Thursday, August 10, 2006

Turning 40 (What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger - even if we do wish we were dead!)

My 39th year was a rough one. I watched my husband grieve the loss of BOTH of his parents, tried to help my children grieve their Grandparents in their own way, and dealt with the loss for myself. Then, I lost my Granddaddy. He was the first person I ever loved - a great friend and role model and I miss him. My Aunt had a series of strokes that kept her and my Uncle from attending my Lil’ Sister’s wedding.

The final week as a woman in my thirties hasn’t been any easier. My cousin arrived at the airport in Florida to fly to Vegas because she is in my Sister’s wedding. Instead of boarding, she ended up in the hospital having emergency surgery for appendicitis. While visiting with one of my Brothers, I shared about my frustration over a watermelon plant that is overtaking my yard, but producing nothing! I have threatened to pull it up by the roots. He told me about having the same experience with a pumpkin plant when he was a kid. I guess misery really does love company.

There were mishaps here and there throughout the wedding: bad-mouthing and frustration, hurt feelings, coordinator errors and lack of air conditioning. Other occurrences included dress straps that broke, forgotten purses, hair that didn’t look perfect, missing compliments, uncomfortable shoes, people sitting in the wrong place, lost inheritances, not enough food, too much attitude.

But there are many roses among the thorns I’ve mentioned. First of all, both of my In-Laws and my Granddaddy are with Jesus! Hallelujah! There’s no place I’d rather be! My Aunt is healing and has an amazing, new sense of humor. My Uncle is blessed! J (And he’s a blessing, too.)

My cousin had her surgery, got on a plane, and still made it to the wedding! What a trooper! I discovered, and had to share with my Brother that there are about 6 little watermelons on my huge plant! It made him smile. The other things will fade with time. Hopefully, the lessons in humility will remain. The moments that we witness even the smallest glimpse of character in others or ourselves should inspire us. Perhaps we’ll even realize that it’s what’s on the inside that counts rather than the outside. And that the wedding doesn’t make the marriage! Praise Jesus.

I am embarking on a new decade. It holds the promise of being a wonderful adventure. My other Aunt told me that 40 backwards is 04, and I can pretend to be dyslexic. So now that I’ve counted my blessings, and turned 40, I’m going to Disneyland!

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