“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy”. Philippians 1:3-4
A friend and I were visiting about various things when the subject turned to birthdays. “When is your birthday?” she asked. I hesitated and tried to change the subject. She said since she revealed her birthday I
should do the same. She seemed pleased when I told her it was only a few days away.
I tried to act as though it was no big deal and said I didn’t want any birthday presents because I had the gift of our friendship. Before we went our separate ways I hugged her and thanked her for my precious present of
While I can remember very few birthday presents over the years, I definitely remember the people who shared birthdays with me. I am so thankful for my mother who gave me the gift of life. Even though we were
separated by miles, our love for each other transcended the distance.
My mother was there for my birthdays until I left home for college. For several years she put together birthday parties for me and my friends. My grandparents were there for some of those parties and I especially remember Grandpa playing with the kids. I can still hear, “one, two, buckle my shoe …” It was no small feat for a man over 6-foot tall.
From family to friends, birthdays changed as I grew older. On my 16th birthday, two of my friends “kidnapped” me at 5 a.m. They took me in my pajamas and robe to the coffee shop downtown for breakfast. The other
diners stared at us but we were having too much fun to notice. I lost track of one of those friends after college and I see the other friend about once a year, but they will always be my friends.
I could go on and on about the surprise birthday party at 12:30 a.m for my 30th birthday. My closest friends woke me up with a birthday cake lit with 30 candles that set off the smoke alarm. I have many precious memories of that day even though two of those friends are now in heaven. I am so thankful for the time we spent together.
In a book about the faith of George W. Bush, the writer shared a quote that really spoke to me. George stated how important it is to have friends. He said, “As my life gets more complicated, I treasure the basics: faith, family, and my friends.” I feel the same way because those basics are more important than all the material possessions or gifts in this world.
While some family members and friends are now in heaven, I will always treasure the memories of time shared with them. For those who remain, I thank God for them and the gift they gave me, which is themselves.
Debra Whittington is a longtime Tucumcari resident. Contact her at: email@example.com