A Much Needed Celebration

Four Truths and a Special Birthday Surprise

Sometimes the most unexpected gatherings are the ones we need the most. The dynamic of Thanksgiving had been a bit of a struggle for Ron and myself this year. Family is everything, so even one person's absence feels unsettling. We still knew we had much to be thankful for so rather than dwell on what wasn't, we decided to carry on with what was; an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate who was able to sit around the dinner table.

Following Thanksgiving, we had another family gathering planned. A surprise celebration to attend for my aunt who was turning 77 years young. I was excited about the party because it would allow for more time together. More time to laugh, more time to love, more time to appreciate who I do have around me. I have found when my heart is missing some family members, I crave more opportunities to spend with the people I treasure. 

The party was a huge success and even though I felt like it was just what I needed, as I observed the room and interactions, I realized that others needed it just as much as I did. There is nothing like celebrating with the people you love. And, when you are willing to let go of hurts and expectations you're able to recognize how wonderful life is. Watching cousins, friends and siblings interact with laughter, love, and full hearts is what made this gathering so special. 

I still missed Sam, I still missed my sister who was unable to attend, and of course, my oldest brother who was looking down on us with a peaceful soul and laughter but missing them reminded me of these simple truths and why it is so important to celebrate what we have.

Truth 1: Life Can Be Hard. 

That is not a suggestion, it's a reality. People deal with hard things all the time. Love, loss, distance, health, and the list goes on. Yet, acknowledging a hard place doesn't mean it we have to give it the power to keep us down and defeated. Recognize where you are and decide where you want to be then take small steps to help get you there.

Truth 2: I Can't Control Everything.

Calling all control freaks like myself here! God likes to remind me of this regularly. This truth has been my biggest hurdle and blessing. I can't control everything, including where my children will end up or how life will play out but I can control how I handle those unexpected things. I do have a choice to look for the purpose in difficu