Thursday, March 19, 2015
The last two years I celebrated my birthday on the beach, sand between my toes, the ocean singing me a sweet song, as the waves crashed against the beach. It was wonderful, and I thought this year I would be celebrating the same way, but a few things changed, and this year, I am home to celebrate my birthday.
But, and there is a huge but, there is something quite special about this birthday. Today I will be taking a short drive to meet up with a friend. A friend who lives in the UK, but is here visiting her family for the week. Yes, the week of my birthday! Can you believe it?
I met Renee through this space about three years ago. At first it was the usual blog friendship, reading and commenting on each others posts, sharing a few emails, and slowly learning a little more about each other. All of that changed on New Year's Eve 2012 when Renee emailed me asking if I would like to be her gratitude buddy for 2013. Basically, it was a pretty simple concept, hook up with a friend and each night send each other a list of the things you are grateful for from your day. Of course I said yes.
Our first emails were pretty simple, a list of our gratitude, and a short little note. As you can imagine, it only grew from there, and before I knew it Renee had become a friend, a true friend. Over the last two and half years Renee and I have continued our gratitude lists, missing only a handful here and there when one of us is without computer access when on vacation. I have cried many times writing to her, and reading her emails, both of us sharing parts of our days that challenge us, stretch us, and force us to grow and change. And sometimes the tears are happy tears, as we succeed in some small way in our lives, and we celebrate it with each other.
I had the pleasure of meeting Renee in person two years ago. She was here visiting family, and we met for lunch with our kiddos, and Renee's hubby. As you can imagine it was wonderful, finally sitting down in person, enjoying a meal together, and a cup of tea, just like "real" friends. When she emailed me a few months ago with her plans for a spring visit I couldn't wait, but then to find out she would be here for my birthday, well, it made my day!
And so today, Justin and Reece will give me the most amazing gift, a day with Renee. While they stay home, enjoying some father and son time, I will hop in the car and make the short 90 minute drive to meet up with Renee. We have plans to enjoy many cups of tea, while chatting away, most likely completely oblivious to the world around us, there will be a stop at Whole Foods to grab some lunch, and then I am guessing, more tea and chatting, soaking up every minute we have together.
As I celebrate 43 trips around the sun, I also celebrate a wonderful friendship that has grown because I took a big step and hit publish in this space four years ago. This space has given me so much over the years, but one of the most wonderful things has been my relationship with Renee. Here's to a day of celebrating, not only my birthday, but our friendship.