Monday, August 31, 2015

The Subtle Giraffe

Today is my 43rd birthday.  Birthdays are often catastrophic for me --- on a Biblical level.  Truly, honestly, cursed. Those who know my story can confirm that this is not an exaggeration.  I usually approach August 31 with a great deal of dread, and with the assumption that it will be the worst day of my life. That I will once again be the lame gazelle that can't escape the merciless clutches of the deadly cheetah.

But today, it wasn't like that at all.  Today I was like the subtle giraffe.

A dear friend called this morning to wish me a happy birthday, and to share details from a family funeral that occurred over the weekend.  The stories progressed in such outrageousness that I finally told her, "The universe is literally shoving this down your throat, begging you to write it all down."

And then I wondered, what is the universe trying to tell me?

Two weekends ago, my parents were in town.  My sister and her family came over for brunch, which turned out to be a birthday party for me. They were running a little late, which is to be expected when you have a toddler.  But it turns out the reason was because the baker dropped my cake and then spelled my name wrong on the new one.  My sister wouldn't leave until the cake was perfect.

Last weekend my sister-in-law and her kids made dinner for me.  When I walked in the door, my three year old nephew jumped into my arms and gave me a big hug.  He then led me around the house to show me my flowers and balloon. He wanted me to see that everything was perfect.

This morning, I awoke to texts and Facebook messages from people who chose to start their day by wishing me well.  I had a greeting card from my husband on my nightstand and breakfast waiting for me downstairs. I received a random text from my son's former coach, telling me what a great basketball player he is.  And then I got a text from my daughter.

I have experienced great pain and loss on my birthday.  But today I received the gift of the subtle giraffe.   A thing so big, yet so easily overlooked, that it took a million signs from the universe for me to open my eyes and see it.

Turns out, I am actually blessed.  Yes, some horrible things have happened to me.  And yes, I am still dealing with their darkness.  But look at all the people that love me - and look at all the good things weaving their way into my world.  I have a daughter who makes me laugh like no one else can, and is going to change the world, just by being herself.  I have a son whose drive to succeed and whose work ethic inspires everyone around him.  I have a husband that loves me so much, and a family that goes out of their way to make me feel special. 

How can I feel cursed with so many people in my corner?  

The answer is, I can't.  I will still have good days and bad days, but on this day, this birthday, I can see life for what it truly is - an adventure, a safari, in which sometimes, the cheetah goes home hungry.  

Turns out, my birthday was perfect.

Until next time, keep crowin', and look for the subtle giraffe in your life!

No comments:

Post a Comment