Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. -Rabindranath Tagore.
I think that's so pretty I just wanted to share it before I went on...I think it's a fitting quote for the story I'm about to share with you.
I’m not a person who puts a lot of stock into presents, however there are three gifts that have come to mind today. I choose to remember them and to be thankful for them. Sometimes I don’t remember what I did yesterday, but four years ago today I remember the day exactly…
I was riding to Dalton Outlet Mall with my friend to look for a little shopping cart for her mother. Mind you they were at the Ace hardware store, five minutes from my house, but my friend had done so much for me and my mother during her illness, who was I to question what she needed? She was there for me all the way and now she needed me and I was going to be there for her. That friendship was and still is a gift and a blessing to me.
The second gift, is why I'm remembering today so well, it was from my daughter. I 'received' my 50th birthday present (even though my birthday is later on this month) four years ago today.
Remember now, my parents both had just died nine days ago. My daughter had planned a surprise 50th birthday party for me. She had started planning it almost a year before and had picked this date, not knowing the events that would precede this date. She thought about canceling it, but when she talked to the others, they all encouraged her to go ahead and to do it anyway, that it would be good for me and it was. :)
If you knew me, you’d know not much gets by me. I’m pretty observant. I’m always thinking and looking at things (analyzing). My senses are usually acute, but not this time, I didn't catch on to one thing! I knew she was doing some weird things, that didn’t make sense, but I was too tired to ask. I'd walk into the office and she’d be on the computer. Later she told me when I walked in the office, she'd just the computer off, and that I didn’t even say anything. She said she did other things as well in front of me, but I never asked her about them -honey, I didn't even see them. I think when you're so stressed you don’t want to see anything else or you can't.
Anyway, the good present... she gave me a surprise birthday party. She did everything over the email. Had the replies sent to a friend's house, supplies to another friend house, gifts to another, etc. She ordered a wonderful meal catered from the Olive Garden. I never caught on to a thing. She hid the decorations in the basement. She made me a book with 'fifty' cards in it and had each friend write a memory card, putting something they wanted to share about our friendship, and made me this wonderful book for me. I believe there is a name for that in German - 'fet shrift' ~ even my son was here for an interview, so that didn’t seem odd either.
My friend brought me home from Dalton (we didn't even buy the shopping cart for her mother) what she had really done was keep me out of the house for my daughter) and I don't remember seeing any cars around. I got out of her car and walked up to the house and went in. I think about 50 people came out and screamed "Happy Birthday" to me. I had cameras flashing and people hugging me. I thought I was going to have a stroke at first, I was truly shocked. I had friends that had come from out of town to be here too. I had a big and I mean huge green cake (?) and we all had a wonderful time. Everyone commented that everyone got along so well, But I never knew it was coming. My son made an odd comment, he said, "Gee mom, you're friends are really nice". Like he was so surprised...
I want to always remember how hard my daughter worked on this for me, the planning she did (she should be an events planner), and how much she loves me. I will always remember how much I am loved by my friends too. So Chatty, next time you get sad, choose to remember this day and how much you are loved. Thank you my sweet little girl.
My third gift, oddly enough was from my son, this past Christmas. You'd have to know him to really appreciate the sacrifice he made for me with this gift - it was a deep and thoughtful gift. He's not a real warm and fuzzy type of guy, although I do believe in my heart that he has definite potential. I sense right now, he has some fear of letting himself go, he's afraid and I'm not sure why. I do hope some day that he can let go and feel life more and have some fun.
I had spent at least five years writing my book called "Full Circle". If you ever want to get better mentally, write a book. I promise you it's therapeutic. I feel I literally gave birth to that book. It's a fiction book, romantic, but with deep meaning. Some of my own story and struggles are included and some of my dreams. I had carried those struggles around with me on my back, for a long time. Being able to put my story in one place, enabled me to move on with my life - lighter. I didn't want to forget what had happened, and I didn't want to carry it around with me anymore either, so now, it's all written down and I can go to it when I WANT too, yet I can move on when I want without carrying it.
My son called my husband last summer and had him email my book over the Internet and he found a publishing company. He put the book on their website. He fixed the margins; he put my name on the pages, and he figured everything out for me. He even picked out a hard cover for it - it is beautiful ~~~ He worked on it for hours and believe me, he doesn't have a lot of spare time. I never even suspecting a thing here either, but for Christmas I received my copy of 'my own book'.
It was a triple gift, the thought, the published book, and the work he had to do to get it published, including the time he had to take to do. Son, you are finally seeing a little bit of light. Thank you sweetie.
Anyway, I was thinking of something Ziggy said - Why is it our joyous of joys can also be our saddest of sads? Turn it around and think, When we are in our saddest of sads, we can have our joyous of joys.
Chatty, a very thankful mother