For months, my wife, Sandy, worried about marking a special milestone in my life with a celebration. December 16 would be my sixtieth birthday. My response was always the same, "I'm just glad to be alive! Please don't plan anything." Laugh it you want, but I am much more of an introvert than one might think. There always has been, and I suspect there will always remain, a constant struggle to engage in many sorts of social settings. Also, our children, our daughter-in-law, our grandson, and others we deeply love would be visiting The Shire for an extended stay during Christmas. More and more, the anticipation of having our children and their friends around overshadow everything else.
In the meantime, two tricksy little hobbitses, Sandy and Sammy (our son Josh's girlfriend), secretly set-up a Facebook page for people to send along congratulations. Last night after I returned home from church, I was completely caught by surprise when I logged onto Facebook. Lo and behold, my family and a host of friends from all over the world--some of the friendships having begun over forty years ago, had sent me video messages, notes, and remembrances that brought me to tears.
Thank you, everybody!