A GRACE FILLED JOURNEY • Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty

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The other day my husband, Kyle, asked me what I was going to write my monthly column about. I looked at him and said turning 40 with a smile. To which he replied, "feeling flirty?"

I can't say that I ever feel "flirty" anymore, but it did help me reflect on the past 40 years and got me thinking about where I thought my life would be at this milestone birthday.

I can remember when my dad turned 40. I was in junior high, and my mom threw him a really big party. It was a lot of fun, but I remember thinking how old I thought my dad was.

Now that I'm turning 40 in just two days, it doesn't really seem that old anymore, although I do wonder if it makes my dad feel old to have a 40-year-old daughter!

I have to say turning 30 didn't bother me all that much. I had been married just over a year and we were starting our family. Things weren't perfect, but I definitely thought the world was my oyster.

But it turns out that my 30s would be filled with some of the biggest blessings and the greatest heartaches of my life. I got to meet both of my daughters, Grace and Charlotte who are truly my biggest blessings each and every day. But the decade also brought Grace's INAD (infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy) diagnosis, the trials of IVF (in vitro fertilization) and the challenges of caring for a child with a terminal illness.

Thinking back to when my parents turned 40, I can't say this is exactly where I thought life would bring me by the time I hit middle-age. I have to say that I only feel old when I have trouble keeping up with my very busy three-year-old. And even though I will be one of the older parents at preschool drop-off this fall, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

So far, the biggest disappointment about turning 40 is missing out on some fun celebrations I was planning with friends who were also turning 40 this year, put aside by the ongoing pandemic. I'm so grateful for their friendship after all these years. Although time and distance keep us from getting together as often as we would like, turning 40 seemed like as good an excuse as any to make time for each other. Hopefully, we will still be able to get together later this year or even next year, even if it's celebrating turning 41.

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like turning 40 wasn't really that big of a deal after all. It will be fun to see what happens over the course of the next decade. It will likely be filled with some major heartache as Grace's disease continues to progress, but I know it will also be filled with some really great blessings as well. And I can't wait to see what happens next.

So, until next time, "Lordy, Lordy, look who's 40 . . . ." Oh wait, it's me.

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