I began writing this post about a week before my hand injury. I just finished typing the remainder of the story, and I'd like to share it with you now!
My birthday was June 24, which was during the Greene Sibling Reunion at my brother's mountain cabin in CO. Now, the birthday before this one pretty much...umm...well, SUCKED. That's really the only way to describe it. No offense to my husband and kids, of course. They tried hard to create a nice celebration for my 40th birthday. However, on the heals of my big ol' MS attack and diagnosis, the big ol' 4-0 was not exactly something I planned a big party for...so it was just the 7 of us here at home. THIS year, I was spending the day without my little family, but I got to spend it with my HUGE, extended family.
The day began nicely, with most of the reunioners already at the cabin. People greeted me with happy birthday wishes and granted me lots of hugs and smiles. NICE! As the day progressed, I had a sneaking suspicion that "something" had been secretively planned for later. My sister, Monica, created two LOVELY platters of cakes and fruit for everyone's pleasure, topped with a birthday candle (it read, "OLD"). That, in itself, would have been great. But later, when darkness fell and everyone was settling down, the group congregated around the raging firepit. I was the last to arrive, having just checked in with my kids/husband on the phone (ya' had to walk a bit up the road in order to get a cell signal). Within seconds of my sitting down, Angela called me (loudly): "Mara?!" "Yes..." "I have something for you." She held out her hand and gave me a Starbucks card with FORTY-ONE DOLLARS on it! Oh, my goodness. But wait--there's more. She introduced person after person in the same way: "Mara?!" "Yes..." "So-and-so has something for you." I ended up with SEVERAL cards with 41 bucks on each one. HOLY CRAP! I STILL can't believe it. I was shocked, grateful, excited, greedy and giddy all rolled up in one. What a night.
By the way...it took me and the kids (I HAD to share my riches, right???) three short months to use up ALL the cards. It was REALLY fun.