What a joyous event tonight, as my friend Cate celebrated a milestone birthday. Hosting a large gathering in her home, Cate shone brightly this evening, surrounded by family and friends. I met this amazing woman last year, during my year of firsts. We have been great friends since, sharing a variety of firsts and journeys, the occasional meal, and meeting every three weeks in our book club group.
I was honored to celebrate Cate. Her best friend of many years, Daniel, laid out a perfect celebratory feast that included a sumptuous dessert bar. A few friends showed up early to help chop veggies and slice cheeses while Daniel decorated. As friends arrived we shifted and moved, forming and reforming groups, introducing ourselves and chatting. In the midst of this large gathering, I could always locate Cate by her joyous laughter. She has a wonderful, very distinctive laugh, and it is infectious, rippling through the room in her wake.
Because Cate is the type to encourage others, cheering them on and celebrating their lives, she gave gifts away this evening as door prizes! We each drew a number out of a container and Daniel called out the numbers as he drew them, allowing the winners to select a gift from a wide assortment of goodies. That is so like Cate, to focus on giving. And rather than request gifts for herself, she asked each party attendee to bring a poem or a quote that we felt was fitting for her.
Several read poems in her honor, and we raised our paper cups or bottles in a toast after each was read. The rest of us, myself included, tucked quotes or poems into her birthday cards, keepsakes for Cate, demonstrations of how much we love and admire and appreciate this woman. I know my journey has been enhanced and my life enriched because she travels at my side, a constant friend, a listening ear, offering words of compassion and wisdom. I am so very grateful to know her and have the privilege of walking alongside as we explore this life, this world.
I considered carefully what quote to share with Cate. I settled on this one, which I purchased on a large cardboard tag and inserted it into her birthday card. It captures Cate and her journey so well.
“We are all wanderers on this Earth, our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.” Gypsy Proverb
May you wander far and wide in this life, sweet friend, your heart full of wonder, your soul deep with dreams! Thank you for so beautifully being who you are! Happy, happy birthday Cate!