I haven't attempted the genre.
My Granny celebrated her birthday each year on July 18.  As far as she could recall, she always had but there's a possibility it wasn't her birthday at all.  She was born in the 1890's in St. Joseph, Missouri but the exact date of her birth has long been under contention.  For many years, she used the date July 18, 1898 as her date of birth.  That date matched her age when she graduated from 8th grade in 1912, an event that often happened around the age of 14.  But, my father recalled a conversation about her actual date of birth during his childhood when his dad, born in 1894, told Granny she might be older than he was.
Birth records are well-known to be unreliable and sometimes non-existent in the late 19th and early 20th century.  Missouri State Birth Records are divided into 1910 and after and those before 1910. Around the time my grandmother went to apply for her first Social Security benefits, she needed documentation.  She had no birth certificate or an entry in a family Bible.  The City of St. Joseph kept their set of vital statistics so she checked with them.
They found no record of a Hazel Hayward born on July 18, 1898.  There was a handwritten record of Baby Girl Hayward born on that date in 1896.  My mom, employed as a Social Security claims representative at the time urged her to use it.  Granny had no other documentation to establish her birth so she did.  And, she remembered that because her mother needed her at home, to help her, she might have started school two years later than the average.  It seems that her parents sent her to school at the age of eight, not six.  Birth certificates were not required to begin school back then and so her birth date was adjusted by two years.
Although it would seem that her birth year was actually 1896, the date might or might not be July 18. Regardless, she continued to celebrate on that day.  
Since Granny liked her July 18 birthday, she kept it.  Whether it was truly the day she came into this world or her sister's birthday is unknown.  Her mother and my great-grandmother lost several of the children she bore, some as infants.  Anything is possible but for all practical purposes, we use July 18 as Granny's birthday.
Although my Granny died in February, 1980, I still think of her each July 18.  In my early years in Neosho, we sent cards and gifts to her but after 1974, she always came down to visit during her birthday week and we celebrated each year.
Everyday is some body's birthday, a bakery used to proclaim, so don't forget the cake. - or the day.  But, even if the date is questioned, as long as there's a day to mark the occasion, it's all good. 

Lee Ann Murphy is a staff writer and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.