Sunday, September 19, 2010

Life Goes Full Circle

It was you who threw me a surprise party for my 21st birthday; I believe I cried almost the whole time, cried for the thought you had put into it, for the good intentions behind it; cried because I had never been the focus of a surprise party before.

We wrote each other through college in a runic script of your devising. We challenged each other continually, each determined to be the victor at every skirmish. The rules of engagement were simple: at all times, en garde. It's a cliche, I know, but we made each other laugh and drove each other crazy. Such heady days.

We both won. Then we both lost.  

And through the ensuing years, separately we learnt to pick our battles with much greater care, to keep our swords sheathed for the most part. We learnt what was important to fight about and what was crucial to fight for.

Slowly, we both made significant gains of our own. You had the daughter with the name we both loved; I birthed the Tea House. You launched yourself into a successful stage career; I started to focus on music and literature. You circled back to your roots; I put down new ones.

And on the occasional occasions our paths intersect, we find we can both still laugh together, the banter coming easy with the pressure to impress removed. We're finally comfortable in our own skins.

Now, all these years later, you're celebrating a landmark birthday. I can't throw a party for you; indeed, you have no need for me to. But I can exult from a distance at the person you have become. I can give thanks for the times we spent together. I can finally listen to Charly McClain and hear the sweetness in the song.

And I can, and do, root for you as you explore this new segment of your life. May you never become stagnant. May your career thrive. May your sorrows be a stepping stone to greater wisdom and opportunity. May joy, often so elusive, become palpable.

And because it's your birthday, I'll let you have the last word and the last laugh:

                         Your gorgeous, Karyn

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