Monday, September 8, 2008


So yesterday my husband and friends threw a surprise party for me.

I woke up, got ready for a breakfast with my two besties, Linda and Em.

Mark was going to the park with Lily and his besties, Erich and Seth. I thought that was a little weird cause my husband hates nature, but whatever.

I arrive at the diner, place my order to hold the table, and wait. I am having a total 8th grade moment. I am looking the menu over, reading old text messages, playing it cool. Okay, I definitely didn't look cool, but I was trying.

I digress. Anywho, Mark calls me and tells me Lily has fallen and hurt herself and I must come NOW. But I don't hear her crying, and he doesn't sound particularly panicked. Hmmmmm.

So I get in the car and head over. As I drive into the lot at the park I see my friends all sitting under the shelter with their babies. I make a solemn promise in my head not to cry, since I have makeup on and don't wanna look like Tammy Faye.

I get out, they yell "Surprise!!!" and the party ensues. It is beautiful, if warm (remember what I said about NC this time of year?) and we all have a great time, especially the rugrats, who spend most of the time picking ice up off the ground and eating it, or like Lily, SUCKING water off the ground. Ummm ick. But I let her do it anyway so I could eat cake in peace. I got my priorities in order, ya'll.

I didn't process much while the party went on, but afterwards, driving home, I thought alot about how my life has changed. I've spent many birthdays alone. I've spent a few in foster homes. I spent one under an overpass.

I've never really felt like anybody celebrated me...until this year. This year, I feel loved. I feel happy. I feel like I matter to people. It's amazing, humbling, and warms me.

A while ago, I invited living back into my life. I felt like I had just been going thru the motions for a while, on autopilot. We all do it from time to time, but I was damn sick of it. I finally worked up the courage to ask God to bring people into my life, even if it meant I would have to open my heart and love, which is hard for me. Even if it meant I would have to go out on a limb and trust. I asked him to give me courage. I asked him to open me up to life, even if it was painful.

I asked him most of all, to give me people to love.

And he did:

I cannot say with words how much the past 6 months have been life changing. I have learned that love does not hurt, support is absolute and real, that trust can be given and cherished, and that family is not always blood.

I have learned that anything in this life is made sweeter with friendship. That sorrow is halved, and joy doubled. That I don't have to hide. That I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to know all the answers. I don't have to be strong.

I have taken a leap into a world I have skirted for so long. I am diving headfirst into trusting and loving and being open to others. And I am finding that love is easy. Love is gracious. Love and frienship are essential.

So thank you, friends. Thank you for seeing me as worthy of celebration. It may be a small thing to you- a few hours, a little cake, some food, some singing. But to me it was something I have never experienced.

You honor me, and I love you for it.

Thank you.