This year my parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday- I’ll be 18. This question keeps me from sleep. It’s 10:30 but I can’t sleep. What do I want?
- I want to sing “Jesus loves me” with my foster brother one more time, I can almost hear is sleepy voice singing “bible, bible” the only words of the song he could say.
- I want to laugh with my other foster brother as he eats his “green monster” aka blended avocado. I can almost see his smile- his cheeks coated in green. I want to wrestle my keys away from him as he tries to “blog” by crashing his tiny fingers into my keyboard. And pretend to be annoyed.
- I want to be sitting in the sunshine on a friends horse trailer, listen to the birds sing and the horses, with soggy boots from riding through the creek, and crazy hair from my helmet.
- I want to splash my feet in the lake while sitting on the dock with old friends and promise again that we will always be friends, and stay up late whispering about home hopes and dreams. I want one more moment with the ones I love. The ones on different journeys, the ones gone too soon.
- I want to wake up early and sit with grandma watching the sun come up and sipping steaming cups of tea. I want to hear her sing all the songs she knew so well. I want to “swing dance” with her one more time, and hold her hand as we walk along.
So tonight as the hours tick by to that moment 18 years ago, I sit and remember- all the people who made me who I am. I treasure their memories- our memories together, and I find that I already have my birthday wish.
As I sit here listening to my radio play ocean waves, I find myself almost afraid of tomorrow, another year that will take me further from them.
The house is silent- but for the sound of the waves, it feels as if the whole world sleeps except for me sitting here with a pen and paper.
What have I learned? In these 18 years?
- Family isn’t always by blood- sometimes it’s by heart.
- Not everyone is going to be in your life forever, but that’s ok.
- Life is unpredictable, enjoy the ride.
- Dream big- it makes life more fun.
- When you get knocked down, with God’s help you’ll come up stronger, or wiser or both.
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~ Thomas Edison
Say what you mean to say.
Don’t assume people know how you feel about them. Tell the people you care about you love them, you miss them, that they are a blessing to you. It only takes a minute- as we were going through my grandmother’s things trying to figure out what to send to who, we found a letter from one of my aunts. It had been sent with school pictures of her kids, “don’t have time to write, here are the pictures of the kids”. Make time- please. Even if you just write “I love you”. Do it. Forever is never promised.
- And finally ice cream is always better with a friend. Ice cream loves company- oh wait that’s misery.