On Penrose Mornings, over the past few years, it has become an undeclared tradition to acknowledge a brother's or a sister's birthday with fun comments, sharing of memories, and expressions of love, all with a little humor tucked here and there. This has become one of my favorite things on my birthday, never knowing what might be written but anticipating that only the good things will be remembered. The writing has been a source of encouragement to keep trying, as well as a comfort when there are challenges or unexpected twists and turns to be dealt with.
Because there appears to be challenges ahead, some unknown, some known, I decided there was something I wanted to do this year. This post isn't really an attempt to change our undeclared tradition, but, perhaps, to add a new dimension to that tradition. On the eve of my 68th birthday, I wanted to tell each of you how much I love you, and how thankful I am for your goodness, for your example to me, for the laughter shared, for the complete acceptance of me and mine regardless of faults and flaws, and for being willing to share your lives with me. I am thankful to be part of an eternal family.
When I look at this photo I can hear Dad's laugh, Mother's encouragement to get with it, Dwight's teasing, yodeling, "intellectual speak" and concern for each of us, Louise's gentle strength and smile, Elizabeth's enthusiasm for a new project, Judy's perfection of Mother's skill of answering a question with a question, and Steve's love of creating beautiful "things". Then there are those who are not in the photo, spouses, children, grandchildren and now, for some, great grandchildren. What a wonderful life we have been blessed with, and that I get to be a little piece of this family is incredible. I am truly blessed, even though I am not excited about the increase in my age.
If I could have a birthday wish this year (it is impossible to cover the important things with just one wish) for our Penrose clan and all those who help make our family complete, it would be that we will find something good in each new day, that we will continue to have faith in eternal principles, that we will give a hug to someone we love daily, and that we will look for one thing to laugh about each day, even if no one else sees the humor.
May we always be there for each other in the good times, as well as when the times are most difficult, and may we always remember that whatever this next year brings, we will not go through it alone. I love you all. Ann