Monday, December 19, 2011

A surprise at a surprise party

I had the honor of going to a dear friend's 70th birthday party last night, and it was truly a special event. It was a surprise party - which, as we discovered once the special lady had arrived, was her first! There was much food and laughter, and an incredible cake, so, if that had been all that happened, it would have been a very fun night. But then, things turned a little more magical.

My favorite part of the evening was when someone suggested we all go around and speak to what we loved most about the birthday girl. I was brought to tears more than once as the women in attendance shared how they had met Liz, and what she had meant to them over their friendship.

They spoke of her grace, her patience, her acceptance of each of us (exactly as we are), her willingness to give time, her willingness to give of herself, her honesty, her creativity, her humility, her maternal energy, and much much more. They spoke of her integrity and humaness, and how much she had changed each of their lives.

As I got in my car and drove away, I was struck with the thought that we should do that more. We should take the time out to celebrate the people we love and tell them WHY we love them, to their face. Sure, we felt a little silly when we first started out, but as we got going, it was a powerful and moving experience, and I am glad I was there for it.

I was also inspired to try to live my life a little more like Liz - she's already one of my role models and heroes, anyway, but I want to live a life that leaves people with nice things to say. If I end up being half the woman that she is, I will have lived a useful and purposeful life, and will have helped and impacted a lot of people. I was inspired to try to live in a way that would leave people talking nicely about me - whether it was my 70th birthday or not.

What would people say about you on your 70th birthday? What would they say today?

Today, I am going to pick just one of her many fabulous qualities, and try to practice it in my interactions with other people. I figure that's a start - hopefully, over the next 35 years, I can master a few, and end up a lot more like Liz.

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