This past Friday I turned 37.
I celebrated with a walk on the beach, Cinnamon rolls from Sweet Mama’s and a home cooked meal prepared by my two eldest.
The emails, texts and phone call birthday wishes came throughout the day. So even though the girls and I were alone on St. Simons, I felt 100 percent loved and connected.
That seems to be a metaphor for the year I have lived. As I closed the book on 36 I thought about how this past year could have been incredibly isolating and lonely. How in the early days it felt that way. I struggled as an extremely private person to open myself up to my friends, family and coworkers; to put words to this ugly thing that had torn my life as I knew it apart.
But very quickly as words crept out and I told others that my 14 year marriage had fallen away, I realized how surrounded by love I truly was.
The words spoken in hushed tones in hallways at work;
the late night texts;
the trips by friends to visit on weekends they knew I shouldn’t be alone;
the meals cooked;
the letters received and then taped to my bathroom mirror;
the long forgotten parts of me brought to the surface by friends reminding me of my identity separate from that of wife and mother.
Yes my year was spent in the loving embrace of those who have chosen (or been chosen) to walk this life with me.
So as I dip my toes into the waters of 37, I do so knowing that an army stands behind me and beside me. With their support I know anything is possible.
37 will be a magical year.