I am now officially closer to 40 than 30.
Monday was the big 35.
What a hell of a year.
Last year my birthday was not so great. And, then, less than two weeks later, I found myself staring at the back of my spouse's head as he left for a hotel.
Staring... and sobbing.
So, anyway, another year gone and another year older.
This is the way my day started:
My beautiful four-year-old daughter woke up in the bed next to me. (She slept in my bed because my parents were in town visiting and were using her room.) The first words out of her mouth were, "Good morning, Mama. Is today your birthday?"
"Yes, Olivia, it is."
"Well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAMA," she said to me, as she wrapped her arms around my neck. And then she burst into the Happy Birthday song.
What did it matter what happened during the rest of my day????
What a gift.
In the evening, I enjoyed a homemade lasagna dinner, courtesy of my mother. And then my children gathered around the cake as we lit the candles.
My daughter sang a second time.
My son cannot sing the words. But he was so very, very excited about the whole thing.
I got him to say "mama" after everyone sang.
And, he was THERE.
Both my children -- my sweet, gorgeous children... And both my parents -- my devoted, giving parents...
They were all there to celebrate the fact that I was another year older -- that I have survived one hell of year ...
and not only have I survived, but I can still enjoy the cake. (Not a small thing to say, given that there was a period of time last year when I couldn't eat.)
This weekend, some fabulous gals are going out with me to celebrate the fact that I am 35 and still standing, even after this hellish year.
I am so lucky to have these people in my life. I will never overlook how wonderful it is to have people in my life who bring laughter to my worst days.
That is what 34 taught me.