Thursday, April 28, 2005

Happy Birthdays to me

As milestone birthdays go, 40 is one of The Big Ones. It's the solid black line between youth and your mature life - the assurance that you have, finally, no more kidding, no more messin' around, grown up.

I crossed my line on Wednesday, but for a variety of reasons, the birthday is lasting the whole darn week, seems. On Tuesday, the guys at work took me to lunch at a Caribbean restaurant. How wonderful to be able to socialize with them and laugh at their jokes again! They're a funny, raucous bunch out together, a dozen ethnic groups and accents and cultures all roaring with laughter at the same silly joke. I love them so much.

On Wednesday, my actual birthday, the day started with a co-worker coming to see me at around 8:15. The woman who usually takes the phone calls wasn't even in yet so this co-worker grabbed the phone as she passed by.

"There's a call for you at the front desk," she said.

"Oh, gosh," I said, "You know, I can't really use the phone yet... I won't be able to communicate very well... I can only understand my husband yet, really... could you take a message for me?" Sure, she said, and left. A few minutes later she was back again.

"I don't know who it is," she said, "but he says he knows you can't hear very well but he is not hanging up until he talks to you!"

"What?" I said.

"Yeah," she said, "it's some guy calling from Tanzania and he says he isn't hanging up until he talks to you."

"Tanzania?!?" I knew right away who it was - "Clemont", my dear Belgian - now proud Canadian - friend, who is doing translation work in Arusha. I didn't understand too much of the conversation, but just to hear his voice and recognize it was amazingly moving to me.

At noon, Husband brought a beautiful bouquet of roses; and later, more flowers arrived, courtesy Clemont and his wonderful wife. There were other cards and gifts from co-workers... chocolates and little carved cats and a homemade chicken curry from an Indian coworker who knows Indian food is my favourite.

A birthday card from my oldest and dearest friend, now living in Ontario, revealed that she couldn't be here this weekend but will be coming to visit on the Victoria Day weekend in May. Quel bonnes nouvelles!!! That was a huge birthday present in itself. We have had thousands of hours of heart-to-heart conversation since we met as little kids and grew up together... can you imagine how much I have missed that and how much I am looking forward to her visit?

Wednesday evening I went to the pub with a handful of close friends, Husband, the wonderful, wonderful friend C., and Clemont's wife, who joined us for the evening. What a great feeling of contentment I had sitting with them, listening to them.

Wednesday evening's get-together was low-key because everyone had work in the morning, but Friday is to be the general celebration of the milestone at which I have been promised presents will make their appearance :) Presents? I have had so many gifts already this year.

And on Sunday, my in-laws are having a birthday dinner for me.

What a wonderful experience. For once, the experience matches the hype. This has truly for so many reasons been the best birthday of my life and I have every reason to believe I am walking through a door to the very, very best years of it.



Blogger Brent McKee said...

Happy birthday dear Ronnie!

Now everyone, click on each of those Google Ads twice if you can't afford to send gifts.

9:20 p.m.  
Blogger mom said...

How wonderful - how well deserved - makes me happy just to think of you listening to the sounds of friendships - let alone hearing the actual words.
I have a friend who says one day is never enough - she celebrates the MONTH - that way the luncheons, the quiet visits, the PRESENTS can go on and on. I wish you Love and Light.

2:36 a.m.  
Anonymous Carl said...

Happy birthday, Ronnie.

10:46 a.m.  

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