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Friday, May 20, 2011

Celebration of a (continuing) Life

*     When all is said and done, the gift we give each other is ourselves.
A           A life was celebrated this past Saturday and Sunday..... Mine!!!  My best-friend-since-3rd-grade, Peggy, flew in from Chicago to surprise me, which she did on Saturday! Katherine, Molly, Jeff, Molly's husband, and of course the light of our lives - Jack-  had a 'pool party' after she arrived. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, although I did have to heat up the pool a bit. We ended up the day by going to eat at a favorite restaurant. :)
             Sunday, another beautiful day, found Peggy and me meeting Molly and Jack at the zoo. Peggy and I took over Jack in his stroller and Molly went home to prepare for a church pot-luck.  Fun was had by all! Jack loved the 'monks' and 'elfn' and Peggy and I got treated when the lion roared over and over again!  He even got on the 'cliff' in his area to do it!  Just like the Lion King! Neither of us had ever really seen or heard that before!  Jack was less than impressed. He mostly enjoyed climbing on the railings at each exhibit!  Jack also preferred walking as opposed to riding in his stroller. He was a good little walker until he tripped. I had his sweaty little hand so he did not crash, but I could tell it was time to pack it in.  As we drove home, Kat called to see where we were and said she had finished her yard work and was going swimming and would see us at my house.  (Little did I know she was tracking our progress!)
              We pulled up into the garage as usual, I got Jack out of his car seat and we go in through the laundry room door....into a big yell of "SURPRISE!!!!!!!" My girls were having a surprise 60th b-day party for me!!!!  OMG!!!!  I was more than totally clueless! I was so surprised I forgot to put Jack down! I just gaped!  My eyes must have been HUGE! Really and truly, I did not even realize I had enough friends to even make up a surprise party!  Jack was almost frantic to get to his mama before I had enough sense to let him down and greet my friends! (Remember, we had been at the zoo getting sweaty....)
              I am still flabbergasted and I still get tears in my eyes!  What a Divine Conspiracy had happened right under my nose!  As I visited with my friends, I heard over and over, "I thought I almost gave it away when I .....  Didn't you wonder????"  I had seen NONE of it coming!  When did I stop paying attention to my life?
              I used my 6-hours-each-way trip to Louisiana to think about my continued surprised-ness.  I finally realized it was because I do not expect people to think I am special and to do special things for me.  Especially things that take a lot of time and any effort. Especially here where I have been for only 3 years. The girls got names of my friends from other friends, sent absolutely darling invites out, cooked a huge, delishious, wonderful dinner for about 35 people who showered me with gifts and love.  How could my 60th birthday not be my best ever?
              I need to take some time and rethink how I look at myself.  But most of all how I am loved by my precious children and friends, and also by a God who thinks I am precious and delights in surprising me and showers me with blessings beyond all that I could even ever ask for or imagine!

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