It's been a heck of a fun two years - I say this dripping with sarcasm by the way because it's been about as fun as a root canal w/o anesthesia. However, it also got me remembering some things and remember a special birthday. With so many birthdays in October in our family, I do what I can to make sure Chris' b-day is very special and he is always thoughtful enough to do the same. And thankfully, my friends are good at making sure my birthdays are good too, but 1997 takes the cake.
I learned a valuable lesson that year. . . I learned who my friends really were and what a good friend does to brighten a friends year. February of 1997 my 23rd birthday was arriving and I wasn't especially excited about it. After all, for my 21st birthday we were recovering from a house fire that had occurred that week before and my 22nd birthday meant we buried my grandmother on my actual birthday. Nothing kills the birthday spirit like going to a funeral. Through this, my best friend, Jaymi was there with love and support. She and Stephen sat with me at the funeral and drove with me to the cemetery and listened to me through it all.
So as you can see, I wondered what God had in store for turning 23 yrs old - a bus could hit me, or I could develop some fatal disease - honestly at that point I felt like emotional pain was my lot in life. The day of my birthday Stephen asked me what time I got off from work because he needed to know so Jaymi could pick me up. It was a little odd the way he asked, but I was a little preoccupied with eating and making it to work on time so I shrugged it off and did what I had to do. I finished my work day and Jaymi picked me up and we drove back to Southern Nazarene University and as I walked in the lobby there they were, just a few close friends, with homemade cupcakes & lemonade and presents. To the naked eye it might not have seemed like much, a handmade mobile a penguin with a tall glass bottel to keep it upright, a bag of Clinique samples and a birthday tape (all of which I still have by the way). But them yelling surprise and telling me they wanted me to have a birthday that didn't involve me crying - well ironically it made me cry anyway. In that moment and a few others since then I knew I was loved by the people who knew me, warts and all and still they chose to call me friend.
Birthdays have come and gone, some have been uneventful, some required police followed by a lovely wonderfully delicious birthday dinner and cake that evening! And some have been pretty awesome, but in all of them, I find it is the small things that I cherish the most. A large box of crayons and coloring books, a birthday dinner and cake made to cheer me up when the rest of the day had stunk horribly, those are the things memories and life are made of in the grand scheme of things.
Cars rust, jewelry can break and be stole, money is gone as quickly as you earn it, but in the end, it is the friends, family, and husbands who love us who make life worthwhile. And in the grand scheme of life you don't get much richer than that until you make it to Heaven.
Have a good week.