Saturday I met up with Anne and her large family to celebrate together her 80th Birthday. All her children and the majority of grandchild (and great-grandchildren) came in for the festivities. They all went out to dinner together, then I met them back at the house for cake and drinks.
Anne has such a wonderful family, and I have gotten to know and love all the people that make up that beautiful family tree. I am so honored to be included in events like these. I have often commented about my own family connections that by and large (in my case) seems to be a bunch of strangers who happen to be related. As for Anne.. she is someone whom I chose to be close to, and it has been a continual gift ever since.
Anne's actual Birthday was yesterday, and I couldn't let the day pass without another celebration. At the age of 80, there really isn't anything I could buy her, and there is little she needs. I decided to take her and her husband Vince out to dinner, then have them back here at the house for coffee and cake. We went out to the Grape Vine restaurant, and had a ball chatting over a nice meal. I enjoyed having them here at the house with my parents as we swapped stories over homemade pumpkin cheesecake with coffee and tea.
Some people give me funny looks when I tell them my closest and dearest friend is 80 years old, but they don't know Anne. She has friends that span the generations, and from the time we met, we just clicked, and our friendship has grown tremendously over the years. I often think of her as my soul-mate.. not in the sense of a spousal relationship, but in terms of another human being who understands me on an emotional and spiritual level that no one else has. I have known her for 11 years, and yet I can't remember life without her there. She has always been there for me, in the best and worst of times.. and I truly hope she can say the same about me. There is nothing I wouldn't do for her.
I have encountered few people with the genuine love, compassion and sincerity that Anne possesses. It was my honor to celebrate the anniversary of her birth, and I wish her many more years to come!