A Birthday Full of Love

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

“You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.” ~Saint Therese of Lisieux

Its not a coincidence that I was having a bad week and, without a word from me or anyone who knew I was having a bad week, my friends pulled through. It was a blessing.

As my friend, Lauren pointed out when I related these events, “You were upset, you prayed, and God put you on everyone’s mind so they could take care of you.” Thanks, Lauren.

She’s right. This couldn’t have just been a series of coincidences. There were too many surprises and too many people involved.

RR, his gf, one of the Sunday Family Dinner boys (Grant), and me at a Rangers game

It started at Wednesday night softball: Bad night. I was just having a down day. Stressed. A little lonely. Made my Lenten Confession and the flood gates opened as I sat in the Sanctuary at church and prayed. Then, the genius decision to let law students play sports without officials and argue over the rules themselves led to over 3 hours of my team arguing with other teams that happened to be made up of my friends. Anyway, I just didn’t have the energy to deal with it and was noticeably down.

Who came to help me out, but my Practice Court partner. He shows affection by teasing me and often pushes it too far (to the point that he’ll even text me later and apologize and point out that he only does it because he loves me and I can take it. Usually). Anyway, it was completely out of character to ask me what was wrong and the pry a little when I didn’t answer. I’m glad I did fill him in a little eventually. He didn’t tease me during the game…which is good because I wouldn’t have been able to take it.

Me and the other 2 Sunday Dinner boys (Michael and Scott). Excuse the weird angle.

Then my moot court partner came out of nowhere and gave me a hug. Precious.

RR invited me over to chat with him and his girlfriend and his roommate, Bill. It was a much needed talk and it felt good to spend time with them. RR’s girlfriend, Leah, even promised regular hugs. And, now, it never fails, if I see her in the hall at school, I get a hug.

The next day, I had lunch with Ben (my Costa Rican travel buddy) which never fails to cheer me up. And spent a little time with the Sunday family dinner boys. Although, none of them knew quite how down I had been at the game, or that I just couldn’t shake it. It was just good to spend time with them all.

That night we had a dinner for everyone on advocacy teams which meant just a little more time with my friends. Then we all went to the bar. There, my friend, Adam, one of the only people here who had ever become friends with Cody, pulled me aside at the bar to tell me who much he admired me and how he felt like I’d triumphed. Ok, he was a little drunk…those were his words and they were far too kind. Really. But, I so needed to hear them last week! He went on and on. All I could do was be grateful for this. I mean, I’ve always been friends with Adam, although not that close. So this was unexpected, unwarranted, and completely flattering.

Me and Bill on a flying adventure. He was a pilot before law school.

Friday, I was still just moody. I mean, I even laughed at how I just couldn’t shake this mood. Still a little down and just frustrated with everything. I was driving to College Station to a surprise engagement/birthday party because one of my best friends was proposing to his girlfriend that evening and talking to Christa on the phone and just laughing about how weird and frustrating it was that I couldn’t shake it. Bless her for always listening to my neurosis. But, just a few minutes after I got off the phone with her, I got a text from one of the Sunday dinner boys that just said thank you for all that I do for them and that he thought I was really special. Really?! Out of nowhere. I almost cried just because it was the sweetest thing in the world (as a sidenote, to my knowledge, none of the Sunday dinner boys have found this blog so none of them had any clue that I wasn’t having the best week. RR and my practice court partner wouldn’t have said anything).

Anyway, just a few minutes later, another of the boys texted just to tell me that it felt weird not seeing me for a whole 24 hours for the first time in weeks and that we had to right this wrong by meeting up the next day. So nice!

And a few minutes after that, the last of the Sunday dinner boys just texted me some random song lyrics that are an inside joke. Random texts are the best even when they’re pointless. And no, the boys weren’t together.

I have the absolute best friends in the world. Hands down.

Then I got to have a nice long dinner with my sister and met up with some college friends who I hadn’t seen in ages at the engagement party. I tried to leave early, but they all convinced me to go out with them. And I’m glad I did. They’re amazing and just the kind of people you can’t help but feel happier and more joyful just being around. They’re just fun and uplifting. I was finally starting to shake my mood.

Me with Caroline and Dan. Best wishes to the newly engaged couple!!

Saturday brought a birthday party for one of my professor’s sons (who I babysit), bar-b-que and a movie with RR, his girlfriend, my friend Bill and his fiance. Then mass and brunch on Sunday with my professor and his family followed by a guitar lesson with one of the Sunday dinner boys, then dinner and watching the baseball game (Go Rangers!). Another guy in the dinner crew cleaned the kitchen. I went to bed infinitely happier at the end of the weekend than I’d started it.

Monday, out of no where, I got a text from my Practice Court partner just checking on me, I got to go spin class with a new girl friend and then on a jog with another, who kindly informed me that she considered me one of her best friends here. I got to visit with the girl who lives downstairs for awhile and got a sweet email from my college suitemate and dear friend.

So what’s my point? I was gearing up for today. Its Cody’s birthday. He’d be 27 today. So I’ll be making a trip to Carino’s, his favorite restaurant. Its the only real tradition I’ve kept and I’m not quite ready to give up on it. His family will be going in Victoria, friends will be going in Houston, and my brother and sister will be going in College Station. Even though we’re in different cities, there is an element of solidarity in celebrating the same way. And really, I’d rather celebrate today than the day he died. I’d rather celebrate his great life! So I will.

And I can do it with a smile because the past week showed me that I have amazing friends here who I am incredibly grateful for. I mean, I realize this all the time, but sometimes, we need the reminder not to take them for granted. And sometimes we just need to know that people really do care.

This week also reminded me of how necessary it is to send the random text, or call, when a person is placed on my mind. Its not a coincidence that I’m thinking of them and some small, seemingly insignificant action by me might even help turn a bad day around for them.

Seriously, sometimes I just stand in awe of how amazing these people in my life are. I don’t deserve friends like this, but I need them greatly.

Somehow, God made sure all of these things happened to gear me up for today. To snap me out of my bad mood just in time. And I’m in a great mood (despite having to study for finals). I’m ready to joyfully celebrate.


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