Tomorrow is my birthday. (Thank you for the kind thoughts! Yes, of course I can hear what’s in your head, silly.) This year, my birthday brings good news and bad news.
The Bad News:
I am unable to make my self-imposed deadline for my book. As part of my New Year’s Resolution, I had resolved to get my first manuscript into the hands of an editor by my birthday. Well, that’s not going to happen. (Okay, I know, that’s really not that terrible. But, I’m disappointed and a little scared that I will keep missing deadlines.)
I was able to make the first deadline of my resolution, completing the first draft of the manuscript by March 1. But… well, perhaps I shouldn’t say that I am unable to make the other deadline – it’s more that I am unwilling. What I mean is that the first draft was of a book that I didn’t really like. In my opinion (which matters, since it is my book) it had major flaws. These flaws required an extensive revision, which included the writing of several new reflection chapters.
The needed revision wasn’t so extensive that it needed, say, 40 days and 40 nights of rain to cause a biblical sized flood to wash away the horrors and start afresh. Nope. Just another six weeks or so of work. My new deadline for sending the manuscript to an editor is my parents’ 48th wedding anniversary (mid-May.) Or traditional Memorial Day at the absolute latest! (To this date I must stay firm – please help me by bugging me, dear reader!)
The Good News:
The good news is that it’s my birthday tomorrow. Every birthday is good news! I am sublimely grateful to be celebrating another year, especially after what I went through medically last year. But, I’m always grateful. Frankly, due to the grim prognosis of my disease given to my parents on my second birthday, every year since I was 18 has felt like a bonus prize. For, every time April 6 comes around, I wonder if it will be the last birthday that I will get to celebrate. This wonder isn’t as morbid as it sounds, for it doesn’t fill me with gloom or anxiety. Rather, it is truly a wonder – a gladness and a delighted surprise that I am still here. Oh, all of the beauties of spring that I will again be able to witness dripping, stretching, and bursting open all around me!
An essential part of this good news is that I know that I am loved. My amazing parents are still with me, able to give of themselves to me as they have done for decades, showing me and everyone who knows them the wondrous truth, beauty, and power of self-sacrificing love. And all with a great sense of humor and enjoyment of life! My big sister, too, is in my life, a cherished gift in herself, having also brought to the family the gift of her good and loving husband and their two bright and beautiful sons, who, themselves, are endless gifts of wonder and joy.
And, most thankfully, I know that I am infinitely and intimately loved by my Creator. No matter what. Always and forever.
Life is good. I am happy that I was conceived and born into the world! And that’s what I’ll be celebrating tomorrow: the gift of life and all that God has given me. Yes, all. I willingly take the bitter with the sweet for the chance to be able to live in God’s terribly beautiful Creation and participate, in every little way, in Creation’s awe-filled praise of the Divine.
It is good to be here.
© 2018 Christina Chase
1st photo, me in my crib, reaching for my photographer father
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.