I’m 38 years old today. I never gave much thought to the idea of turning 38. I figured it was a given I’d see 38…39…40…years old and beyond. My grandparents and half of my great grandparents lived well into their late 80s and 90s. One of my great-grandmothers lived into her 100s. I just figured it’d be a given, knowing my grandparents and great-grandparents, I’d have a long life.
I don’t know that now. 38 seems precious. Will there be a 39 and beyond? I don’t really know, but you know what? I shouldn’t have ever thought to take any of it for granted. We’re not promised tomorrow. We’re not promised anything beyond what we have right now.
And, despite everything that’s happened over the last six months, my right now is pretty damned good. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally. I have two children who light up any room they’re in with their love for life, for each other, for just being who they are. I have parents who love me and do just about anything they can to lighten our burdens. I have in-laws who have never treated me as a daughter-in-law (or sister-in-law, niece-in-law, granddaughter-in-law), but instead treat me as a daughter (or sister, or niece, or granddaughter), and, like my parents, would do anything to lighten our burdens. I have aunts, uncles, and cousins who step in at anytime and who love me for being me. And, I am blessed to have friends who are my second family. Who call, text, check in, leave voice mails, show up, and are there not because they’re bound to me by blood but because we are bound together by choice, respect, love, sarcasm, and a deep appreciation for the irreverent.
I’ve never been one to make a big deal out of my birthday, and I won’t change that now just because I don’t know what the future holds. I never knew what the future held. I just assumed I knew. What I will do is treasure 38 and hope there are more to come.