#710 Happy Birthday, Michael!

Today was Michael’s 30th birthday and Dawn invited us to come out to Bay Springs for a birthday bonfire tonight. We were really excited to spend some time with them.

Yes, that would be Brandon and Brooke in Carhartt and boots. You are not imagining this. 

Ben wore this sweater a lot that first Christmas when we met. He pulled it out of an old winter clothes box tonight and I’m in puppy love all over again.

After this, Anne asked me if I would sing some “cowgirl songs.” MAN I wish I knew one I could’ve played for her!

I can’t tell you how great it was to see them laughing, smiling, making s’mores, having a Garth Brooks singalong and… well, just living. I know they’re still very much in the grieving process, but their faith in God makes it a totally different thing. It’s not despair I see in them. You know? They’re hurting, but really they’re also seriously celebrating that their mama left such a big mark on her world. There’s no telling what beautiful things could come from this sad thing that happened—only God has that plan figured out.  It makes me think of a quote from Cast Away (don’t judge me—it’s a great movie) that I’ve never forgotten. He says, “And I know what I have to do now. I’ve got to keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”

On the ride there, we drove past Mason Park to see the Christmas lights to remember our 2nd date 7 years ago. We’re sitting in the office now listening to Damien Rice’s ‘O’ album and my heart hurts for that time and place so badly. I hope you have a memory like this—one that you can relive and be 19 years old again anytime you need to. Writing it down is the greatest way to do that. You really should try it.