Another Day, another whirlwind

It’s been a while since I’ve put the proverbial pen to paper…or the literal fingers to keyboard.
Writing has been heavy on my mind recently: from the thought of summer letters to the drive for a publication to the hope for a creative writing chance.  In spite of all that, this is the first time in months I’ve sat down to write…just to write.
Funny how certain days bring with them certain moods or desires.  For example, Christmas Eve brings with its quiet evening service tears…thanks to the hymn Silent Night.  Omi and I sing it in German, and tears fill our eyes: maybe it’s just a quiet moment we share, maybe it’s a recognition of the preparation for the Lenten season, maybe it’s just a series of chords that bring forth emotion.  January second brings with it the dark moods: too many sorrowful moments to explain here, but if you ever see me on that day, just get ready.  July fourth holds for me a heartbreakingly romantic mood–please don’t ask me to explain, it’s just as confusing to me–a desire for sharing a blanket on a lawn, avoiding mosquitoes and watching the annual fireworks show.  Yup, don’t judge.
Today holds hope for me: a hope of a “normal,” quiet day, filled with the love of dear friends and family.  Facebook usually does a noble job of attempting to upset that, but I’m staunchly in my quiet birthday corner. It means more to have a calm moment, a sweet card, some cupcakes, a small dinner at my favorite haunt, one-on-one time with my loved ones, than to have a raging, drunk, Athens-style birthday celebration.
Your well-wishings and birthday tidings are part of that.  In fact, they probably mean more than the actual birthday–really, it’s just another day.
Come to think of it, you are more important to me than I am on a day like today.

*disclaimer: it’s about to get sappy*

Without you, parents, I wouldn’t be here.  So, thanks for LIFE.  I don’t think you can thank any human for anything bigger than that.
Without you, brother, I wouldn’t be as tough as I am (don’t laugh, I am a little tough).  I wouldn’t be able to withstand others’ bad moods, their breakdowns, their criticisms, all while keeping a strong smile.  This paints our relationship in a pretty dismal light, but you know that’s not how it is.  You and I have been relying on each other through thick and thin for a long time, through happy and sad, through fights and heart-to-hearts.  Our relationship has prepared me for so much, so, thank you.
Without you, grandparents–Omi, you just have to take this for the rest of them–I wouldn’t have the hope for the human race that I have.  Sitting at your feet, listening to stories of war time and peace time, of family, of hardships, of love…you molded me into the hopeful romantic that I am.  You’re who I strive to emulate with grace, strength, humor, drive, compassion, logic, tact, stubbornness, and love.
Without you, family, I wouldn’t have the Ashley pride and the Holt love that I have.  There are no families that I’d rather be a part of than these two.  Simply put, you’re the best.
Without you, friends, I wouldn’t have lived.  Yes, my parents gave me life, gave me love and faith and hope and strength, but you put it to use.  You showed me what unconditional love looks like: guys, we’ve made it through a lot.  You showed me what laughter, tears, fights, broken hearts, new experiences, old habits, new habits, and change really mean.  You gave me the opportunity to have strength, vulnerability, grace, tough love, patience, mercy, hope, fear, self control, and perseverance.  Without you, I might still be alive, but I definitely wouldn’t be living.
You are who I think about today, with your smiles, your hugs, your kind words and your love.  Don’t try to make it about me, because it’s really not.
All my love,
Annaliese ❤

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