I turned 48 last week and a particularly kind friend of mine was insistent that I celebrate another year, in spite of my routine and annual desire to pretend that day does not exist. As a portion of my life reads a little like a stroll through Skull Island as Peter Jackson depicted it with his 2005 remake of the 1933 classic, King Kong, it’s inordinately meaningful to have a friend and counselor who climbs down into the valley you are living in and convinces you that you can scale the unctuously ominous cliffs that press in from overhead. It is indeed worth celebrating another year of clear breathing and sunshine.

So I thanked her.

Thank you for the beautiful flowers; the vase fit perfectly in a cup holder in my car so I will have sunshine and happiness for days and days as I drive all over.

Thank you for amazing cookies made from sticks of butter, chocolate and a little flour to hold them altogether; life will always be rich and have its soul affirming moments, and it’s sweet reprieves from a long week of homework not yet complete until the 15 year old conquers civics.

Thank you for the sushi and the relaxation of the shoulders of an 18 year old burdened down like an old man with theater performances and AP/IB exams . Moments of sushi and debriefing time are priceless right now as his high school days wind down. He's plopped down on the couch next to me and I am his headrest/pillow. I love these times.

Thank you for loving amazing food with me and thus fortifying the strength and fellowship that comes when one shares the food of a person who is suffering; there is magic there, whereby love as an ingredient exponentially expands the flavor profile of any food.

Thank you for hugs and tears and tools that allow me to love my friends and family in a rich and meaningful way.

Thank you for giving me reasonably certainty that in approximately 358 days I will celebrate once more.