Anyone need a big black sign that says Happy Birthday You’re 40?
I’m trying to clean up the mess that is my home this morning and I’m not quite sure what to do with the banner I’ve got sitting in a bag filled otherwise with wine, a bottle of locally made fine vodka, a whole slew of cards and a few gifts I have yet to get to on my living room floor.
I’m definitely hanging onto the beverages. But the sign. Given I prefer recycling to further contributing to the trash heap outside town where I can… Anyone… Anyone want it or need it for their own celebration?
I’ve not given a whole lot of thought (yet) to the fact I’m turning 40 this year.
I figured I’d get around to that .. perhaps the night or the few minutes before the clock strikes twelve on my ‘special day’.
Our family has always celebrated birthdays, but very quietly. Growing up it was always dinner with my dad, brother, grandmother, perhaps my aunt and uncle. An angel food cake that my mom would make. A few gifts. That’s it.
Because of this, I have never made a big deal out of birthdays that I can remember. In fact .. when I turned 21, just about everyone in my group that night was three sheets to the wind. I drove them home.
I am also typically not a big fan of surprises. So the two, surprises and a big party, combined in any fashion is not something I would ever say I want.
The Cowboy has been bugging me for awhile about what we’re going to do .. about the ‘special birthday’ I have coming up.
“I don’t know yet,” I keep saying.. “Well, I do want to get a few key family members together because we need to … But other than that, nothing,” I tell him.
With a few of those key family members in town, just a fraction of the larger group I would like to have time with … some of us were going to get together this weekend. For dinner. A nice, intimate little dinner I thought was a belated Easter get-together.
The Cowboy and I walked in. I started to look around to see where they might all be.
Quickly a hand went around my waist, steering me left.
“They are over here,” says the Cowboy.
“How do you know where they are sitting,” I asked him.
And before he could answer ..
I see a room full of people. All of whom I love … family and friends … all from very different parts of my life …
“Happy Birthday!” they shouted. I think, anyway. I was so taken back, and quite honestly, shocked .. I really can’t remember what all transpired or what was said.
It was the most wonderful chaos.
One I never would have asked for or thought I wanted. But one I will forever cherish.
A night the Cowboy had planned for months with the help of a few friends, kept a secret and made special in so many ways, as I head toward a new chapter and decade in my life.
“I just wanted to get everyone together who loves you .. think its important you know how so many feel about you,” the Cowboy told me.
I’m still not sure what to say .. other than thank you all. For those who were there that night.
For those who came from far away, who rearranged plans, who lied to me for months out of the goodness of their hearts, who I haven’t seen in forever but who have touched my life far beyond what they will truly ever know.
For those that wanted to be there but couldn’t. For those who helped the Cowboy pull it off. For the notes and gifts and well wishes .. especially the wine. Please stop by and let’s share.
There are few opportunities we get in life I think, to really look around and realize in one moment, how blessed we are by the people in our lives.
Usually it is at a wedding, or a funeral.
Or .. a birthday celebration.
I am reminded though, after nights like the other night, how important it is we take advantage of every occasion to appreciate those we love and that are around us. It is something I try to do as often as I can .. but that there never seems enough time to do, as well as I might want or like. I would assume that is the case for us all.
But even those who stopped by for a few moments, made a statement that to me will last a lifetime.