After years of vain familiarity, some distant gesture or unconscious behavior, which we remember, speaks to us with more emphasis than the wisest or kindest words. We are sometimes made aware of a kindness long passed, and realize that there have been times when our Friends’ thoughts of us were of so pure and lofty a character that they passed over us like the winds of heaven unnoticed; when they treated us not as what we were, but as what we aspired to be. Henry David Thoreau
I am so thankful today that I have such a friend, and today I celebrate her life, her Birthday. There are so many things I would like to give her, so much she deserves. If I could I would give her a trip to Paris and a dinner under the twinkling lights of the Eiffel tower. And a full moon smiling…….And then I would whisper a prayer to God to have the stars do a little dance. Cause sometimes, as she so often says, sometimes you just gotta give it a little dance.
Or I would buy her an East Coast cruise to tour every single lighthouse.
What I would most like to give her right now is freedom, which she doesn’t have. Freedom to get in the car and go somewhere, anywhere, overnight. She is doing what she has to do right now, even though it is incredibly difficult. She is living what Ann Voskamp so aptly describes as the Hard Hallelujah. Where faith meets reality.
I know that every day she meets Jesus, because she can’t do it without Him. Even with Him it’s tough. This cake tells the story of her life as it is right now. Her Mom asked what the cake was for, and then for the umpteenth time, she asked her whose Birthday it was. Really, that was partially my fault. I put up the Birthday banner way too early. You learn not to do that with Alzheimer’s.
Her Mom stayed in the kitchen and Elaine figured out why soon after when she came out with a piece of cake and said, “That is good cake.” At least she said it was good.
Months ago I had put in for this day off, her Birthday, so we could hang out like we usually do on her special day. Then there was a scheduling conflict with someone else and they would have had to come home from out of state early. She said, go ahead and let him have the day. That is just how she is. That’s why I love her so.
I don’t like to imagine my life without her joy, her laughter, her unique brand of sunshine. She loves God and He loves her. She is God’s kid through and through. You can tell by what she does.
It’s in the way she loves people. It’s in all the little things she does when nobody except God is watching. She is the one who sees the baby carrier in the beat up car and finds the weary parent and slips them a twenty. She’s the one who pays for the Sonic order behind her. She’s the one who hand delivers bowls of cut up watermelon for the neighbors.
And every time she makes ice-cream cones, she makes three more to take next door.
She’s God’s kid. She notices when people need help, need to talk, need a listener. And she gets busy and does something about it. Not a dispassionate noticer, not her.
She’s my best friend in the world and I wish everyone could have the pleasure of knowing her. She is truly, the friend everyone would like to have.
I know she will be embarrassed by this, but after all, best friends are for shining the spotlight on each other. She has been shining the light on me now for 23 years, and I thank God for her everyday. Her life is a blessing.
Happy Birthday Elaine!