About a week ago I turned twenty-six.
It was a long day at work, and the enrichment programme we planned for at school turned out a partial disaster. As I left the office, I thought of how to spend my evening. Original plans to meet a friend for a quick get-together meal fell through, and I found myself stranded figuratively, at school, without any plans for the evening, but with no desire to go home early. So I bought a ticket to Star Trek, paid to watch it a second time, convinced myself that it was that good, and had pasta for dinner in the theatre. Sad life? True story. It sounds pathetic hearing my recount, but my day wasn’t that bad.
You see, my birthday had already been celebrated too many times. One week ago, some old teacher friends surprised me with a birthday cake from Rive Gauche (my favourite cake shop), card and earrings from Chomel at a dinner get-together. I thought it would be awkward meeting them (and their spouses or partners) after so long, but they were wonderful and reminded me of how loving and good our God is.
At school, some colleagues surprised me with very sweet gestures of kindness and goodwill. By the end of the day, my desk was piled with chocolates, goodies and presents. I wasn’t moved by the physical gifts as much as the thought behind those gifts, from people I may never have expected to show such love. A colleague gave me a plush bear! And my co-form teacher who has become a friend, decided to play a joke and buy me a PINK BARBIE STATIONERY SET. It was hilariously embarrassing to say the least, especially when he said, “I was looking around the store for something to get you… and it just screamed you.” Thank you very much -curtsey-. Because mum and sis are spending the Summer in Vancouver for a summer programme, other friends and families from church extended their goodwill and kindness. My aunt bought me a rabbit plush toy, which I am calling Apricot, with his home next to my pillow. A dear sister painted a witch’s boiling cauldron on a bag (thank you very much again) as an artistic birthday gift. My dad who resides in China, sent over a bouquet of lovely peach roses and a rich chocolate cake. I had five chocolate cakes in all. At one point, I had four cakes sitting in my fridge (gasp).
But these are moments of abundance, joy and blessing. Each gift, card, note or greeting a representation of a friendship or relationship stemmed from love and appreciation.
Thank you, for reminding me that a world bigger than textbooks, students and red pens, exists. That is perhaps the most significant gift I received this year.