Thursday, March 5, 2009
Thanks so much for all your birthday wishes. I'm grinning ear-to-ear today. Some of these e-cards have me in tears (of gratitude). Others have me in stitches. They're all terrific!
About birthdays. I usually don't celebrate them in a big way, but this evening Jackie "and a few of our closest friends and family" (perhaps up to EIGHT of them) are going to Red Robin for dinner. That is, we'll have close to eight if the McNivens can get away to do it; that isn't certain yet.
Eegads. It's just a dinner -- no presents or toasts or anything to embarrass me -- so I agreed.
Don't know WHAT Red Robin will do, since they know it's my birthday (they sent me a card for a free hamburger). If they do anything outlandish, I will end up under the table, fer sure, fer sure... and may never return again on my big day, free burger or not!
One other thing about birthdays. I have always thought we should celebrate OUR MOTHERS on our birthdays, since they went through nine months of pregnancy (and all of the hormonal and emotional challenges and risks it entails) and God only knows how many hours of labor and anguish to push us unto the world. I guess that's why I don't feel I "deserve" to be feted on my birthday -- although I'm more than willing to fete others on THEIRS. (What is wrong with this picture?)
I want to thank my mom, who's in heaven now. That is, I THINK I want to thank my mom.
I sometimes wonder, if I'd had a choice in the matter would I have thought it was such a grand idea to produce me? I mean, life is hard. As blessed as we are in this country with all that God has provided us, it's STILL hard. Hard to make a living that sustains us; hard to find reasons to want to get out of bed in the morning sometimes. It's hard when loved ones get into trouble, or get sick, or become deathly ill and we can't help them. It's hard when WE get into trouble or get sick. Of course, that's when we grow the most and learn the most, but it's still a struggle.
I'm the least depressed person you'll ever meet. I'm a joy-filled person nearly every minute of my life, with lots of smiles and laughs and good feelings. And it's STILL hard to get through life. I don't know what people do who have less natural ebullience (and less faith) to lift their spirits.
I really do love my life -- especially the life I've lived the past several months where I'm actually living my dream of being a writer and supporting myself (by the skin of my teeth!) doing it. I couldn't be happier -- and it's STILL hard! Not as hard as many others have it in this tanking economy... not as hard as third world countries have it every day of their lives. I'm blessed and fortunate. AND IT'S STILL HARD!
So... I ask myself, "Did mom do me a favor, giving birth to me?"
Maybe that's the wrong question to be asking.
Maybe the right question to ask is, "Did Mom do the world a favor, giving birth to me?"
I hope that when the verdict is in on THAT one, the response will be, "Yes, she did."
Our lives aren't about us; they're more significant than that (or should be, anyway). Our lives are about what we do with them to lighten another's load or share another's burden.
If I can reflect the character, the compassion, and the wisdom of my mom, DeForest Kelley, and Robert Kennedy (who were three image-bearers of the same wonderful Creator), the answer will be "Yes." To the degree that I mess up, the answer will be, "Not exactly."
Maybe that's what keeps me going, wanting to have a life that balances in favor of, "Yes."
Mom, thank you SO MUCH for the opportunity to be a blessing. You sure were!