I got a chance to go home last Friday.  I took the day off, flew down to Miami, and spent the day with my mom.  I know.  Not exactly your ordinary ‘day off’, but I am coming to learn that life is less and less about being ordinary.  Instead, it’s about finding the little things that make your experiences extraordinary.

Friday would have been my dad’s seventy-third birthday.  Last year, I happened to be in Miami during his birthday, and my mom and I laid flowers at the beach across which we spread his ashes.  We did that again this year, and so long as I am able to, I plan on doing it every year going forward. (Thank you, Southwest Airlines!). I find myself thinking about how special that day was for me.  Not so much because we got to remember my dad, but because I spent it with my mom.

As I have mentioned before, my mom and I have a very formal relationship.  We’re not ‘buddy, buddy’ like my dad I and were.  I actually went into the day wondering what topic of conversation was going to set us off.  After all, my mom and I always end up fighting about something.  Anything!  She and I are just prone to disagreement. Yet there was nothing disagreeable about this visit.  Sure, the tolerance level was set to high.  But this trip was nothing like I had planned it to be.  It was remarkably better.

And so I segue into the topic of planning.  I smile when I take the time to sit and contemplate how different my upcoming birthday is going to be compared to what I had planned it to be just three months ago.  Three months ago, the idea of my birthday involved a weekend trip out of town, some sort of entertainment event, and a lot of personal time with someone for whom I care deeply.  Don’t get me wrong, my birthday plans still consist of getting out of town, partaking in an entertainment event, and spending time with someone I cherish.  It’s just that these new plans are SO much better!

These plans are better because they involve someone who has been a saving grace in my life.  These plans involve a woman who has been kind and patient and tolerant of my weaknesses and flaws.  These plans involve someone who is eager to share these moments and do nothing but create new memories with me.  These plans are better because they involve Lee.

And I have found that the only thing better than making plans is actually executing them.  Baseball games and concerts.  Road trips and sleeping in.  Grocery shopping and taking the kids to the movies.  It’s amazing how equally exciting big events and day to day activities can be simply because you are sharing those moments with someone special.  And that’s what I got to do last weekend, and will get to do again this upcoming weekend.  I got to share the day with my mom.  I got to go to Gasparilla with Scott (and just so we’re clear, I mean that in the most non-gay way possible).  I get to share my birthday weekend with Lee and about three thousand other Hazelnuts at the House of Blues.

And though things don’t always turn out as planned, it’s so wonderful when they do.  And if they don’t, I have come to accept that God is altering my plan in order to fulfill His.  Three months ago I had my plan in place.  About six weeks ago, that plan was dramatically changed.  And all I can say is that it was definitely for the better!


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