Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fifty is Nifty

Yikes!  I turned 50.  How the heck did that happen?  (This picture is not me by the way.)

I've been overly emotional today.  I've cried (with joy) over how blessed I am.  To be clear, I hope I have a long life ahead of me.  But, if I go tomorrow, I have lived a charmed life.

The facebook posts, the cards, the calls, the texts have been almost overwhelming.  Being a writer at heart, I  thought I'd share a few thoughts about living half a century and some nice memories.  (These are in no particular order.)

My parents.  Every great part of me comes from my parents; every bad part is some genetic mutation that is not their fault.  We are a small family but we are mighty.  There are no two better people in the world and I love hanging with them.  They have also loved (fiercely!) so many of my friends and continue to do so.  Many of my friends don't have their parents on their 50th birthday.  This is not lost on me.

My besties.  I'm not sure I could imagine this life without Janis Gonzalez and Deb Merino.  We've seen each other through so much.  And to think it all started with Sheri crying at Deb's birthday party because I didn't get a pink balloon.  I was 5.  A drama queen in the making.  I've never had to go through a major life event without their support, advice and counsel.  I hope I never do.

Jennifer Collity and Tyler Roman.  I love you both.  Being your stepmom (you  both know I hate that term) has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.  Getting to be friends with your moms  has made my life even better!

Howe Buddies.  Thanks to facebook and the annual Howe Block party, I have reconnected with so many of my fellow Hornets.  I'm pretty sure I was a dork in high school, yet so many of you embrace me!

The Pasadena Gang.  Until I got older, much older, I had no idea that all kids didn't grow up in a neighborhood where every mom could scold you or hug you.  I didn't know that there were kids who missed playing tag, catching fireflies, or creating adventures on a daily basis.  I am so glad we had no cell phones or cameras.

IU/Porkies.  My parents didn't go to college.  I remember the day they dropped me off at IU and I don't know if I was more nervous or they were.  But God said, "Here, let me introduce you to some of the best friends you will ever have."  Miraculously, we still are.

My Wives-in-Law.  Becca Roman and Laura Roman have shared so much with me. Most importantly, they have allowed me to mother their children and I will be eternally grateful.

My Faith Family.  If you have a church, you understand.  If you don't, I wish you did.  This congregation and the fellowship complete me.  Every Sunday and every day in between.

Cousins.  The old saying is that cousins are your first friends.  I know that's true for me.  First, second and third cousins - I'm loaded with them.  I love them all.

My beloved Gabs and all the dogs that came before.  Occasionally, I dream of Candy.  She was my childhood dog and she died when I was 19.  I like to think that all of them - Holly, Willy, Brandy, Sassy, Sheba, Ashley, and more will meet me at the Rainbow Bridge.  Some want to be greeted by St. Peter.  I'd like to be greeted by my dogs.

Aunts and Uncles.  Again, I got lucky.  Aunt Ann, Aunt Hazel, Aunt Connie and Aunt Judy have spoiled me rotten.  I think I am the mini me of my Aunt Cess who continues to bless me with her calm wisdom.  I inherited a teensy portion of her writing talent.  I wish I had inherited her wisdom.  And my crazy uncles!  Uncle Harry who continues to tease me about my wild hair, Uncle Don who always greets me with, "there's my favorite niece", Uncle Kerry, who has always been there for me.  I still miss my Uncle Ken, who was so easy for me to talk to, but I love my Uncle David who has blessed the life of my Aunt Cess.

Highland/Workout Friends.  I am not really a country club kind of girl.  But I did it for about 20 years.  In a pinch, I can swing a golf club if someone needs a fourth in an outing.  While I faked my way through playing golf, I made some amazing friends.  I'm looking forward to seeing many of them next weekend.

Mentors.  Attending Syd Cook's memorial service was one of the hardest things I did this year. I hope he knew how much I admired him and how much he inspired me.

People I miss.  The list is endless.  Bobbie & Pa, Grandma & Grandpa, Mike and Eve, Uncle Ken, Uncle Bob, Patsy Stewart and countless more!

So that's it.  My silly thoughts about turning 50.  I left out a lot -- mostly my love of wine, ice cream, books and music.  My great job and my amazing coworkers.  How much I love my home.  Friends like Abby and Mary Anne.  The joy of every photo of those gorgeous Collity boys.  The wrinkles and pooches -- I've earned every one.

Life goes on... if you're lucky.  And, I am.  If you're reading this, you've left a stamp on my heart.

"God only knows what I'd be without you."



  1. You are one of the 3 or 4 most beautiful 50 year olds I've ever known. Inside and out. The last 3 or 4 years of your life have been the epitome of a steady triumphal spirit. I love everything you wrote about friends and family helping to get you to this wonderful place - but YOU did it. (OK, I'll give Sandy and Paul some credit.)

    Now I know you're excited to get on with the second half. Should be interesting.

  2. I enjoyed reading about you and the ones you love very much. It's nice that you are touch with your college friends till now. Really you are a lucky guy. Nice post.

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