23 & Thankful

A few days ago I turned 23. In all my years of birthdays, now 23 of them (what?!?), this one was one for the books.

By that I mean, that when I woke up on my Birthday/Easter morning, that little sliver of “It’s-my-birthday” tingly excitement (you know the one) was nowhere to be found.

Instead, I woke up to a melted ice pack on my face, a throbbing jaw, and the sinking realization that I would be eating “soft foods” for the seventh day in a row.

23 & I were not off to a great start.

Long story short, I got my wisdom teeth out last Monday thinking I would have that average “oh it’s a breeze” recovery that I kept hearing about only to still be feeling yucky by the time my birthday rolled around.

It was not my best decision ever.

HOWEVER (and this is where we turn this sinking ship around…)

As I reflected back on my actual birthday-day late that night and the next day back in Charleston my heart just swelled so much. Not because it was such a great birthday, (I think we’ve established that it wasn’t) but because of how just overall thankful I was for the people in my life and how they love me.

Thankful for my siblings who spent their entire Spring Break continuously asking their very needy older sister if she needed anything and never once complained about heating up the heat pack, even if it was for the 190,000th time. I got kisses on my cheeks, my forehead, my hands. I got hugs for no reason, and had company in my misery. They love me too much. And I them.

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Thankful for my Danny who drove up after a 12-hr shift to surprise me, sacrificing his day off to make me feel special. Who, at the end of the week drove BACK up after another crazy long shift in order to be there for my birthday. And who took care of me in the most precious way once I got back to Charleston. I get weepy just thinking about it.

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Thankful for my momma. Gosh for my momma. Who demonstrated such selfless selfless love and care for me this past week that I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it. Who made sure my birthday was still my birthday even when I couldn’t feel it. She’s been mine for 23 years, and I am only now beginning to understand the magnitude of what she does.

Thankful for my dad. Gosh for my dad. Who carries our family just right, who sacrifices much and is rewarded little. Who sits up and watches TLC’s BrideDay and asks me questions about what I like and dislike if only to get me talking. Who is willing and able to come home from work and cancel a dinner reservation only to throw together an impromptu birthday party if that what he needs to do for his little girl.

Thankful for sweet birthday messages via text, Facebook, and Instagram many from old and dear friends who surprise me in the best way and make me smile all the way down in my soul.

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Thankful for Mrs. Nan, who, by the Grace of God, knows me so well that with just one look can tell what it is she needs to do to help, to fix. Who is the best at taking care of people, especially when they don’t know they need it. Who tackles your sub-list for you when you can’t say one word without your eyes welling-up.

Thankful for people who gather even without the promise of Miyabi’s, for those who bring cake, love, and the most perfect and thoughtful gifts.

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Thankful for a brother who entertains everyone with his crazy stories. Thankful that HE gathers even without the promise of Miyabi’s. This is TOO huge! And I just know I am loved.

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Just so incredibly thankful.

I’ve been told (by Blink 182) that “nobody likes you when you’re 23…” (is that really the only song for this age???) but in my experience that just doesn’t seem to be so. How is it possible that I can be surrounded by these people who love me SO well? How do I even begin to deserve it? I have no idea.

I am 23 & and loved.

I am 23 & taken care of.

I am 23 & thankful.

xoxo,

Mel

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