Posted by: Diane | July 6, 2012

The Joy Of Celebrating A Life

It was Monika‘s seventeenth birthday and I wanted to make it special for her. I started the day by giving her a blanket that kept me busy for a couple of winter months.  Monika was over-the-top delighted and assured me that she would wrap herself up tightly every night with this blanket because “the AC is just too cold” at her house.

The next stop was to drive to Linda’s house.  Linda and I have spoken often about Monika and I knew she was really looking forward to meeting this wonderful young lady that God has put in my life. As usual, Linda was as kind as kind can be and it wasn’t five minutes before the two of them were gabbing away, as if they had known each other for ever.

So, the three of us jumped back into the car, headed south and settled on the outside patio of a funky little restaurant. For her birthday lunch, Monika decided on and thoroughly enjoyed her lobster fettucini. She was particularly amused with the the fact that the lobster was staring right at her during her entire meal!

Next, we headed to the mall for a little shopping spree.

Monika has been wearing hand-me-down clothes for many years so Linda and I decided to take advantage of the sales and find Monika some cool, new summer outfits. Monika was just beside herself as Linda and I became her personal shoppers and made her try on all sorts of clothes that were in Monika’s opinion, “out of her comfort zone.”   I wish I could bottle Monika’s excitement and package her thankfulness as she basked in those whimsical moments. She wore an ear-to-ear smile as she frolicked through the racks of clothes and caught all the T-shirts and tank tops that we threw over the top of the changing room door.

As the afternoon unfolded, we also managed to get her a great pair of new shorts. Last but certainly not least, we found gladiator sandals – something that Monika had always wanted.

Monika was just overwhelmed with happiness about her special day…and apparently, she’s  still talking about it.

But what I want to express today is the merriment and satisfaction that Linda and I felt as we watched Monika’s face light up –  the striped T-shirt looked awesome on her after all and the cut-off shorts were so much better than she thought they would ever be. Monika was in her glory, taking risks, bursting with thankfulness and learning something new about herself.

This seventeen-year-old farm girl is preparing for a five month co-op adventure at the Toronto Royal Ontario Museum, come September (her final year of high school) and every day, she’s taking little steps of independence as she watches her world gets bigger.

Isn’t this what growing up is all about?

Roots and wings.

Confidence in the foundation. Enthusiasm in the flight.

I suppose it was deep maternal joy gushing forth from our hearts as we witnessed this young lady’s flight that day. Monika was on top of the world. Linda and I just couldn’t stop smiling about the opportunity to be part of her journey.

It feels so right to give. It feels so good to love.


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