Friday, August 01, 2008

Pause for Reflection

Today is the sixtieth anniversary of the birth of ME! On this celebration of six decades of life, one pauses to reflect on where one has been, where we are, and where we might be headed in the remaining years of life. First, I want to thank my parents and my God for the gift of life. Without that, this post would not be possible. Thanks to my parents for raising this difficult and different child. When I was born, there were some physical and mental issues that prompted doctors to recommend an institutional kind of life, but Mom said, "No way!" By about age three or so, the problems self (or God) corrected and life went on. I can't say that I had a happy childhood -- I was often in some kind of trouble (never serious or criminal in nature, but trouble just the same). My parents did the best they knew how, and as I look back, I know they loved me through it all. I made it through high school, went to college for a year (I wasn't really ready for it), and then got a job. I chose to join the Army (can't imagine why) and soon married my high school sweetheart (or the closest thing to it). On my 21st birthday, I received the greatest possible gift -- the birth of my daughter (Cathy, if you are reading this -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY). The marriage ended in divorce for several reasons including my sexuality. That sexuality led me to new discoveries and in new directions in life. In my late 30s, I finally answered God's call to ministry and have served there since. I have pastored churches, served in leadership roles, and currently am serving in a quarter time interim position. I wonder if I have achieved anything along the way. I have been in a couple of long term relationships, but have never felt as loved and cared for as I have since meeting my beloved Ben. I feel respected, valued, affirmed, and loved. I am working a part time minimum wage job which is a little demeaning in that by this point in life I should be thinking about and planning for retirement. I fear that my retirement years will not be filled with ease and comfort, but I will survive. For the most part, I have my health, though there is the BP issue, weight control (0r out of.......), and the usual aches and pains. From some perspectives, my life hasn't amounted to much. However, using a more spiritual and less tangible yardstick, my life has been filled with irreplacable experiences and blessings. The opportunity to touch lives, to participate in life celebrations, to see my daughter all grown up and a parent in her own right, to have the opportunity to meet my grandson, to see my Mother grow old, to see a host of nieces growing up, doing college, marrying and such, to experience Ben, to just celebrate the gift of life all add up to a mental album of memories that will carry me into the later part of my life. To all those who have touched my life -- family, partners, co-workers, parishoners, blogging friends, and total strangers who I've encountered -- thank you for your roles in making me who I am and for helping to shape the life I celebrate today. If you're still reading, thank you for allowing me to muse. Give someone a hug and celebrate life.

1 comment:

Lemuel said...

A most happy birthday to you! You (and your life) is an affirmation of the old cliche that "God never makes junk" - despite what the doctors seemed to say early on.

Thank you for your gift of yoruself to us!