I’m 49!!! (308 days away from home)

So I turned 49 yesterday. I am now one day into my 50th year. And yes; it’s kind of freaking me out!
Now for all of you 50+ friends out there who wanna tell me that 50 is nothing or that I’m just a spring chicken and it’s when life begins, I get that 50 isn’t that old. But I’m assuming that most people didn’t spend the bulk of a year in hospital and have to retire at 48 due to crappy health circumstances. So hopefully you’ll forgive me for feeling kind of old today.
But on top of feeling old, I’m also feeling truly thankful.
I am thankful for the birthday I had yesterday. It started out with being able to have a crap and a shower. And man those things are so underrated. (I told you I was old:)
But I digress.
I also was able to chat with my two older sisters, my mom and my dad on the phone. That was really nice.
Then one of my former coworkers took me to lunch at a Korean restaurant. She brought me birthday cards from folks at work. Awesome.
Then I scooted around outside on my wheelchair for a couple of hours in the sunny late November blue sky day. I thoroughly enjoyed that.
Throughout the day I also literally received hundreds and hundreds of messages, phone calls, texts, and emails wishing me a happy birthday. I felt so very loved and encouraged by the community around me.
And then the event that I looked forward to most during the day happened. The girls asked me what I would like to eat on my birthday and I told them that I was craving steak. So we went to the keg.
And ate steak!
We ate together catching up with each other’s lives and enjoying each other’s company. They also even gave me a couple of birthday presents which I loved (including a ‘vintage November 1969 All original parts’ T-shirt). And then after it was all said and done the management brought me a giant piece of chocolate cake with a candle in it.
And three spoons.

So the end of my 49th year was the 3 of us eating a piece of cake together.
It felt a little like taking communion.
It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Despite all the hard stuff that happened in my 49th year, lots of good stuff happened too. I graduated as a spiritual director and get to take on that role once in a while along the way. I have been invited to speak at a few gatherings lately which have helped me feel like a real human being. I’ve been able to hang out with friends and have deep meaningful conversations with them over a beer. I’m able to write which I love doing. I am an active member at my church. And most of all, I am a husband and a father to people I love dearly.

So while this year has been a hard one, and while I have needed to re-define who I am, I feel as though I have found purpose. And for that I am grateful.

As for tomorrow; who knows?

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