She’d been asking for a long time. “What do you want to do for your birthday?” It was a big year. Fifty. It sounds so old! I’d already made sure that my kids knew that I didn’t want a surprise party, but did I still want a party?
There was a war inside. I’d love nothing better than to spend time with loved ones, all in one place. At the same time, a part of me wondered if anyone would come. How would that feel if hardly anybody wanted to come? I’m also not keen on having the attention on me. An informal party sounded best.
I finally admitted that yes, I did want a party, and Julie set it up for me as a Facebook event. The kids said they’d do the food. Julie ordered the cake.
We opted to have the party at my house due to the good outdoor space and mosquito-free yard. I always say that the best motivation to get one’s house cleaned is to invite people to the house. It works great for the yard too! Being off school for the summer, I got a lot of work done on the yard, culminating in NINE trash cans of yard debris, conveniently picked up the day before the party.
In the weeks and days leading up to the party, I watched the r.s.v.p. list. My excitement grew as various people indicated they were coming, both by online r.s.v.p. and through text and verbal reply. Along with the excitement, I held some disappointment that a couple of friends hadn’t responded and I assumed they weren’t coming.
Knowing that my love language is “words of affirmation,” Julie invited people to bring me cards “with meaningful words of how you met, what she has meant or means to you now, and what you appreciate about her presence in your life.”
Party time arrived and my friends and family began arriving. Each person who walked in the door or gate brought me joy. My mom and ALL of my kids were there. It was our first time all together since Christmas of 2015. There were friends I’d known for 30 years, 20 years, and 2 years. Even my disappointment about the particular friends who hadn’t responded dropped away as they came also!
My heart was full. My heart is still full. I sat with the precious cards and gifts of words the next day, and took them all in. I absorbed them, rested in them, and received the beautiful and affirming words. One of these gifts of words was made by Julie and placed in a frame.
This. I am known. I am seen.
I was asked several times how I liked the party. Truly, it was PERFECT! Thanks to my planners, food preparers, and all my guests who came and made me feel oh so loved and special!