My fear is that what I am about to write will sound incredibly self serving, when nothing is further from my intent. It is actually with great difficulty I share. My intent is not to dwell upon my own existence, but to honor you. I want to honor you for your existence, and for my getting to be a part of it, and for how your existence has shaped me into who I am today.
So, to all of my friends, here is what I want most on my birthday. I want you... to hear me. I want you to hear the very intent of my heart. When I think about you and your lives, I have one ultimate desire in this moment, and it is this... for you to know that you have affected my life.
Some have been a smile in the hall at NBHS (or just simply tolerated the teen version of myself, a feat in and of itself.), or shared a lunch and a crossword puzzle with me at the BSM at UNT. Some of you have brightened my day with your comments and posts, even though I haven't seen you in years.
Some of you... and you know who you are... some of you are so much a part of me that it is only with you in my heart that I can call this existence a life. When you are near I am whole, and when we are apart I am quite literally am not only not the same, am not really all here. I am missing not just the presence of your physical person, but the pieces of my heart that now rest in you. The very world is shaped by your names and your faces. When I think about my decade long fight through the abyss of depression, I can say with the utmost sincerity, that your existence has saved my life, and indeed, it is because of your existence that God was able to grant me victory.
I fear am too inarticulate to make my point ring true, but whatever. I know I sound sappy and banal. (Shrugs) All I can do is reiterate one more time... you have affected me. In your own way, big or small, through the ordination of God, you have affected and shaped who I am. If I had a glass I would raise it to you all, but I am at Starbucks. So, I raise my Frappuccino (had to look at the menu to spell it correctly) to you. May God be ever present in your hearts, not withholding anything (including His correction), that we can celebrate eternity.... together. Cheers.