Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guest Post. Happy Birthday!

Dear Alicia,

I know you like numbers, so on your birthday, I worked some out for you.

Today marks three and a half decades since you were born.
When you were born, there were four point two billion people on earth.
Now there are seven billion.
You've seen seven leap years.
You've experienced four hundred and twenty full moons.
You've been around for twelve thousand, seven hundred and eighty four sunrises and sunsets.
The minute hand has traveled around the clock three hundred six thousand, eight hundred and sixteen times since you were born
Thirty five times, you've circled the sun.
That's a travel distance of twenty billion, four hundred twenty million, forty nine thousand, six hundred and seventy miles.
A journey that has lasted eighteen million, four hundred eight thousand, nine hundred and sixty minutes.

Just surviving all that is a cause worth celebrating, I mean, those are some pretty impressive statistics. But that's nowhere near the whole story. On this, your thirty fifth time around the sun, there are other numbers that begin to tell other stories about you. Such as...

One Hundred and Sixty - the distance in feet that you survived in a truck, tumbling over a cliff in the Rockies.
Eleven fingers and thumbs (well, now ten).
One mother.
No father.
One Sister, one brother.
Thirty (or more) relocations.
One husband.
One marriage.
Fourteen Years.
Seven pregnancies.
Four children.

The story begins to unfold here, but even still, there's so much more that the numbers can't tell. The countless meals, diaper changes, arguments, tears, laughs, sorrows, losses, gains dreams, nightmares, fears, friends, births, deaths and every experience in between can't be understood by quantifying them as statistics. Your journey is such a unique combination of everything that it can only be understood in the context of story.

Every good story has chapters where the main character experiences hardship. If there's no difficulty, hurt, pain or trials, the story gets dull and we end up not caring to find out what happens in the last chapters. But in a truly great story, when the main character overcomes against the odds (as they alsways do in the best stories) the stark contrast between the adversity and the triumph is what makes our hearts leap. We want to come back and read that story again and again because it becomes an anchor of hope to everyone else who identifies.

This is a year of milestones for you. A year of breakthrough. A year of conquering. A year of taking back territory, of tearing down walls, facing fears, storming past inhibitions, saying goodbye to chains, locks and lies and taking claim of what is rightfully yours - your life. Your freedom to live, to be healthy, to have joy, to celebrate, to wear bright colors, to dance, to sing, to walk a hundred miles, to absorb love, to share love, to speak boldly, to live the width.

Your story is worth reading. And this is the day that you became unafraid to tell it.

I'm proud of you.

I love you.

Happy Birthday.


P.S. There's one last number to take note of... it's the balance of our bank account and it's not a very big number right about now, so I hope you don't mind that I haven't bought you a present yet. I want to take/send you shoe shopping or bra shopping or well, just shopping in general, so gimme a couple days and a few pianos to tune, and we'll make it happen.

7 comments:

Kmarie said...

Happy birthday. You are pretty amazing and this is an amazing post from an amazing love. I wish you many more numbers, many more sunsets and many more soul friend moments to gather into your heart and spin out with the gifts only you can give. Have a great week!

The Tea Bag said...

I love numbers too and Daryl is brilliant.

Here's a number from me to you: 1.

*One miniature blue elephant named Shanti.
*One tea party attended by fairies and one tiny girl
*One beautiful, warm wrap, knit for my neck in one of my favourite colors of green
*One hug because something in my eyes told you that without it I might lose track of myself
*One cheque shyly slipped into my hand to aid one small child in great need
*One email late at night to encourage me
*One comment on my blog to show you get it
*One act of bravery in introducing me to one of the most incredible songs I have ever been privy to
*One shared confidence
*One murmured dream

And one ... and one ... and one ...

Your true love is right. There are hundreds and thousands of reasons to celebrate this day because you are an intricate, complex, magical, magnificent creation.

You are unique.

You stand out from a crowd.

You are onederful.

Happy birthday, to one of my treasured friends.

ranae janelle said...

i love you. both of you. always. this is so beautiful. happy birthday dear friend.

Grandma K said...

I'm a'thinkin' the guest-poster loves you!

Happy, happy birthday to you!

Sheila said...

Dearest friend...another number is the countless many that have been blessed by your loving care and friendship. I am to thankful to be one of them. Happy Birthday precious one. I look forward to many more special times with you to come!.

ps...nice, Daryl, very nice!

kiko said...

I do have a piano that needs to be tuned....

Marissa said...

Happy birthday (belated) my dear beautiful, beautiful friend!