This could easily go on record as my Worst Birthday Ever.
It's a close contest between my current circumstance and that of my 21st birthday, where I was laid up in a dorm room deathly sick instead of reveling in the right of passage of ordering my first legal drink amidst celebrating friends.
My 44th year has arrived in a dramatic way that will not be soon forgotten. I'm apart from my husband going on day 3, who is still in the domestic trenches of trying to manage a failed heating system during the coldest temperatures on record in decades. We were set to rendezvous in Rhode Island for a rare weekend away, when literally hours before leaving everything fell spectacularly apart. No heat or hot water + sub zero temps are not a pretty combination. Add that to a long holiday weekend where everything is closed, and you get a long, arduous battle, attempting to keep water pipes from freezing and bursting in order to save your home and all your worldly possessions.
Two nights ago, when we were supposed to be cozied up in a four star hotel nibbling on crudite' in the hot tub, Alex and I were huddled around a space heater in our bedroom, barely 50 degrees, eating Thai food from take out containers wearing our coats. Come Valentine's Day morning, we could see our breath and realized the cat dish had completely frozen, as well as the toilet in our only bathroom. It was below 32 degrees in our house with 4 space heaters running.
I eventually jumped ship and joined my kids in the warm and blessed refuge of my parent's house, who have been showering us with TLC in the form of hot baths, beautiful food and a deluge of presents wrapped in pink ribbon and love. Alex has had to stay behind to try to warm pipes, tend to leaks and popping fuses, and keep the house free from floods and fires until the temps rise above freezing and the heating crew can come to fix the broken unit. Chocolate and roses, be damned.... if that is not love, I don't know what is.
And so here we are, day 3 of Icegate, and really, the situation, though totally stressful and miserable - mostly for my husband (please send him love and warm thoughts!), it isn't the end of the world. We will rise from this deep freeze.
In tarot, the #4 card is The Emperor - stability, security, loyalty, and #8 happens to be Strength. So the message has been delivered.... I have everything I need as I arrive here in my 44th year... love, fortitude, abundance, even in the most dire of times.
What more could a girl want? The caring womb of family, the warrior love of the most devoted partner, the kindness of friends who have offered shelter and warmth.
The only thing I have left to wish for, is heat.
And that's about to be delivered in spades.
So, not the worst birthday ever. Challenging for sure, but blessed in all the ways it truly matters.