My birthday….

So it’s that time of year, again…. it’s about to be my birthday. For a middle child who has always struggled with selfishness, this is no small occasion. Except, I’m getting older. Or maybe wiser. Probably both. And it’s got me thinking. Most people count their birthdays by what they received or what they did that year. I count my birthdays by who I spent it with. When you add it up that way, I have had a very blessed 32 birthdays.
My birthdays have been every shade from hot pink melodrama to sparkling white innocence, from slate gray angst to serene seafoam green. And that’s before you factor in the people. I have been blessed to have never spent my birthday alone. But the people I have spent the past 32 February 24ths with have changed dramatically. I hope they always will. As bittersweet as that feels, it means something. Life. Life is full of surprises. Just when I think I have reached some sweet spot where I am safe to stay, something happens on an overcast Tuesday, and I am thrown for a loop again. Friends die. They move away. They decide I am no longer worth the effort it takes to maintain our friendship. They meet someone in a coffee shop who makes them feel like they are who thay want to be, and quit calling until they find him in bed making someone else feel the same way. Or, worse, they just fade away. A day of not calling each other turns into weeks, which then turns into months of only talking via comments on facebook. And then, its a special day and you want them there, but you can’t remember the last time you hung out, and it feels awkward. So you do nothing. Because, you used to share everything.
I have a handfull of people in my life who have been with me since day one. It feels weird to call these people friends, but they are so much more than family. They are a walking history book of my life. They know where I come from, how I got here, and spur me on to where I should go. They are a tether of the most pleasant kind. And one I’ll not soon cut.
This year, I’ll be celebrating with different people from different places in my life over 4 days. Nothing extravagant but the people. Aren’t friends one of the best extravagances? People who you look at and see as worth fighting for, worth scheduling for, worth sacrificing for. God has been gracious to me. He has filled my life with people worth getting to know better, people whose stories are still being written, people who dance and laugh, who fight for children, who see the world in color, people who dare to hope. I am surrounded by people who have the courage to love. And so many of them, have chosen, against all odds, to love me. ME!
They have filled the empty spaces in my heart. They have given my children Aunties and Uncles and second sets of grandparents. They have caused me to know myself for more than what I see in the mirror. They have been the very best souveneirs from my travels in this life. They are the postcards of my past and the letters worth saving for the future. And I, I am so blessed. As I turn 33 in a few days, I am aware of all the ways my life has been marked by others. I am so grateful to have known the love that I have been so freely given. I am so grateful for the chance to give that love back. This year I celebrate that it’s people, not the years, that really matters.

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One thought on “My birthday….

  1. Happy Birthday, tomorrow! I love being the first. Of course I’m a day early. I wish you could move to Colville. just sayin. Still waiting for the chance to come over for the weekend, my weekend! Maybe Spring Break? I met you when you were 19? Seems like forever ago. Lots of changes have happened, remembering is half the fun in life. Remembering the times we shared makes me giggle. So this Birthday wishing you more changes, happenings and way more giggles. Love you,

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