Same job, different uniform.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

August 8, 2008: Thank You! Part I

I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul remembering my good friends.
Richard II Act2, Scene 3

Seven weeks ago my family and friends threw me a surprise party for my 40th birthday. I am sure I can never quite put into words the wellspring of emotion I feel for each and every one of you involved in this effort but I’m going to try by telling you what I loved about my party.

Chapter 4 of Ecclesiastes bears a song of woe about what life is like when one has no comforter, is all alone and wonders, “for whom am I toiling?” But the last stanza offers this: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up . . . if two lie down together they can keep warm . . . though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three is not quickly broken.” This is as much how I feel about all of you as I think I am talented enough to write.

All of you at various times have reflected back to me the face of God and what it is he desires from us and for us. (I could recount those ways here, but then this post would go on well past it’s already ridiculous length.) I can only hope that in the coming days, weeks, months and years I can be the wife, daughter, sister, and friend to all of you that you have been to me.

Here is what I loved about my 40th Birthday Surprise:

First, and most of all, I loved that my husband put so much time, effort, sweat, anxiety, and love into planning a party that reflected so many things I like and care about. (He was so nervous that he’d slip and say something that would give away the party and the Ben Bedford surprise that he didn’t even listen to Ben for a month leading up to the party.) I “Hilary Swanked” him late in the evening when I got up and thanked and acknowledged everyone but him. Please forgive me, Sweetie. I hope you know “that for you I’d go down swinging.”

I loved that my mother in law and Leah were long in on the whole thing and that after all the back and forth about whether or not to have a party or not, Leah finally said, “Oh screw it –she’s getting a party!”

I loved that my mother in law had the hutzpah and the talent to write a mushy, sentimental letter on my behalf to a musician 2000 miles away named Ben Bedford {Ben Bedford} and ask him if he’d consider a private gig in Idaho.

I loved that Ben came and brought his back up singer and girlfriend and sang at MY birthday party and that it was such a complete and utter surprise that even when I saw them in Leah’s backyard it did not dawn on me who they were.

Part II - Same Time Here Tomorrow.

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Blogger elphaba said...

This I are a VERY special person and you deserved all the fanfare.
I am very sad that I wasn't able to make it up there.
I love that your post is mainly about your reflections on the meaningful relationships in your life and not a factual account of particulars at the event.
I raise my glass to you in a toast to many more years of JEBness.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blogger JEB said...

Thank you, Elphaba. I hope you don't get sick of my JEBness with the rest of the posts. :}

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blogger girlfriday said...

I loved it too. It was worth the wait.

And that picture of you and K--wow. That's going into my Top Five.

Looking forward to the next installment.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


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