Friday, October 30, 2015

My BIG Birthday ~ Reflecting on the Days of my Life

Dear friends, not too many days ago, on a rather ordinary day in October, I had a birthday. A big one. You've heard it said that age is just a number, but this one reminds me of when I turned 40. I couldn't even speak about it for two months. I even shed tears over it. Now, I realize how silly that was. I'm not shedding tears over this one, but I still find it hard to believe, except when I look in the bathroom mirror. Let's just say the senior citizen discounts are getting even better and better, and I'm hanging on for dear life.

In the months leading up to the big day, I found myself reflecting on life, mine in particular, so in a freestyle way, I put pen to paper and decided to see where my thoughts went. Here are the results:


In this life, I have known the agony of an empty womb, and experienced the overwhelming joy of an unexpected daughter.

For three decades, I have written about life and love and felt the words flow out of me, a gift from God that still takes me by surprise.

I have sometimes ended up on stony paths, because of my selfishness and stupidity. Other times, I've been forced down stony paths by the selfishness and stupidity of others.

I have made friends that lasted a lifetime, while some I thought would never leave have walked away.

I've made foolish choices that hurt good people and been deeply grateful when forgiven by the same.

I have known the unconditional love of a husband and family, a love I neither deserve nor have earned. 

I've delighted in the kindness of strangers and friends and am convinced the world is filled with good people.

There have been times when I struggled to accept what I could not change. I’ve lingered far too long in the painful places of my life.

To be born into a musical family, to be able to sit at a keyboard and make music with my hands, to play by ear, to burst into three-part harmonies with my two sisters, this has been one of God's greatest blessings to me. Music feeds my soul and revives my spirit.

From the womb, I have known the inexplicable companionship of an identical twin sister. No matter what the seasons offered, I've always had a friend. My birthday is her birthday, and I pray I never celebrate a birthday without her.

In this life, I've had more than my share of happy days and starlit nights, days when possibilities seemed endless, when anything seemed possible. I've loved deeply and been loved in return.

When the years brought grief and pain, when storms came and changed the landscape of my life, I've discovered that, if I looked closely, there were jewels glittering among the rubble—fortitude and courage, grit and determination—proving that even loss has its value.

I've learned that one can never be completely filled with joy, until one is completely empty of anger. It's like trying to get clear water out of a muddy cup. It can't happen until you clean out the cup.

Iseasons of plenty, and in times of need, I have sought the Lord and found Him near, His Holy Spirit a steady flame burning deep in my soul that neither human nor circumstance can extinguish. 

I have traveled the country over and been captivated by sights and sounds from God’s almighty hand. There were the glorious shades of an autumn morning in upstate New York. The gentle murmur of waves as the sun rose steadily over the Atlantic. The sky’s violet hues as the same sun slipped below the horizon along the Pacific coast.

I have seen the vastness of the ocean, felt the enormity of the Grand Canyon, listened in wonder at the mighty waters of Niagara Falls, and stood breathless at the summit of Clingmans Dome.

But God’s gifts aren’t reserved for the traveler. Within the four walls of my home, when alone and exhausted, I have heard the sweet trill of a bird filling the air with evening’s song, a concert from God, I’m convinced, sent to soothe a weary soul. 

I've experienced the power of prayer, and witnessed miracles with my own eyes, and I've never been more sure of my faith than I am today.

When the sun hid its face, and the moon offered no light, when the road seemed impossibly long, it was the joy of the Lord that bubbled up and gave me strength to go on, one day at a time.

After having mulled over the days that make up my life—the good, the bad, the sorrows, the joys, my missteps and my victories—and having weighed the matter of being deeper into the autumn years of my life, the truth is, despite my constant need for improvement, my cup runneth over with good things and good people. Every day, I am blessed, and for all of these many years that I have lived, I say to the One who makes it possible, “Thank you, Lord, from my heart.”





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Last week, while in the majestic Smoky Mountains enjoying a birthday getaway, Gayle and I had planned to take an official birthday photo. We even bought matching outfits; something we haven't done in many a moon. But as fate would have it, one thing led to another and none of our efforts proved very fruitful, so we did the only thing we know to do and that is to have fun, even when things don't go as planned. 

Instead of the "official" photo, we ended up with a collection of selfies that were taken over the course of our time away, taken on the fly, and without a lot of forethought, but it was fun making memories to treasure. 

Even though we are identical twins, in the medical sense, and have looked fairly identical for much of our lives, we don't think we look that much alike these days. But the people seem to think otherwise. Even at this age, everywhere we go, no matter how different we may be dressed or how unalike our hair-dos may be, we are asked over and over, "Are you all twins?" I guess the resemblance is still there, after all.


