It was Friday night and Mom and I had spent the day as we do each week…a few hours at the infusion center followed by dinner together and an overnight. This scheduled time together, though for an entirely shitty reason, has become important to both of us.

Ironically she feels best on the day she receives the infusion.  Aunt Anne and Uncle Ed had planned to join us for dinner as a little pre-birthday celebration for me. What I didn’t know was that Lynette (my favorite canary) was going to surprise me by walking through the door to my mother’s house. (She’d moved to San Diego in August and I was not expecting her to visit until Christmas). Once I processed this vision,  I burst into tears. Oh, I have missed her so much. I couldn’t believe I was wrapping my arms around her. I felt as though if I let go of her, she might vanish.

She had flown across the country, just to be at my birthday party.

Yes, my birthday party.

You see, I haven’t been feeling very social lately. I have begged off on a lot of invitations. With my birthday coming up, I figured the only way to make certain I would follow through with a proper celebration was to throw myself a party. So I did just that. I invited many of my favorite people to my favorite place on Saturday night.  There are so many people who I adore, and whom I just don’t see often enough.

Though I had invited a few new friends, it was mostly my family and my oldest (childhood) friends who ended up filling the room. There is something so indescribably lovely about being surrounded by people who have known and loved you (and you, them) img_4384for what seems like forever.

Thinking of them all now, I just feel so grateful.

Though a few important folks were missed, having us all together in one room was absolutely an elixir for sadness, if ever there was one…

It was a complete infusion of happiness in the form of love and laughter.  img_4395

About twenty-five of my favorites gathered at Miskiania. Ten of us spent the night.

Kala treated us all to a gourmet breakfast, and people left gradually throughout the morning.

Ryan and I were the last ones there for a couple of hours, until he left in the early afternoon. It was nice having that quiet time, just he and I.

After he left I settled in front on the fire with a book, a birthday gift from a friend. I sat there for a couple of hours, reading alone (but not feeling at all alone).

It was dad’s favorite place, and to me, he will always be there. Can’t you just feel that it in this photo?

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It was hard to leave.

This weekend was exactly what I needed to reset myself. I feel ready to move ahead, meet the challenges before me…and perhaps even meet some wonderfully unexpected blessings as well.

Come on 45, let’s do this.

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