38 was daunting to approach and, at times, it was daunting to be. Some part of me feared the rug could be pulled out from under me at any moment. And I suppose that’s still true and will always be true. But, 38 sometimes felt like a threat as much as a celebration, loaded with the uncovering of buried memories and the unlocking of hidden feelings and fears.
But, here I am at 39. I’m glad to be here. Grateful to be here. Grateful to know me better. Grateful for the life I have, for the love and trust I have with Ruth, for my family and friends - those that have remained close, those that have become close in more recent years, even those who have grown apart. I am grateful for our time together, all that we’ve shared and all that you’ve taught me. I carry it with me. It’s part of me.
Life in general comes with much uncertainty. I think I’ve always erred on the optimist side and, when in doubt, have hitched my wagon to hope. But, what I’ve learned in my 39 years of uncertainty around the sun is that hope needs help. Hope is the beginning, an emergency tow to pull you out of the sinking darkness. But, at some point, you’ve got to open your eyes to see where you are, grab a tool and help hope help you.
The journey inward can be terrifying, but that little glowing grain of hope is meant to withstand the storm. Hope sits alongside pain. It doesn’t shun it and it doesn’t push pain away. It nestles close and whispers lullabies urging you not to run away but to stay, to trust your pain and feel, feel down to its deepest scariest uncertain-est depth and know that there is something down there for you - an understanding, maybe even a forgiveness.
And, if you get lost, if you start to sink, hope will be your lifeline.
Thank you for all the love. My love to you.