There were moments when I looked around the room and thought, “this must be what it feels like if you get married later in life and celebrate 20 years worth of friendships alongside a new beginning.” Sure, this weekend birthday trip was filled with fun and silliness, but among the recognizable faces, were layered lifetime experiences. With each person that “showed up” for the trip, they had already done so in many ways in my life already. This was just a bonus.
I have made no secret that having my babies opened up a part in me that was love personified. Sacrifice at it’s finest, I was willing to give whatever it took to give them a solid beginning in this world. What I received in return was unconditional. As I have cultivated friendships, what I give is what I can, wherever I am at the time. What I get in return is permission and acceptance to be exactly who I am and appreciation for what I bring. So, I tried hard to give these women a token of my admiration for them on our trip by matching a famous quote to each of them. In typical “me” fashion I spent hours looking for the quote that spoke to me about them….and much less time making it look pretty in a frame (oh to be crafty). Why not just give a card with some kind words? Somewhere along the way, I decided that there is an artistic side of me and as hokey as it may be, I love layering simple appreciation into words veiled with meaning. This is burden my friends must bare to be close with me, so I gave them a token of my idiosyncratic to take home. 🙂
In all seriousness though, at the end of this life, I WANT to leave knowing that I put it all out on the line for the ones I love. Indeed, in these “middle years,” I can’t stop expressing the gratitude and amazement about those in my world, and I have no desire to go back to guarded blinders. A life full of wonderment, beauty and thankfulness is more special than I probably deserve, but too amazing not to share with others….and you can quote me on that.