It’s my birthday. One week ago I woke up in a foul mood. It was a mood rife with I hate life and life hates me. I hated who i had been; I hated who I was; I hated who I would become. I began to believe my feelings were truth.
Thankfully I have people in my life who won’t allow me to wallow. (Things like “Snap out of it, ya big baby” might have been said by family members.) Sometimes you need empathy and other times you need to “snap out of it, ya big baby!”
So today I’m here to talk about 58.
What is 58?
It’s a massive thank you to a Mom who birthed me, nurtured me, and continues to love and challenge me in ways she will never know.
It’s a Dad whose memory is eternal; who lived life well until the day his body could no longer go on.
It’s four brothers who live around the world; who model tenacity, joy, and faithfulness to me and to their families. It’s four brothers who teased me mercilessly when I was little, and have my back now that I am older.
It’s four sister-in-laws who love well, who have raised amazing children, who continue to wrestle with the big and hard questions of parenting and faith.
It’s nieces and nephews who I would kill for; who are opera singers and nurses; diplomats and day care owners, who make the world a better place for you and me to live in.
It’s a husband who makes me laugh every, single day. A man who can make friends with an inanimate object like a wall and make that wall feel special, not to mention the people he befriends from around the world. A man who tells stories in virtual reality, prays for and loves his children so much it hurts, and will remember the names of refugees long after he has met them. A man who affirms my writing, challenges my faith, and prays with me every night.
58 is four (no five) adult children who are smart, passionate, and gifted. Who meet the challenges of life with stubborn resolve. 58 is the cutest grandson on ever earth who has a waddle toddle and is growing to be his own person.
58 is the dearest friends from here and around the world that a woman could ever hope for – friends who love the world and their families; who are not caught up in what culture says is worthy and instead fight for what is true, good, and right.
58 is cousins who live as far as Moscow and as close as Washington DC; cousins who are also friends.
58 is a creative job with often horrid bureaucracy; fighting for good healthcare for marginalized communities and pressing forward when it’s hard.
It’s colleagues who make me laugh hard, work harder, and allow me to get mad and cry.
58 is a body that sometimes betrays me, but responds pretty well when I treat it properly; it’s 10,000 steps a day because modern medicine allowed for a bionic hip; it’s wrinkles that I can only partially hide; it’s girlfriends laughing together because we never thought we’d have beards or boobs that hang to our knees. (The boobs that is)
58 is curling up on week nights and watching Stranger Things; it is knowing that grilled cheese served in candlelight with the man you’ve been through hell with is really great.
58 is a church community that I never thought possible; it is entering into Divine Liturgy with the blind, the lame, the deaf, and the troubled. It is working out my faith with a community of broken people, all desperately in need of the Eucharist.
It’s realizing that #metoo is no match for who I really am and no man can truly take away what God said is good;
58 is knowing in the depths of your soul that no matter what, you are God’s beloved and no amount of wrinkles, stretch marks, saggy boobs, or dementia will ever, ever take that away.
58 is you reading this and letting me know in a million creative ways that you care.
And 58 is a Mimosa, calls from Family and friends, and celebrating this thing called life — because tomorrow anything could happen.
58 is pure grace.
Also, I made a little video – watch it if you like!
13 thoughts on “This is 58”
Here I am in your beloved Phoenix and reading your wonderful creative blog……I am ‘so thankful’ for the day I met You at MCC in Cairo and all that we shared there, Marilyn. Tears were coming as you always expressive yourself so very beautifully. How God blessed You with the gift of creative writing. Am I envious, Yes! I enjoy it fully, however, and am never wanting to miss anything that flows from your heart and mind to the computer. Love and Hugs
I’m so glad that you snapped out of the foul mood! Those are the worst. It’s like we can’t decide what we want or who we are, but then we just have to say, “Enough is enough! Despite how my body feels, I will be who I want to be.” Kudos to 58, Marilyn! You are a joy and gift. Love to you!
58 has been a good age for me so far. Happy birthday!
Hi Marilyn. Greetings from Istanbul where I enjoy reading your blog. We also enjoy a sweet friendship with your brother Dan and with Carol. Welcome to the 58 ers club though i will soon turn 59. Getting old is not for sissies for sure and its important not to dwell on our aging but at the same time to take it into consideration!
Happy, happy birthday! Many happy returns of the day. It certainly sounds like you have many, many reasons to have a joy-filled year. Good thoughts and prayers coming your way.
Too funny. I just read your “This is 53” in my Facebook memories. Happy, happy birthday dear one. You are a treasure. Love you and miss you. We need to make a plan.
Hi, Marilyn! I hope you have a great year 58! Mine was rather difficult, I had cancer surgery and endless chemo, but you know what? I would not trade it for something easier because God became my sustained, and I would not trade my relationship with Him now. Of course, He was ALWAYS my sustainer, but I became much more aware of that when I came to the end of my own resources and realized I could do nothing to cure myself. But He has plenty, and knows just what I need.
I admit to being fed up with chemo, after 2.5 years of steady treatment, but God gets me through the next one and then the next one, and as long as I am content to let God be in control, I am fine. If I try to take over, I stress and worry, because I have no real control over this. God gives me daily grace. That is all I need, and He is enough.
Happy birthday, and may you see daily blessings in your life from the Lord as you walk with Him!
Happy happy birthday! Thanks for the wise words today and with each post. Celebrate you today and through the year 😀🎉❤️🎊🎁
Delightful! You make me laugh. So glad we know you – let’s the 4 of us find some time together sometime. And enjoy the rest of your 50s! :)
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I love your writing! You leave me feeling like we have been friends forever…and yet we have never met. Happy birthday to a beautiful woman!
Wonderful overview of 58 dear Marilyn! I wonder which of your five children will assume they are not the “adult” one. . . (-: And here’s to cutest grandsons!
I so appreciate your reminder of our beloved status with God. Keep up the great writing and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Love from a fan and friend!
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Oh too funny!!! I forgot one of my kids- “58 is memory loss…!” Love you!
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I have just watched your birthday message. Thank you! It’s the best thing in the world to know that we are beloved of God. I was baptised when I was nine weeks old: I firmly believe God acts in infant baptism and that he put His hand on me! I was later “dunked”, but have realised that I had indeed been baptised when i was tiny.
I trust you are still having a wonderful birthday with your loved ones around you.