There are no words...
A surprise birthday party this afternoon.
For me. I am still in shock.
My husband told me two or three weeks ago that we were going to the home of one of his colleagues who makes wine. She and her husband were having a wine tasting, and we were invited. Fine. I like wine. I love food. Why not have wine and food with some new folks? Maybe I'd meet somebody interesting and have a good time.
We drove into a new neighborhood in Matthews, North Carolina.
Beautiful houses. Steve rang the doorbell.
A beautiful young woman answered.
She looked familiar, but I let the moment pass.
Truthfully, I didn't have time to register her face as I stepped inside.
Friends from the Spanish congregation of my church had put together the party for me.
They sang to me in Spanish. They laughed at my shock. They applauded my husband for his willingness to go along with their plan. I applaud them all for honoring me as they did.
The food was great. As was the wine.
Wilmania made a birthday cake that was more beautiful than my wedding cake. Exquisito.
Beautiful jewelry, scarves, gloves, and a jewelry box were my gifts.
(I had already received a CD and a scarf from two dear friends earlier.)
Each one thoughtfully and joyfully given.
Each one humbly and gratefully received.
I don't know which to wear to church tomorrow.
I hate the thought of offending anyone by not choosing their gift.
Then they went around the room and each spoke words of love,
of friendship, of gratitude, and of their most generous wishes for me and for my family.
I have no words to express my thanks to them.
My appreciation for their show of love for me.
I hope and pray that I can be the woman they think I am.
All I know how to do is live my life to the fullest. Out loud.
I tell stories. I listen to stories.
When my friends cry, I cry with them.
When they laugh and rejoice, I laugh and rejoice with them.
I cannot imagine living any other way.
And this afternoon, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we danced, and we celebrated not only my life, but all of our lives. The life that we share as the family of Christ. The joy we share as fellow travelers on this topsy-turvy road of life. May we share many, many more years. And have many, many more parties.
For every person present, a story.
For every song we danced to, a memory.
For every gift, a loving thought.
For every moment we have shared, a word of thanks.
No hay palabras.
There are no words.
Just one - thanks.