The Birthday Party

The day began very quietly.  Who could have known what a day it would become!
It was May 17, and that time of year again.  I have often wondered why we just can't
go from the sixteenth to the eighteenth of May and be done with it.
It gets more difficult every year facing this day in my life.  May 17th is my birthday
and since my Daddy had died many years ago, birthdays had become difficult for me.
I was very close to my Dad and he was the one who always did something special for me.
It wasn't any big thing, it was just the ingredient of "fun" that he put into
whatever he did and the time that he always spent with me.

This birthday was already looking a bit doubtful.  Everyone was hurrying around
to get ready for their work and activities of the day.   My husband took his tools
and left early to go help build a deck for our friend, Kelly, who
wanted to surprise her husband when he gets home from overseas.

My daughter said for me to hurry and get dressed and for my birthday she
would take me to her health club and I could enjoy the tanning bed experience.
I hadn't been in a tanning bed before and I wasn't sure about this "experience" but
I like to really "live" life and not watch it flow by so I rushed around and got
ready to go with her.  How bad could it be?  An invitation to a tanning
bed…..things were looking up!  I checked my email and my friend sent me a
message that said, "Happy Birthday!", then there was an e-card from my brother.
My husband called from his cell phone in the truck and said,   "Happy Birthday",
I forgot to say something before I left."  Yes, things seemed to be improving.

I'm not sure the tanning bed experience was so great because as you get older
you already feel "over the hill" and then you find yourself in a hot coffin?
Do you know how heavy those lids are?  I almost had a panic attack in there!
I could see the headlines, "Lady trapped in tanning bed cremates."

Later,  I was home alone so I decided that since it was my birthday, I'd just go to the mall.
That's always a good idea.  Nothing seemed very interesting there so I got
an ice cream cone and headed for the parking lot to my van.  As I got into the van,
the top of the ice cream cone promptly fell into my lap.  I got that fixed really quick
with a couple of napkins, although my jeans were now wet and I was sticky all over.
Just as I got that taken care of, the bottom of the cone began leaking, so I just stuffed the
rest of the cone in my mouth!  If that wasn't bad enough, someone in the car next
to me was watching the whole thing and you could see that look in his eye that
he was trying not to laugh or say, "Hey kids, Check out the dumb blonde stuffing her mouth!".

After I got home, I had decided to follow my daughter's example.  She always
dresses up on her birthday because she says it makes her feel special.
After the ice cream cone episode, I was ready to try anything.  I put on my
favorite silky, blue blouse and headed to church for worship team practice.
I knew this would be the highlight of my day because I not only get to do one
of my favorite things….music….but I get to be with some of the
greatest folks alive. They knew it was my birthday, because they keep track of things
like that, so I was expecting maybe birthday cake or that they would
sing, (in four-part harmony of course) "Happy Birthday".  I should have known better.
Our music team is usually up to some kind of mischief.  We all like music and fun,
mix that together with worship time, and you have a little taste of heaven.

When I first got there, Dave (the guitarist) had his space jumpsuit on.  (He works at NASA)
My daughter Jeanna thought he was really cool and said, "Dave, can we go downtown to the
mall or somewhere and you just walk around with me awhile?"

I went to get my keyboard out of the van.  When I walked back in, there they were,
all hiding behind the double doors and when I opened them, all I could see were bubbles.
Yes, they had bubble soap!  I was required to walk through the bubbles
as they handed me my own Texas-sized bottle of bubble soap.
We blew bubbles and laughed.

I started toward the piano when my friend, Shelia, says, "You have to go outside now".
I hadn't even started playing the piano yet either!  I went outside and Shelia had
a basket of eggs and Dave had a fan with an extension cord.  Immediately I knew!!!!
My daughters, Julie and Jeanna had told on me.  I've always had this secret desire to
throw eggs at a fan!  (A little strange, I know)  Shelia handed me the basket of eggs,
Dave and my husband, Mike, turned on the fan, and they all yelled, "Go for it!"
I can't remember ever having so much fun!  One at a time, I threw the eggs
into the fan at different angles.  I found that It's not a good idea to stand directly in front of the fan.
(WARNING: Children don't try this feat at home.  Believe me, you will be grounded for life!)

The party had just begun. My Texas friends presented me with a bag of
Texas soil because they had heard me say that I was part Texan at heart.
"Y'all, ahm now officially a Takesan" (spoken with the proper drawl)
They gave me a variety of nice gifts, some of which I won't mention in this story
for fear of being excommunicated from my church.

Carol had made her wonderful sloppy joes and there
was watermelon, chips, fruit, and... of course, birthday cake.

I'm reminded of how God can take anything and make it something beautiful.
Whether it is a messed up day, a messed up life, or just ice cream in your lap.
He can make all things new!

Thank you, God, for a birthday that I'll remember forever
and especially for family, friends, and laughter!

Pamela R Blaine
Copyright, May 18, 2000

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