First, it started with this post, from my dear friend Tracy M.: http://sellabitmum.com/2012/05/22/50/
So I started my morning crying. Then my guys showered me with gifts and cards and hugs, a perfect way to start the day. Mike took me to my favorite breakfast spot, Bon Vie (which in case you didn't know means 'good life' in French, which is exactly what I have). My favorite waiter Ben was there to wish me a happy day, and sent me home with a beautiful lemon cupcake. My hubby then brought me to Shu, to buy me new shoes! I am the kind of person who will only buy new shoes with a discount and a coupon and a DEAL, so to buy beautiful shoes without looking at price tags, or waiting for a sale, was a complete treat.
Upon arriving home there was a long box waiting at my door. I opened it in eager anticipation and found a dozen roses, in shades of yellow, pink, and orange. Imagine the most beautiful sunset, and that is what was in that box. And the smell-heaven! I had never received a box of roses, what a treat. My sweet sis and her son know how to make a girl feel special. And then Mike insisted on taking photos, I felt like I was a senior in high school again!
The mailman came and delivered cards from loved ones near and far (and a Cycle magazine for Mike, he was happy too!), and before I knew it there was another knock on my door, and there stood a cute old deliveryman with MORE flowers! From my inlaws!
My flower heart was so happy.
But wait, there's more.
Another knock on my door, and there was sweet Astrid, all smiles and wispy blond ringlets and flowers on her shoes, holding FIFTY sweetheart roses, and singing Happy Birthday. Seriously? My heart nearly exploded from the sweetness. Her mom Tracy lavished me with more gifts than anyone is deserving of, and homemade cards from all of her girls, AND a just right sized birthday cake for the three of us to share.
After they left, I went online and found my sister had posted this: http://hansongirl2.blogspot.com/2012/05/just-for-today.html so then I was crying, in a puddle, all over again.
At this point, I told Mike that I had had the best birthday ever, and we really didn't need to do one more thing to celebrate. But we had made plans to have dinner with Kate and Jonathan Eisenthal, and so I ran a brush through my hair and put on more mascara and wondered where they would be taking us.
Small things started niggling at me. Both Tracy's had asked where I was going for dinner, and since I had no idea I told them so. Mike didn't know either, but I brushed it off, as it wasn't our night to plan, Kate and Jonathan had invited us a couple of weeks ago, and this night just happened to be free.
But then Charlie told me he was riding his bike down to Alec's house to work on homework together. Seriously? Again I brushed it off and was excited to be going out, Jonathan informed me they were taking us to Shamrocks, they thought it was a perfect night for a really good burger, and I agreed.
As we arrived, and Mike told us we really should just go in the back door, my steps slowed and I knew I really should have worn something else, or spent more time on my hair, and as we entered the restaurant and Mike said "Let me show you the room where I have our dirt bike club meetings" I very nearly ran back to the car. I am not good with this kind of thing, being the center of attention and all that. But Kate made sure I moved along.
So I walked into the room, and there they were, shouting SURPRISE and clapping and smiling as I tried to hold myself together, and slow the torrent of tears.
Charlie hadn't gone to Alec's, he had RIDDEN HIS BIKE there (it's quite a ride from our home).
It was an amazing night, I felt like I was floating a few feet off the ground. We drank, we ate, we laughed. My dear friend Helen (who has known me since high school) shared stories, and a poem I had written to her on May 23, 1977, and she had pictures from our yearbook and photos from the days scattered on the tables. She also shared some other stories from high school that made me glad Charlie had gone home already...
Karen, who I have known since college days, bought me a 'root beer barrel' to cap off the night.
Mike read Tracy's tribute to me,
there was a beyond delicious birthday cake from La Patisserie,
and a giant photo of me from when I was four years old, that everyone signed like a great big birthday card.
Friends from high school and college that I have known for ages, friends from my Target days,
friends I have made through Charlie's school years, friends from just down the street,
and friends who I have met through Mike-they were all there. (There are no photos of Tracy M, as she was the photographer. Thanks Tracy!)
Honestly, it was like being able to attend your own funeral, and hear how much people love you. Except there was alcohol, and smiles instead of tears, and cake.
I owe it all to Mike, he planned it and pulled it off, I didn't suspect a thing until the end. He even cut the cake! Now that is true love.
And then the next day, he whisked me away in the rain for an overnight trip to Brainerd. So glad I met him 32 years ago (about a week after my birthday!)
To know that you are loved, and appreciated, is probably the best thing in the whole world. I am starting out my fiftieth year on top of the world, on the shoulders of those who care for me, and I pretty much think I have become invincible. Who needs a gold medal at the Olympics, or a trophy for winning the Indy 500, when you have people in your life like that?