On September 9, 2005 we celebrated my 31st birthday at Ninfa’s, Kyle's favorite Mexican restaurant. It was a small affair attended by several old-ish UBC’ers as well as my new friends Josh and Lindsay. Afterwards we headed back to my place on Austin Avenue for some of the best peach cobbler in the world made by Tracey.
We sat around the table for what felt like hours, telling stories and laughing and enjoying just being with each other. At one point toward the end of the evening I went into the kitchen to refill my drink. Kyle followed and we ended up spending a few moments in the kitchen just shooting the bull. Before we headed back to join everyone else, he did something that was vintage Kyle-- He spread his arms wide in an invitation to join him in a hug, looked me in the eye and said in his high pitched sing-song voice, "Happy Birthday." We hugged for a moment and in that moment he asked, "You know I love you, don’t you?"
I did know. But I needed to hear. I placed those words deep into my being and have pulled them out continually for the past 14 months.
I think my birthday from now on will always be about that moment.
Tonight people gathered to celebrate my 33rd, and it was truly good. I left thinking about something that I remember someone saying once-- That if you make it to the end of your life with just one good friend, then you should consider yourself blessed. If this is true, then my blessings are overflowing in a ridiculously extravagant manner. I've had a difficult few weeks, weeks in which I've felt that my rope has come to the end, and there's still a lot of air between me and the ground. But I have the parachute of knowing that the love of more than a few people, who will walk with me regardless of how flat I feel, will keep me breathing and my heart pounding for the Next Day coming.