Sunday, February 01, 2004


She hung on tightly as we ventured through the cold Michigan air and into the forested trail. Susan and Jeffrey were at least 20 minutes ahead of us on cross-country skis, a difference quickly reduced on snowmobile. Fortunately, Shelby enjoyed the wintery excursion, considering the air temperature was a mere ten degrees.

The reality of our weekend events is accentuated by the preceding twelve years. See, today is Shelby's birthday. The excitement in descending the stairs this morning was a prelude to celebration. We went to church together and then rendezvoused with her grandparents at the restaurant of her choice-- Olive Garden. Birthday cake was scheduled for later in the day.

Life for Shelby is complicated by a history of verbal apraxia, rolandic epilepsy, and developmental delays. But from within this complexity surfaces a beautiful simplicity of living and celebrating one day at a time. And whether it's a new leather purse or a gift-wrapped box of her favorite cereal, her smile and polite "thank you" for the gift are frozen moments. call...a friend from school just called to wish her happy birthday. Scorn not the simplicity.

Thank you for your love, Shelby Elizabeth, and for helping me become a better person. I love the journey! Happy birthday, sweetheart.


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