Moving day.

Monday night. Today was “moving day.” We have moved so many times (let’s see, I think the magic number is eleven…), and as I see it, it’s rather like childbirth in that you forget the pain of it after a while and just remember the fact of it. But, the details, the tiring, back-breaking, tedious details of it all — well, I guess I sort of forgot about all of that, until going through it again over the past few days. Not much to complain about other than being bone-tired. The movers were outstanding and very accommodating. We got moved quite quickly, really, which will make it possible for Rob to get himself established back into his life.

Tomorrow is Rob’s 30th birthday — it’s hard to believe it’s been thirty years since he was born! How is it that the time has gone by so fast since he was just a little fellow, diligently working on riding a “two-wheeler,” telling us stories about his friend “Bear,” wanting to wear the same pair of “Jams” every day in the summer months because they were his very favorite? There are so many memories, yet I stop and think: how wonderful it is that we get to help him celebrate another year of life!

I’ve recently seen a commercial on TV from the American Cancer Society showing birthday cakes with lots of candles on them — the premise is “more birthdays” — the ACS is trying to accomplish that with their ongoing research. That’s just what we are living — another birthday for Rob. It puts things into an amazing focus when you realize that each birthday is special, we just cannot take one single day for granted, and life is truly a gift!

Birthdays are not always just about us. Sometimes they are about everyone else in the family, too — the blessing is that they want to share in your special day, they want to enjoy your birthday with you, they want to share in eating that special birthday cake that Mema has made, etc. I think that may be how Rob will feel tomorrow, and I hope his patience will hold out. It’s a hard lesson sometimes to realize that your birthday may just be a darn good excuse for the entire family to throw you a celebration and to come together for a fun time (!!!). My birthday is in August, and as I was growing up, I remember hot summer nights, celebrating with my parents and sister, as well as aunts and uncles and cousins, hand-churning homemade peach ice cream on the back deck of our home, having a fried chicken, creamed corn, summer squash & sliced tomatoes meal. See what I mean? A good excuse for a family get-together! Many times over the past 10-15 years, we have been traveling on my birthday because it was the only way to fit a family vacation into everyone’s schedule. My birthday had become a back-burner issue. But, that’s fine, because if we were traveling, it also meant that we were usually together as a family, which is what I always want for my birthday anyway!

Now it’s Tuesday afternoon — Rob’s birthday.

Birthdays make you a whole year older, but they hopefully mean you are that much wiser, as well. Rob’s birthday this year is surely a cause for celebration — he’s come through a hard-fought battle with cancer, ending up with a new “robot leg” to show for all his trouble. He will hopefully feel well-loved and well-celebrated by the time he puts his head on his pillow tonight.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-8 Be generous: invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night…. Just as you’ll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, so you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does. Go to work in the morning and stick to it until evening without watching the clock. You never know from moment to moment how your work will turn out in the end. Oh, how sweet the light of day, and how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour, remembering that there will also be many dark days and that most of what comes your way is smoke.

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