I turned 43 yesterday.
It feels the same as 42.
Although it does seem that I have been in a state of deep thought these days.
I have really been evaluating myself and my actions.
I have been thinking long and hard and trying to figure out who I am.
Which is weird, because I don't usually think long and hard about anything.
Not because I don't love birthdays.
Really just because the day I was born was the first day of my life of not being wanted.
I have to wonder if all kids that are put up for adoption feel the same way.
I wonder how long it takes each of them to get past it?
It is hard to look at people when they say 'happy birthday'.
It is especially hard to not cry when two older folks that you admire, respect and even love sing a genuine, heartfelt happy birthday to you in a hall filled with adults and children. And they actually mean every word.
I can't remember many times in my life that I have ever had a grown man sing happy birthday to me and mean it. Although, now that I write that - I can remember Jeff's dad singing to me and my grandpoppy too.
And then there was the class of kindergartners that sang "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS. CARRRRRRR" - if that doesn't make your knees shake, I don't know what will.
I think this is the first year that I can own my birthday.
Maybe I have come to peace with being born.
I know that my birth-mother wanted me.
I know that she has thought of me everyday since I left her.
I know that my momma desperately wanted and loved me.
I know that the home I was given was exactly where I was suppose to be.
I know that if I didn't have the childhood and parents that I had, I wouldn't be the person I am now.
So how do I be the best person I can be?
How do I payback for the gifts that I have and live a life worthy of 43 years of gratitude?
I don't know, but I am starting with love.
If there is a day that goes by that I have not loved - than it is a day that has been wasted.
And I look forward to 364 days from now.
Because I will be able to blow out the candles with pride knowing that I have done what I needed to do to make the world a better place.