The night before my birthday, D came home with a Birthday card for me with some money in it. Wishing me Happy Birthday since he wouldn't be going to visit all my family with me for the weekend. I clung to the last few words in the card saying something to the effect that something good would be in the state we were headed to. I cried secretly hoping there would be a letter for me from C before he left.
I woke up the next morning knowing that the day would be a good one since I was feeling better. Each of the kids greeted me by saying, "Happy Birthday Mom". I was content with that. Anything above and beyond that would be a bonus.
After getting my birthday wishes from each of the kids, we scurried around trying to decide whether or not we could go see my family as planned that day since some of the kids weren't quite well yet. We decided that we would be able to leave, so we gathered our stuff, left A home to get better since he was now not feeling well, and we were off.
That night we attended my sister's baby blessing followed by a potluck at the church. After my brother-in-law's family and friends left, my mom got on a mic and asked everyone for their attention. Then she went on to say....
That the night was a special night for my sister and her family since they had just blessed their miracle baby, but that they didn't want me to feel forgotten since it was my birthday. I sat there kind of embarrassed and smiled at everyone. Okay, it's just my birthday. Then my mom handed me a gift that I unwrapped in front of everyone. It was a book of pictures and thoughts from everyone about me! People said the sweetest things. I quickly flipped through it hoping to see a letter from C. There it was. A note from my very own Elder. (That's what he is going by for the next two years) I cried and cried anxious to read what he had written me. Anxious to see what everyone had written to me or what their thoughts were on me. It was awesome! Best present ever.
While I sat there crying flipping through the pages, my mom continued on by telling everyone that for over a year now I had talked about and wanted a cuarenta-era. But that I had chosen to celebrate my birthday in another way by giving a breakfast to my Veterans. I was sobbing at that point. She called me up and said that I was going to have that dream fulfilled. I went up where she and my dad put a tiara on my head, placed a coursage on my wrist and then my dad asked if I would dance with him. The song, "Butterfly Kisses" came on. My dad held out his hand and I placed mine in his. The other arm on his shoulder and my head in his chest. I danced with my dad crying and crying wishing that I could freeze time. My dad told me that he loved me. I told him that I loved him too. That "that" was the neatest thing anyone had ever done for me. That it was better than any cuarenta-era I could have ever thrown myself. I danced there in my dad's arms at the age of 40 feeling beautiful. I hadn't needed that gorgeous dress, professionally done hair, makeup and nails, and all the glitz and glamour that I had once dreamed about. It was perfect just dancing there in my dad's arms. Knowing that my mom and dad had done that for me.
That's when I realized that becoming 40 was beautiful. I love this age. I love this stage of my life. I love looking back and seeing my own personal growth. I love that I really didn't need a cuarenta-era but that my mom made sure I had one. That night was priceless. Truly mom and dad, I can't thank you enough. I know it seems so silly, but it meant so much to me that you would do that. I love you.
I couldn't wait to get back to my sister's house that night to read through my book. My kids were all asleep next to me and on the floor in one of the bedrooms. I read through it using my cell phone light. I laughed and cried as I read everyone's entries. I texted D thanking him for his letter. He texted back saying that he meant every word. My favorite thing he wrote? That my smile is the most beautiful decoration in our home.
I went to bed so grateful and thankful for the best birthday ever. And to think that some people might have said that I am "over the hill". Not in my book. I just lived a fairytale.