I turned 28 today. You want to know what I did for my birthday? Laundry. It was the world's largest load of jeans.
Just kidding, I did a little more than that. My family all called and sent gifts, and my roommate made brownies, which we then set ablaze (think I'm reaching the practical limit of how many candles one should put on a cake.) All told, it was a pretty low key affair. Now, I'm not above dropping subtle hints to my friends that it's my birthday, but this year things were so busy with work and vacations that I didn't want to make a big fuss. On top of that, my birthday last year was so amazing, that I figured it was okay to take a year off.
Last year, my birthday was two weeks after I had moved from my home of 6 years -- the college town that fit me like a worn baseball glove. Those were hard weeks -- moving to a new place, trying to meet new people, and get settled in a new apartment. Amidst my acclimation, I received a call from my old Bishopric for whom I had served as ward clerk. Turns out they wanted me to come back for an evening to help take pictures for their ward directory. Having done their previous 3 directories, I agreed to come up for their activity, which happened to fall the day before my birthday.
Birthdays for me are always bittersweet because they frequently coincide with end of summer as well as the start of school and all the stress it brings. This time however, the timing was ideal because all my friends were were back in town for the start of class, so I got a chance to see everyone all together again. I felt so at home with all my friends and that Bishopric that I'd grown to love that the evening just flew by, and soon it was dark and we were cleaning up. Most everyone had left, leaving just the Bishopric and the nucleus of the ward leadership, who happened to be most of my good friends. I looked around and was so glad that I had made the trip, and so thankful that I was blessed with such camaraderie.
Just when things were winding down, the Bishop appeared with a wonderfully decorated birthday cake. I was so touched; I just about cried. (But if anybody asks, I'm still going to blame the high pollen count.) So tonight, on the big 2-8, I propose a toast to friendship. The memories may fade, but the feelings remain -- and so long as you live by the examples that your friends set, they'll always be with you.