Abby’s Birthday Week Adventures!
I can’t believe a month has gone by since I last posted, but just because I haven’t posted doesn’t mean I’m not writing. In fact I am on Chapter 5 of the new book I’m working on which will be out in 2018. Title yet undecided, the subject matter however is on teaching pigs to fly in a corporate world. While Sno-Cone Diaries was a major accomplishment for me to write, this next one I hope is a start to a new genre in business books, motivational speaking, and making people laugh at business situations where you might otherwise want to curl under your desk and cry.
So this is a big week and another step in adventurous, bold, living for me. This week I turn 58 and it just so happened to be my 40th high school reunion in Baltimore. Now I have been AWOL from my class since the day we graduated! I can’t really explain it but for me high school was more like one of those things I’d rather forget than relive over and over again. “Why” you ask? Well since I was the proverbial wall flower, with only a small handful of friends then, I just imagined that since no one knew me then, why on earth, would I want to return and re-live that same pain and have everyone ask “who is that”, “do you remember her” and “why is she here?”
Too my shock and greatest delight nothing could have been further from the truth! With a graduating class of over 200 it was amazing to see that about 75 or more women made it for this 40th occasion. Whether they knew you or not, or had to cheat by looking at your high school yearbook photo/nametag everyone was greeted with a warm hug and a thanks for coming. Don’t get me wrong there were bits of awkwardness, but with 70’s music playing in the background, a conversation starter of the Netflix series about out school called The Keepers, and the recent closing of our school everyone had a place to start for making conversation.
I quickly found two friends Andrea and Patty and we lunched, reminisced, took photos and together we found the courage to go forth and talk to so many others. I am so glad I did because here’s what I learned about myself, women in general, and the power of having a four year shared experience, no one gets through this life unscathed, we are all survivors. I talked to women that had married their high school sweethearts, had children and are now grandparents. There were divorced women, widowed women like my dear friend Andrea that I spent a month in college with her family in Puerto Rico, lost her husband at the age of 40, and is raising her boys wonderfully as a single mom and teacher on her own. Several other women more recently were widowed at the age of 57 or 58 and are lost and heartbroken and don’t know how they will go on. Everyone shared their tips for surviving tragedy. Several of our other classmates had already died. Everyone had changed in some way but some faces were undeniably the same. Some the years had been kind to and others time, life, and hardships had taken its toll. As for me, I walked away touched deeply by the experience. I realized that while I had a very humble beginning, and I have had my fair share of ups and downs, overall God has been very good to me and I am truly blessed. I went back 40 years later at my high school weight, highly educated, a successful professional, with two beautiful children and a wonderful husband of 28 years who loves me more now than ever before so much so that he picked out my” prom outfit” to make sure I’d win “The Best in Show” award. I’m not sure that’s a compliment because it’s generally given to dogs. He did it so that I would look good, feel good, and celebrate how far I’d come! No official awards were given except to the woman that deserved one because she has held this group together for 40 years, Laurie Silk Currans. In my eyes everyone looked wonderful. Many compliments were given to me about how incredible I looked, how impressed they were that I was a published author, people wanted to order my book, and by Sunday morning I had many new friend requests than I started the day with. I’d say overall the day brought me great joy, pride, and acknowledgment for all the hard work I’ve put in over the years. A wonderful testament to the age old adage that “ it’s not important where you start but where you finish that counts.” -- Zig Ziglar
The rest of birthday week went on to be spectacular as well starting with a Jaguar win on Sunday and a 6-3 record, steamed crabs for dinner with my friend of 38 years Des, and her husband Nip that have watched me grow up in good times and bad and have always been there for me. Thank you!
Monday was a trip to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania to visit with someone I mentored fifteen years ago that has blossomed into a rock star artist! We visited, lunched, looked at her art and made the promise to not let so many years pass again between visits. Teresa I am so proud of you!! Your joy happiness and success is living proof that if you do what you love, the rest will take care of itself. I will tell you more about Teresa and her wonderful art in a blog to follow.
Monday night was JAGMAC night my beautiful nieces and nephews and soon to be the next pop singing sensation. I surprised them by showing up unannounced where they work and was greeted with hugs and kisses galore. We had dinner together, laughed, and promised to meet on my birthday for a bowling competition.
Tuesday I dedicated to my younger sister the other half of the middle-children, and celebrated her birthday which is Nov. 18. I can honestly say that we did two things I have never done before, Goodwill shopping, and lunch at a Baltimore landmark the Double T diner. We had so much fun! Who knew the treasures one could find? I know I walked out with an Italian leather bag for less than twenty dollars. We giggled like school girls at the items that were there and we even took pictures of a I love my grand dog sign, and reenacted a childhood moment of me with a colander type device stuck on my head, that’s described in my book, the Sno-Cone Diaries. We ended the day over dinner and a shared a birthday ice-cream sundae. Happy birthday sis!
Wednesday was my birthday!! It was the best day with my sisters, nieces, and nephews ever including a colored boa and tiara! I bowled like crap but to share the day with them and then lunch was a very special moment in time that will not soon be forgotten. Thank you sweet sisters for making my day so special! The gift of your time and love meant the world to me!
Finished the day off with a nice dinner with my husband, an important Capital Centre/US Air Arena client Lee, who graciously offered me suite tickets for Janet Jackson the next night as a birthday gift…..,and my buddy Nick at Lewnes Steakhouse in Annapolis. Well life doesn’t get any better than that.
Can’t wait to see what next year brings. I am grateful for my friends, family, husband, children, and this year especially my health. Thanks to all the birthday wishers, I loved and ready every single one of them. I am blessed to have you all in my life.