April showers bring May flowers…or something like that

I turned 50 April 8.

My 50th birthday party

My 50th birthday party

On one hand, I’m thrilled to reach that level of maturity that some are not so lucky to reach.

On the flip-side, I have spent the last few days reflecting about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going.

Honestly, I’ve been thinking a lot about my past for quite some time, ever since I decided to change the course of my life nearly eight years ago.

I woke up Aug. 31, 2005 and decided to do something different. The choice was easy, but it wasn’t easy to do.

For the past few years I have worked hard to change my attitude about myself, my relationships, and my life.

As I neared my 50th year milestone, I became very aware that time is passing at a rapid rate. My children have families of their own and my mother is becoming more incapacitated as the days pass. (My father died nearly 5 years ago.)

And though I look in the mirror and see graying hair and wrinkles, I often see a glimpse of a younger version, someone who has become stronger because of the  events that unfolded in her life.

And I am proud. Because even though I’ve been through Hell, I have come out the other side, a little scarred, but stronger nonetheless.

One thing I have learned along the way is that we make our own happiness.

I used to wonder how some people who have lost everything could still stand up straight and say to the world, “Worse things could happen.” And though it took me a while to figure it out, I know now, too.

It’s because everyday I wake up with a grateful heart. And I go to bed with a grateful heart. I have my family, I have my health, I have my friends, and I have someone by my side whom I can depend on to be with me in good times and bad.

And if I lost all that tomorrow, I would still have my faith. Faith that everything will be OK, no matter what, and we will all be together someday, somewhere else.

But I still have one question that I would like to have answered: What is the meaning of  life? Why am I here?

Unfortunately, those who have gone before me have tried to find that same answer, and some have even gone as far as to state they actually know. But does anyone really know?

A wise man once told me that maybe we aren’t supposed to know the answers to those questions.  That might be so, but it hasn’t stopped me from searching, learning, experiencing, and dreaming.

And it probably never will.

(Someone else who was born on April 8, 1963? Julian Lennon, who released an album in honor of his big day-below is a song from the album)



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