It's been three months since my last post, and so much has changed since then. Yet, so much else has remained the same.
Some days are almost painless, and others are painful. This is the life I've learned to live and I am A-OK with that.
I started a new job in February. On my first day, I spent most of my time cleaning up my office and organizing my things. I opened up boxes that I had filled up from my previous office, just a few hundred yards up the road. I didn't go far, but it was still a big decision for me to leave a job that I knew I loved, for a job that I could potentially love more. I pulled books and other memorabilia out of the boxes, making sure to give each item it's own special place.
A bookshelf lined the wall next to my new door. I placed three framed photos of my family on top of it, carefully shifting over a small 2-ring desktop calendar — the kind with one day on each page that you flip as the days pass. I did a double-take, surely with a look of confusion that luckily no one would have seen since a wall blocked me from my new co-workers' sight.
The calendar was flipped to April 30, 2014. It was February 18, 2014.
It struck me the way that my birth date normally does. But my faith, as it so often does, led me to ponder what else was involved.
Certainly, a person flipped it to that date. But why that date? Was I supposed to let it go or read into it further? Was it a sign from above or was I over-thinking this?
Well, as of yesterday, April 30, 2014, has come and gone. It was my 35th birthday.
It was a very busy work day, followed by a night of fun. My husband, along with a few family accomplices, managed to surprise me at my daughter's dance class with a new outfit he bought me — right down to the high heels and earrings. They sent me out the door, completely childless, with a card that said to go home and get ready for dinner. I felt all Pretty Woman-like, minus the fact that I've never been [or will be] a hooker.
As some of you may know, and probably most do not, my birth date on it's own has major significance for me. My birth mother was only 16 when I was conceived. She visited an abortion clinic, but left when she watched a video that explained the procedure. She chose to give me life, and in turn, gave my parents a daughter. And my three children a chance at life. One day, they may have children, too, so her selfless decision can be seen and carried on, potentially, for many generations to come.
I've lived a good life. An amazing one, actually. The kind any loving mom would want her child to have.
The kind my birth mother wanted me to have. And the kind that my mom and dad provided me [and still provide me] with. I simply cannot thank one, without thanking the other. She gave me life, and they were there every step of the way — helping to mold me, teach me and to catch me as I fall.
Behind all of the fun surprises and the 35th anniversary of my birth, I had some mixed emotions.
You see, the very woman who gave me life met with her doctor yesterday and was given a cancer diagnosis and a median life expectancy of one year. As far as I can tell, she will face her battle with strength and optimism.
I already know she is strong. I don't know the amount of strength it must take to give your baby a chance at a better life — one that doesn't involve you — but I know it would be an immeasurable amount. For her to have that type of strength at the young age of 16, I can only imagine the type of strength she's developed in her 35 years since then.
The thing is, life expectancies are merely an average of others' experiences. Not hers.
And there is nothing average about her strength.
And for me, there is nothing average about the last day of April.
"We live by faith, not by sight."
-- 2 Corinthians 5:7