Cheers to Gettin' Older! (I'm Lookin' at You, Sunee Washom)

Today is the ninth of October, twenty thirteen.

Today is (Colby) Sunee Alfsen Washom’s twenty-first birthday.

Today we are three thousand six hundred seventy miles apart.



I have always found birthdays a bit peculiar. (If you wonder just how I think they are strange, read more here). I think really that everyone should celebrate mother’s day on their own birthday; I mean, it’s not like I did any work to get here. I’m just glad to be alive!

My point is that birthdays are almost as much about the people surrounding a birthday-er (work with me here) as they are about the actual birthday-er.

Come on: you see it coming each year. Your birthday doesn’t ever truly sneak up on you (unless you’re as forgetful as I am). When it’s your birthday, you have the option of pestering the people around you in anticipation of the date, or you can fly under the radar and hope that your genuine friends remember that you exist.

Maybe you eat some really good Sideboard chocolate cake, maybe you get a few presents, maybe you get a thousand and five Facebook notifications, maybe you accidentally respond with “you too” when people wish you “Happy birthday.” Regardless, there’s not much you personally can do about or on your own birthday (except for one thing I just thought of, which is challenge yourself to try something new; but that really should be an everyday thing, people. Didn’t you learn anything from Eleanor Roosevelt?).

But when it’s your friend’s or your mom’s or your brother’s birthday, it’s a real treat.

You get to rejoice that you have wonderful people in your life. Some of them picked you genetically and inevitably, some you picked by hand through the years and tears. (Oh, the gauntlet that is lasting friendship!)

And when they turn a whole year older, you get to choose a present for them – is there anything better than giving the perfect gift? You get to bake them a cake. You get to write them a card and remind them why you love them and why they are worth celebrating.

Ultimately, birthdays are one example of what true Life, with a capital L, should look like all the time: Rejoicing in giving! Rejoicing in sharing meals! Rejoicing in silly song and dance! Rejoicing in encouraging and affirming the good in people! Rejoicing in the pure grace of being alive!

I am SO blessed to have these kinds friends in my life, the kind that to love to rejoice in Life itself. Sunee is absolutely one of this kind. And today, I am thrilled to rejoice in her life.

So here is to you, dear Sun. Thank you for the opportunity to remember how astonishingly beautiful life is, how wonderfully rich I am to be in friendship with you, and how deeply you bless my life and how constantly you teach me.

We have been Ivy Leaguers,

Temporary Islanders,

Danville Natives,

and On the Roadies/Boaties together

and apart, but together in heart.

We have laughed till we

cried, cried till we

laughed. We have been lost

in familiar places, and found

in strange, bright oceans.

Recently, we have caught sea horses,

Chased sunrises, hunted drones,

and been nothing more or less

than absolutely ridiculous.

Currently, we have missed,

and wished, and embarked:

unique expeditions each,

undeniably each in the place we should be.

I miss you

I love you

Happy birthday, dear friend.

Sorry if the poetry is dreadful or misspelled. I have done nothing but read plays and poems in middle English for the past forty-eight hours. Forgive me if I was confusing inspiration with delirium 

PS now this is legal! Love ya, kid. Hope the London mail gets to you soon:)


Emma VendettaComment