October is always an exciting time for me. Growing up I enjoyed autumn because of the nature hikes, the anticipation of Halloween, the decorative boards my teachers would put in the classrooms, the many colours (orange, red, yellow) that were supposed to be visible - but in rainy Vancouver, I usually just enjoyed these through pictures. Of course, there's much to celebrate in our home too: my mom, my oldest brother, my aunt and my grandpa were born in September, my uncle and I were born in October, my dad in November; September was Auntie D & Uncle J's anniversary, November was my parent's and November 11 (1978) was the day my mom arrived in Canada. And then there's Thanksgiving, Halloween and Remembrance Day. Lots of activity and lots to celebrate. (side note: in grade 6 I came home from Christian school - the only year I attended - with a note about the evils of Halloween and convinced my parents that I'd rather not celebrate my dressing up and eating candy...how many 11 year olds do that?)
Even in my adult years, I have come to find many things to celebrate and reflect on. This year is one that calls for special recognition - this coming Saturday I will turn 30. It will also be my 3rd anniversary at my job. Two days later will mark the 8th anniversary since I left BC on what was supposed to be the beginning of a much-longer trek. Five days after I turn 30 (October 17), it is the 8th anniversary since I arrived in Ontario. A few days later (October 21) is the day I think I fell in love with Ontario in 2005 - I saw Niagara Falls - side note, I love the title of that post!). October 27, 2010 is the day I totalled my car on the highway and 4 days later, October 31, 2010 was the day my dad entered the hospital.
October is both exciting and draining. Full of promises and hope and excitement of what's to come and a gentle reminder that we don't know what's to come.
This will be my 3rd year celebrating my birthday without Papi. I miss him so much. He would have been 60 this year and I can only imagine the celebrations we would have had together. But, he is in heaven and for that I am so thankful. I am here and I have cause to celebrate: God has blessed me so much more than I deserve.
I'm surrounded by friends who are like family, who have helped me make Ontario my home. I receive phone calls, messages and packages from family around the world who remind me that I am loved. I have a career that not only pays the bills, but a boss who is encouraging and very supportive. Not only do I have a roof over my house - I have a great roommate (and an extra bonus one right now too).
I am blessed and as I get ready to celebrate my 30th birthday, it's a blessing to look back and see God's hand at work in my life, and to look forward with anticipation at the next 30+ years.