Friday, May 28, 2010

Birthday Wishes

What an awesome day today has been- and it's not even 3. I had fresh coffee this morning with Luke, a walk with the dogs, lunch with my best friend and frozen yogurt. And when I got home, I found out that I won a $1,000 scholarship for school next year. Yay!! The day is bright and sunny. And hot. I plan to mow the yard and then get myself together and go to Mickey Mantels to hear Lemma play tonight with a bunch of my friends. My life is good-I have health, laughter, love, intellectual stimulation and a future.

When I was 21, I spent that birthday in the Air Force after completing most of my basic training. They had just discovered my asthma and I was sitting in medical hold. It was a certainty that I'd be processed out. Many 21-year-olds spend that day sitting in bars, drinking like crazy or spending time with their families. I did neither. I was on cleaning detail for a church. It sucked. I had no future, no job prospects and no real plan for my life. I didn't even have a place to go when I got out. I spiraled down after that for several years, too stubborn and too scared to admit that things were bad.

The difference between then and now is vast. Of course; Of course it is. But I can't help but think about our military people who spend their birthdays doing something they may not be excited about doing because they've signed up to serve and protect the United States. I didn't feel grateful then, but now I count that as one of the most defining days of my life. I know now a bit of what military personnel go through and am grateful to those who offer themselves in the service. Tonight as we celebrate in downtown Oklahoma City, I will offer a toast, my small way to say "Happy Birthday" to all of them in appreciation of their efforts.

Happy Birthday.

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