First Third

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Four days ago I became the big 3-0! I gotta tell you that I was not much looking forward to this birthday. I know what all of my evangelical friends will say, "Every year is a gift from God; be blessed to be alive." I don't refute that; I am happy and blessed to be--as Grandma would say--, "In the land of the living." But there was something about turning thirty that made me, well, sad. I don't know if it is because I don't feel like I am anywhere near where I envisioned myself being at thirty or if it is because this is the first birthday that I have not had my Gma Mammie. At either rate, I was not looking forward to it.

This past weekend was full; very full. So, I officiated the wedding of one of my dear friends this weekend. I had lunch with Frank Tart, my middle school mentor. Met up with some of my Hillsborough family--who I have missed desperately. Then the cake-topper--crème de la crème--of the weekend, I celebrated with my twin brother, most of my siblings and some of our childhood friends. I had an incredible time. Then when I got home I celebrated with Kels, Jesse, Mille, Toots, Ben and Joy! This past weekend was so great.  So, this leads me to the heart of this post.

I have lived fifteen million, seven hundred, sixty-eight thousand minutes. That is a lot of minutes, but not really. In the first third of my life, I have laughed a lot, loved a lot and lost little. When I look over the first third of my life, I have had few regrets and tons of rewards. As I think about the blessings in my life, I must start with the acknowledgment of Jesus. His sacrifice for me, a wretch without him. Then there is my incredible bride, who has always been the unsung hero of my life these past six years. She is, without a doubt, an evidence of God's grace upon my life.  Quinton, my incredible son, is a joy to me. He has shown me a lot. He has given me a glimpse of the love that Abba has for me. Then there are Dee (Courtney) and Jesse (Camille)--my two best friends who get me and know me--loving me despite it. My parents, have been a constant. They have neither been perfect but have been a constant love. My Judy, I love her so much and she is the epitome of a strong, black, educated woman. My other siblings and their spouses have been a constant source of love, strength and support for me. I love my family! To enumerate the people who I have impacted my life in the fifteen million minutes that I have lived would be impossible.

My mind, however, immediately go to people like Tonetta Landis--one of my longest and dearest friendships. This woman has exhibited before me and the world how to live out your faith through actions. She will travel any distance for the ones whom she loves. Then there is my dear friend, Allen, who has always been a listening ear for me and willing to give hugs when necessary. My dear friend, Patti; words will fail to speak of the impact that she has had on Kels and me. Charlton, he is my brother from a white, W. Va mother. Brandy Black, my sister from another mister (ILYLAS)! There have been countless folks who have impacted my life in such positive ways, and you each know who you are.

So, instead of looking with dread at the next 2/3 of my life, I look with anticipation. I look forward to the folks who I have yet to meet. I look forward to the obstacles I have yet to clear. I am excited to see my family grow.

Thirties, I will master you!


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