Born on January 9th, 1958, my birth date in “short numerical notation” is 1/9/58. My date of birth and year of birth the same! That’s incredibly rare, and because of that, I expected that when I turned 58, the day would be incredibly meaningful because of the numerology behind it: 1/9/58…1958…turning 58.
But, the day I looked forward to for decades turned out to be anything but extraordinary, with drama and pain that could rival a Broadway tragedy.
I thought about diamonds—their scarcity, value, brilliance, how you don’t just walk outside and find them; you have to mine for them! They’ve formed hundreds of miles underground, where pressure-crystallized carbon and heat dance together to create them. (Our formation as people often occurs when we’re under pressure.)
Then, they’re harvested through a volcanic eruption. (We humans, sometimes, erupt just like a volcano.)
Diamonds are the hardest substance scientists know of on earth. (But, just like people, they can be broken)
The sadness I was stuck in caused significant pain—emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. I had conversations with God asking, “why?” I attempted to “reason it out” but came up with nothing.
Then, amid the disease (dis-ease) of my life, I decided that not only would I look for diamonds in the darkness, but I would actively mine for them. I became purposeful about sharing my pain, being vulnerable, and reaching out for prayer. The more I unearthed, the more diamonds I found.
I came out on the other side—a bit battle-weary and scarred, but mostly in awe of the gifts I have in the human beings who are “My Beloved.”
They are not “diamonds in the rough;” they are brilliant and perfect in their imperfection, breakable, just like me, but overflowing with grace, sharing unadulterated love that’s honest and genuine.
the unwavering love and support of both of my daughters
Erin—whose birthday was on January 7th, changed her celebration plans, and made lunch for me on her birthday because my world was spinning out of control. Sara—while working and parenting, decorated my house with streamers and balloons and a banner that shouted “Happy Birthday” when we walked in the door.
the love of my friends over and over
In a period of fewer than forty-eight hours, I shared time with four of my dearest friends over food and drink, with long conversations, unwavering support, and love because they cared.
cards and messages of support that inspired and lifted me up, and brought me to tears, with notes like:
“You are loved by so many. Never forget how unique you are.”
“I have loved sharing this journey of life with you!”
“I am so blessed to have EXTRAordinary you in my life!”
“Thank you for who you are and the light you share in this world.”
“To one of the most sensitive, intuitive, loving presences, I know.”
“I am so thankful that God brought us together.”
Who gets to be blessed by words overflowing with such kindness and love?
Then another Diamond…
Larry and I were making a long trek home late on Friday night. At midnight, Larry said, “Happy Birthday.” One minute later (12:01am), as we rounded a corner on a dark, two-lane road, I said, “watch out!” Standing in the middle of the road, right in front of us, looking directly at us was an owl. Amazed, we stared then drove slowly away, in awe.
Owls are my Mom’s way of letting me know she’s “with me” from the spirit side. This diamond shone so brightly that there was no way to mistake its message: “this is an important day, you are always loved, you are always safe, you are always a child of God.”
None of these “diamonds” are because I’m any more special than you. These diamonds are blessings from the amazing spirits who share their lives with me.
These diamonds are about:
laughter in the sadness,
hope in the bleakness,
joy in the sorrow.
These diamonds are about love.
January 9th, 2016, was a day of dark and light. The darkness has faded away because that’s what it’s supposed to do. The light continues to grow, lighting more torches because that’s what IT’S supposed to do. I will remember some of the pain in my humanness, but I will remember more, and always, the triumph of love. Thank you, God.
With gratitude and love for all the diamonds in our world,