Dayle, Gayle
A sister is a gift to the heart, 
a friend to the spirit, 
a golden thread to the meaning of life. 
~ Isadora James

Gayle, Dayle

Dayle, Gayle

Gayle, Dayle
To the outside world we all grow old. But not to sisters. 
We know each other as we always were. 
We know each other’s hearts. 
We live outside the touch of time
~ Clara Ortega


Dayle, Gayle


For there is no friend like a sister, 
In calm or stormy weather, 
To cheer one on the tedious way, 
To fetch one if one goes astray, 
To lift one if one totters down, 
To strengthen whilst one stands.

~ Christina Rossetti


If you're still with me, sweet friends, thank you for your patience. Your footprints here always brighten my day. Until next time, cherish the days, for, when all is said and done, they pass mighty quickly.





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24 comments:

  1. I loved this blog, dear twin, and I'm grateful you have been beside me for all these years.

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  2. What a beautiful and truthful reflection. I need an old fashioned newspaper so I can cut this out and stick it in my bible! (I know, "print"!).

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  3. Well, happy belated birthday, to you and your twin!

    Sweet and heartfelt post. I really liked your thoughts on the value in loss. It takes life experience to learn that fact.
    Learning that has been something that I have come to appreciate in recent years, and has changed some sad experiences into learning experiences.

    You know turning 30 never bothered me, but 40 was awful! Not only did I not talk about it for months, for me, it was years ***grin**.
    The half century mark is right around the corner, for me, and I look forward to it. Who knew??

    Have a sweet week.

    ~K.

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  4. What a beautiful post dear Dayle.

    Belated Happy Birthday ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  5. Happy Birthday to you and your twin!! What a precious and wise post. I think it's only when we realize the many blessings that the Lord has given us that we can handle the bad times. I had a bad time when I turned 30. Don't know why - it just really impacted me. Heavens, now if I could only go back to that time. LOL

    Hope you and sister have a great day. So glad you had your little getaway!

    Judy

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  6. Beautifully written blog! Happy birthday to you and your twin!

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    1. Beautifully written indeed!!!
      Happy Happy Birthday to you and you dear sister.
      I always find inspiration here, my friend. : )

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  7. Happy Birthday to you and your sister! Lovely snaps and words. Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  8. What a beautiful tribute to your sister and family love---to acceptance of what is and what will be. I loved reading about the path of your life. You are blessed indeed! You and your sister are both beautiful...and I am sure your sister is as beautiful INSIDE as you are! Happy MILESTONE birthday! xo Diana

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  9. Happy birthday to two beauties! shine on! This is such a beautiful post.

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  10. Happy birthday Dayle! Beautiful post and pics! I always am encouraged reading your posts!

    Blessings from Arizona,
    Dorothy

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  11. I think this is my favorite of all your writings. Hugs and love to you and Gayle, my life long sister-friends.

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  12. Still with you??? You bet. I read the whole post and loved it. So much of it I can relate to. My sister died suddenly in April....a punch in the gut for me but He reminded me of the times I had her, the laughter we shared, the long heartfelt talks, the crazy, the fun, the wild. To have a sister is the best. A huge happy birthday to both of you!!!! And Dayle, I loved your post. Beautifully written.

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    1. Nikki, I'm so very sorry for the unexpected loss of your sister. I can't imagine how you feel and you're right when you say, "To have a sister is the best."

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  13. Ah, sweet Dayle. What a wonderful description of a positive and encouraging life! You are blessed. Thank you for blessing us with your presence here in blogland. It's places like yours that keep me coming back.
    Hugs and lots of love to you and Gayle!

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  14. Oh definitely, Dayle. The resemblance with your dear sister is definitely there. Loved your post. It was beautifully written. Hope your new year of life brings many moments of joy, deep happiness, adventure and fun! Hugs to you, birthday girl! Susan

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  15. Wow, Dayle, WOW! Having just celebrated a major birthday myself, I related to everything that you have expressed (except the twin part), but I could never have expressed as eloquently as you. And, yes, I think you definitely look like twins! I can't really tell which is you!

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  16. Belated happy big birthday to you and Gayle! I like your reflections on your life. I'll be having my big birthday in two years. It seems impossible! Life has zoomed by so quickly, and more so, it seems, with each passing year.

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  17. Thanks so much, dear friends, for your birthday wishes and sweet thoughts. You're the best.

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  18. Oh, I may have said it before ... but THIS time, I wholly believe THIS post is the best I've been fortunate to read! A primer that touches each of us in one way or another.

    Love the selfies! (And yes, on more than one occasion I've puzzled trying to figure 'who is who?')

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  19. I don't know how this one slipped by me...sweet thoughts! Did I tell you I was born a twin? Yes, a brother but we didn't get to grow up together, his life was but a whisper -two weeks! But I'll know him in Heaven.
    Thank you again for sharing who you really are with us!

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  20. oops that happened too fast- I meant to tell you about the YEAR I turned 60- at some point later that year it dawned clear to me: "I cannot be a YOUNG anything anymore"...no more games, denial or pretending It is what it is- make it count.

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle