Happy Birthday Michael

I haven’t lived through it all with him but I know enough about him. He is a collection of risky and rebellious, coupled with sincerity and gratitude. He’s had ups and downs, highs and lows, success and uncertainty. He’s enjoyed riches and survived penniless. He’s seen rock-bottom, made some mistakes, took the hard road for a while but climbed out of life’s valley on the steps of mercy and lessons learned. He’s been positive and protective, generous and thoughtful, patient and determined.
He has wandered, returned, loved and lost. There were beginnings, endings, closed chapters and fresh starts. There was sorrow, uncertainty, grief and desperation, yet through it all, the years were punctuated with glorious hope, renewed strength, family blessings and a teachable heart. He is a result of everything that has transpired over the years and without regret gives thanks for it all for it has led him to become the man he is today.
Michael celebrates his 60th birthday August 23rd and many things about him make up the reasons why I love him . . . There is never any hesitation when it comes to his selfless giving. Rarely, do I hear a negative word from his lips about any thing or any one. He finds strength in solitude, beauty in nature and energy on barefooted trails. He has taught me by his own example to take care of myself and challenge my limits in order to survive and thrive each day.
He will endure just about anything for the sake of others except drama and negativity. The intolerance of such things reveals one way he protects, respects and cares for himself, for us, and the healthy, happy atmosphere he is determined to maintain. He welcomes fresh starts and clean slates without accusation, judgement or blame because he is all about celebrating today not wallowing in the past or casting shadows on the future.
He continues to learn new things, make new plans and go new places. His calm, no-worries outlook continues to challenge my fears and tame my wild imaginations. He reads, watches webinars, tries new recipes and seeks better habits, continually, leaving no time for TV in over ten years.
He cooks, bakes, washes dishes and laundry, mows, cleans the pool, gardens, fixes just about everything, shops for groceries and irons (yes, he irons).
He feeds the backyard birds and squirrels, keeps the neighborhood kitty coming back for breakfast and talks to reptiles like most people speak to adorable puppies. He gathers pine cones from his trail running for the pre-schooler’s arts and crafts. He keeps the favorite foods and drinks of others in the pantry just in case they come to visit. He’s territorial about ‘his’ kitchen and wishes there were two ovens for those ultra-eve baking marathons. (Then volunteers for those races, cheering others on for hours).
He wakes much earlier than I and though I’ve never seen it with my own eyes, I think he’s doing Yoga on that mat in his office. He drinks green tea and smoothies but brings me coffee, in bed, every single morning. He happens to be a pretty good listener, too, though I don’t talk much (HA HA).
Michael is a kid at heart, which is the reason why little ones love to be around him. He’s found his passion and purpose working with the families and children society calls the poorest of the poor. He serves on a local board to advance early childhood reading and supports another community endeavor helping the homeless get back on their feet. He boasts about nothing, absolutely nothing. He knows a great deal more than he speaks and when he does he articulates well and communicates with sincerity.
He is not a perfect man (and will admit it). Just like everyone of us, he has degrees of tolerance, days of tiredness and occasional forgetfulness. But the man he is today, though imperfect, is genuine. What you see is who he is and who he is is a result of life’s experiences, lessons and choices. The man he is today is welcoming, fun, thoughtful and kind. He loves life and wakes each morning thankful for another sunrise and grateful to be alive.
For those of you who truly know him, you understand why he is so easy to love. Happy “60th” Birthday Michael. The world is a better place (and I am a better person) because of you.

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