My birthday is always a big deal. (Always to me, sometimes to everyone else.) This year, I feel like I’ve actually embarked upon my true adulthood. I’ve kept saying that adulthood sucks a big fat one (super mature, I know), but it actually hasn’t been that bad.
I’ve gotten married, fixed up our house…helped make it a home for the Harrises, and really begun to appreciate what true friendship and unconditional love really means. I have a wonderful family that supports me through everything and I have a framilly that does the same.
Hubby took me out for my birthday dinner on Friday night. We went to the Northshore Brasserie (where we went for our late Valentine’s Day/engagement anniversary this year). It was good…the mussels and bread to start the meal were amazing and the wine was delicious. Our entrees were ok, but the dessert (a chocolate creme brulee) was to die for. In the end we decided that when we go back, we’ll order one type of mussels as an appetizer and then order a second kind as an entree then just go straight to dessert.
On Saturday, we watched the pitiful excuse of a football game at Shane’s. It was a super fun day with friends, but the excitement from the day put me to sleep by 9:30!
Today, my actual birthday, I got to open presents from Hubby. When he got up, he was rummaging around the house looking frustrated. I asked him, “Bubba, what’s wrong?” He said, “I can’t find ANYTHING!” I said, “What are you looking for?” He said, “A bag.” I said, “A bag for presents?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “They are in the garage under the wedding koozies.” After some finagling, this is what he came up with…
Not too shabby! What was even more exciting is how well he did with my birthday presents.
I’ll tell you one thing, my hubby is a good listener and if you are too, you know what’s in that bag…he also got me the movie Up.
After I opened presents from Bubba, we went to brunch at the Gourmet Market with Mom, Becky, Katie, Courtney and la hermana Kelly. From Mom, I got another great pair of shoes and the ultimate meatloaf pan. From Katie and Courtney, I got a pair of workout pants. From Becky, I got a card and some cash from her and Nana.
Tonight, Kelly is cooking framily dinner at her place. She is making beef stroganauff and chicken alfredo. She has spoiled me rotten this week making me chocolate pistachio and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Now she’s making dinner!
Like I said, I am so blessed and couldn’t be more aware of it as I turn 25. I know Pop would be proud of the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with. This would be his 82nd birthday (if I’ve done my math correctly…and don’t assume that I have).
On our last birthday of the 20th century, Pop wrote me a letter. (Yes. A pen and ink letter on wide-ruled paper.) I’ve carried this letter with me since the day he gave it to me and I’ve used it, like a Bible, when I have needed words of wisdom or advice.
At 13 he said to me, in this letter, “The next eight years will be tough ones for you as you will make decisions during this time that will affect you for the rest of your life.” Boy was he right, but the other words he provided helped me in dealing with that. Here are some of the things he said:
- Hold fast to your faith in God, no matter what. That faith will get you through some very rough waters and God will always be there to help if you ask.
- Your mom is a great lady…It takes real love to be able to guide children in the right path.
- Although popularity and acceptance are desirable, you must maintain your own style and adhere to your own standards.
- Keep a positive attitude toward learning. Maintain a high level of curiosity and purpose. Question things that strike you wrong and use the vast resources you have (internet) to verify what you think.
- Stand up for what you believe is right, but if you find you are wrong, don’t be afraid to change.
- Family is important.
Possibly, the most important lesson he gave me in this letter, though I go back to a lot of them often, is this: “Remember where you come from. It will help you immeasurably in deciding where you want to go.”
What a bright and knowledgeable man my Pop was. It was as if he knew, at the end of the 20th century, that I would need these words long after he was gone and that, at 13, I might not be patient enough to hear them. He gave them to me long hand so that I can carry them with me always. As I said, he wrote this letter to me on September 18th, 1999. He died February 21, 2001…just one year, four months and a few days after he wrote this.
I feel so incredibly blessed (and I know I say that a lot) to share my birthday with him and hope that he is always proud of the things I am doing. He may have an urge to nag once in a while, but, in the end, hopefully sees that I’m getting where I should be based on the heartfelt advice he gave me over 12 year ago.
Happy Birthday, Pop.