So my Beloved turns 50 years old today. (Happy Birthday to you, my sweet. xx)
A much longed for confetti celebration in a season of steep hills and darker valleys.
And in a few short months, I too, will turn 50. (Gasp)
Last year, when we considered how we might celebrate, we fell upon the word Jubilee ~ n. the completion of 50 years existence, activity, or its celebration.
So we dubbed 2018 our Year of The Jubilee.
We made a list of big and small ways we would celebrate with each other, with family and friends, and stretch our Jubilee the whole year long.
Go on 50 Dates, Excursions, or Adventures
Share 50 Celebration Meals, (Coffee Catch Ups, Luncheons, Dinner Parties)
Send 50 letters, postcards, packages, or notes
Watch 50 Movies
Give 50 Gifts
Plant 50 Plants
And then… just for me, I added,
Read 50 Books
Absorb 50 TED Talks
January started well. I kept happy records in my diary. We sat on the foreshore at Cowes beach, Phillip Island, with my beautiful sister-in-law and watched the fireworks scream off the jetty – the prefect date for seeing in the New Year.
Then my cousin and her family stopped into Melbourne and we shared a celebration meal together. Three book gifts were given to three excited children.
I posted two copies of Carry Me Home to a library in Sydney, which had, only that week purchased them.
Movie ~ Easy
Book ~ Even easier
TED Talk ~ Listened while I brushed my teeth.
The addition of 50 plants to the Crabapple House garden I reserved for later in the year when the cool of autumn will best suit delicate roots. But we discovered the remaining Jubilee Dates were easy and fun to add to the growing list of celebrations, already achieved.
A Saturday breakfast with dear friends.
An elaborate Egyptian wedding.
A Turkish birthday dinner.
The gifting of a bag of no-longer-needed school clothes I had in reserve for a family of boys who go to the same school my boys attended. Fragments of life, shared with those we love. The gathering of ordinary moments that transform into memories.
And then… one hurried afternoon in late January I picked a fragrant pink rose from my garden. A tiny love token for a woman who had slipped into a hospital bed and never returned home. My last gift to Mum. It sat in a glass of water by her bedside, right to the end.
After that, the diary screams in emptiness. No TED Talks. No adventures. Instead of giving, I am receiving. Meals. Flowers. Messages. Cards.
I collected myself to write thank you notes, and shared a sweet family dinner to celebrate Mum’s life with our extended family. I packed food into boxes and pressed them into Dad’s fridge and freezer. Even in the shadow of grief, The Year of The Jubilee, somehow found us. Crying. Remembering. Smiling. Giving.
Many days later, I picked up an unfinished book. Then my Beloved and I watched a movie. The next day, we went on an historical walking tour of Melbourne’s laneways, a Christmas gift adventure from our son.
And today… well today is the real reason I write. Our bags are packed for a trip planned and booked many, many months ago. A European adventure to celebrate the life of the man I have loved since I was a girl of 19. With my dear Dad’s blessing, my Beloved and I fly out tonight to explore and celebrate all things that have bought us to this our fiftieth year.
I already know jubilation comes like a gust of confetti and silken ribbons. The ribbons are all the good people who wrap themselves around us with love. The wind is what pushes us to grow, teaches the lessons we’d rather avoid, and establishes our strong roots. And everything in between, is the flying confetti that litters our world with splendour.
Like petals picked, sifted, and kept as evidence of the life we’ve lived.
And the people we’ve loved.