July 1, 2021

SPECIAL BIRTHDAY SUNRISE

It’s not every morning that I watch the sun rise—and I’ve probably never taken a photo of one before. This January sunrise was the view from my driveway in South Carolina on the morning of my 60th birthday. I was feeling a pang at the thought of turning 60—and felt as if this was a sign of hope and grace. 

I didn’t have any plans for celebrating my birthday with no family in town.  In fact, I was hosting a dinner group from church for dinner that evening at my home.  There were twelve of us there and in all the excitement during arrivals, I didn’t notice that my friend Barb was surreptitiously maneuvering a large white box upstairs.  

As we were finishing our meal and clearing the tables, she retrieved the box and placed a special birthday cake at my table.  Once the candles were lit and everyone began singing Happy Birthday I discovered that my special birthday was being unexpectedly celebrated with these friends.  It was a lovely surprise!

This morning I heard on the news that today would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday.  She was so young when she died that it’s hard to imagine her at 60.  I am very thankful for this 60th birthday of mine—and all those I’ve been blessed with since that day.

The beautiful January sunrise seems like a clue that more delights were ahead for me.  Two years later I would get my dream job in Nashville and begin transitioning to Tennessee.  And since then, Patrick and Heather married Julia and Paul, and my four delightful grandchildren have been born.  I felt like turning 60 was a sunset—but it was a sunrise after all!

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