And now, all these years later, I sit at my dining room table, on a very cold and very bright,
perfectly ordinary Charlotte day - celebrating my life.
Nope, it hasn't been easy all the time.
Nor has it been exciting all the time.
But every single day, my life has been full of miracles.
I have been loved and cared for and respected.
I have been the recipient of generosity and kindness and compassion.
I have been protected and provided for and honored.
I have never gone hungry or been forced to sleep outdoors (Well, my parents made us go camping and sleep in a tent when I was a kid, but I've forgiven them for that!).
I have traveled across the ocean, across the country, and across the street - and I have always made it home safely. Even when I have missed flights or been stranded in unlikely hotels, I have never been taken advantage or, mistreated, or robbed. (Well, I did get fondled by the conductor on a train at the border between Spain and Andorra once, but I've forgiven him too.)
I could tell so many stories of so many wonder-filled, jaw-dropping days and moments and sights. Sunrises and sunsets. Palaces and temples. Museums and mountains. Weddings and funerals. Hospital hallways and hospice workers. Those stand out in my memory.
But the thing that keeps coming to mind today is this: My life consists mainly of perfectly ordinary days filled with perfectly ordinary moments. Cooking and cleaning. Folding clothes and scrubbing the shower. Choosing paint colors and washing towels. Drinking tea with my children and watching television with my husband. Writing in my journal and looking at blogs I follow on the internet. Somehow, every single ordinary day, every single ordinary moment has added up to one wild, precious, tear-soaked, friend-rich, love-saturated, extraordinary life.
Thank you to everyone,
known and unknown,
present and absent, (I miss you, Dad!)
outspoken and silent,
for everything you have done to give me so much to celebrate today.