This goes out to everybody who posted about my birthday, to everyone who left me a message on those blogs, and to everybody who stopped by here over the last couple days, be you old friend or new.
No fancy graphics, no clever wordplay, no silliness. This is just, plain, straight-up gratitude. When I started commenting almost two years ago, it was as a diversion, something to do when I was wracked with pain from my continual cluster headaches/migraines. I never dreamed I’d be signed up on almost 50 blogs, much less know literally hundreds of people directly or indirectly. Things just kind of grew, and I just enjoyed the ride.
But since my health crashed, and we moved down here to Ohio, my birthday (and by association, the whole holiday hoopla) became depressing. I was away from family and friends, miserable and sick, and usually without my wife, who took on the “bread-winner” role. I had grown to view this time of the year more with not-quite-annoyance, feeling cheated at the spirit of family and friendship “everybody else” had. This year, with my 50th birthday bearing down, I was feeling downright churlish.
Never…. never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a band of people, who only know me as the guy leaving the smart-ass comments on their blogs, would set aside time during this season to set up this whole birthday celebration. Whether elaborate or spare, silly, funny, or even informative, each and every blog post was a gift, a tremendous treasure made all the more valuable for the surprise of its’ creation. And to top it all off, people who didn’t even know me added their wishes too, and even traveled here to join my growing little community.
In the light of such truly epic generosity, and (dare I say) love, I find myself without a gift to give in return. Words seem so empty, so hollow, unable to begin to describe the feelings that all of you stirred in me with your friendship and your best wishes.
All I can say is, Thank you. I know I haven’t responded to each of you directly, and I am truly sorry for that – a number of factors in “real life” keep me from spending the time I would like to. So I will say it again, to all the bloggers, commenters, and simply, to all the friends who made this birthday something truly special.
Thank you. Thank you all, so very much. And regardless of what holiday you celebrate at this time of year (even if it be none at all), may it be the most happy, joyous time for all of you. I look forward to a New Year with new friends and old alike, warmed to the deepest part of my soul by what you all did for me on this 50th birthday. Thank you all.