Once upon a time, 5 years ago to be exact, I turned 40 years old. I thought my life was over. I thought all I had to look forward to was single parenting two teens and loneliness. It was a significant birthday that I will never forget. My sisters teamed up to take me out to a dueling piano bar where I subsequently got drunk in public for the first time in my life. Ten years before, for my birthday, my family rallied once again when I turned 30, and paid to fly me down to Socal from Seattle. We had a grand dinner at a restaurant which my family never did. It was all for me. I couldn’t believe it. My dad bought me a glass of wine and I felt so grown up and important and special. A few months later he died of cancer.
Birthdays have always been the one day I hoped people would make me feel special. Lots of people want this. But this year is different. I almost forgot my birthday was coming up because I have so much on my mind and I’ve been so busy. You see, I’m selling my house and we have a place in the city now. I’ve been packing up boxes little by little and moving them. I also have a pending surgery in a few weeks that has me a little worried. But on top of those stressful things, in the last month, I’ve traveled to Vancouver, Canada and San Francisco, California. I’ve had the most incredible experiences and seen the most incredible things. Beautiful forests, sunsets, cityscapes, museums, restaurants and staying in the nicest most beautiful places. I’m having the time of my life.
And in between all the excitement, and travel, and stress, in the quiet moments, I have a man who looks into my eyes. Sometimes his eyes are full of tears. He holds me and tells me how I’m his very best friend and he loves me. We talk about God, my kids, the state of the nation, the size of the moon, or anything and everything that is on our mind.
This year, my husband listened to me as we walked through Sur le Table as I swooned over just about every kitchen gadget we saw. He promptly got on the internet during a long flight and ordered me three of the things I swooned over the most. He was so excited and knew he’d done good. He couldn’t wait for them to arrive two days later in the mail before spilling the beans about what he bought for me. He was so excited when they came that he opened the boxes himself. He beamed because he was able to make me happy.
In the midst of the craziness of this world and all the trials and things that don’t go the way I want them to, I have this man who wants to make me happy. Not just on my birthday, but everyday. Everyday he makes me feel important and special. Everyday.
So this birthday, I’m not concerned about what happens. With Harry, I feel like its my birthday everyday. This birthday my life feels like it’s just beginning. I have a lifetime of hope to look forward to. I’ll be exploring and experiencing life in the city in a giant loft with the love of my life. I’m beginning not only a new chapter, but it sort of feels like an entirely new book.
Maybe wisdom does come with age and I’m learning to appreciate the little things in life and be more content with whatever comes my way. Or maybe I have one of the kindest, most generous, most loving men left on the planet. Either way, I’m not complaining.
Tomorrow he will be frantically working and completely focused on meeting his goals for work, because we have two households we are covering and that is the responsible and prudent thing to do. I probably will only see him after he is completely spent and has little to no energy left. But I know his heart is with me and I know whatever he does it’s for our good. I trust him and love him with my whole heart. And this birthday girl is going to thank God for the day I was born. Thank God for the life He has given me that led me to this place at 45. Thank God for my children who still tell me they love me even if we don’t always see eye to eye. And thank God for what is to come and for the hope he has given back to me.