Wow…today I turn fifty years old. This week I have felt so sentimental having flashes of images of those who have crossed my path at one time or another. I have found myself humming the song that Paul Anka sang years ago titled “The Times of Your Life”. In 1975, he wrote the song as a jingle for a Kodak commercial showing a life through pictures. Though I have had some parts of my life that were painful, I have such a sense of gratitude this week as I look back on my first five decades.
First, I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has sacrificed His Son to forgive my sins, because Lord knows there have been plenty. I mean, really…how great is it that He loves us in spite of our many imperfections??? I also thank Him for His guiding hand in helping me to make great decisions, whether popular or not, that have gotten me to exactly the place I have found myself.
To my parents: I am grateful for raising me to be responsible, caring, and loving toward others. To my mother: I am eternally grateful for the example you have given me. Your ever-present, loving hand has always been close to help guide me through good times and bad. You have taught me a true appreciation of beauty through relationships with others, music and art, and things as simple as the smell of rain. Because of you, I can throw a mean dinner party or stay up all night sculpting cupcakes that look like schnauzers, dachshund hounds, Yorkshire terriers, or miniature poodles for your five-year-old grandaughter’s kindergarten birthday celebration. I thank you for the gift of all the meals you cooked leaving a legacy of showing others love through the labor of cooking. My cup runneth over…
I have been blessed with a brother that felt an innate need to protect and defend a whiney little sister that aggravated him beyond words. Amazingly, he has been one of my biggest cheerleaders and always one of the first to celebrate any milestone that I may have achieved. Mark, you are truly a gift.
To my husband, David: My gratitude for you runs deep. When you already had two children, you thankfully chose to have another child with me. Before I had a child and realized the immense responsibility associated with parenting, I didn’t know how great a sacrifice I was asking of you. True to your nature, you stepped up to the mound and threw a perfect game! I am blessed to be parenting such an amazing little girl with you. You took a leap of faith, and she has not been a disappointment! I greatly admire your commitment to me and our family. We are extremely fortunate to have you as our Commander in Chief.
To my friends and family, I am so blessed to have shared wonderful and memorable moments with you. These fifty years have flown by quickly. I thank you for sharing your time with me and mostly for the joyous memories that I have deep within my heart and soul. To those I haven’t yet shared time with, hopefully a future son-in-law or a grandchild, I look very forward to making treasured memories with you.
Lastly, to my beautiful daughter Grace: I made a wish, and YOU came true! After having nearly forty years of what was almost a storybook life, God and your dad, gave me the greatest gift of my life. You are loving and kind; you are determined and tenacious. You are teaching me to be the best me that I could be. Just like with my mom, I find holding your hand to be a privilege and a reminder of how we are with one another only fleetingly. I go to bed at night and thank God for my many blessings and especially for you. “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like for always. As long as your living, my baby you’ll be.”