Today I’m turning 44 so I’m taking a few minutes to share some thoughts with you. The first thought is that I feel so lucky to be alive. That’s a cliché but it’s a genuine feeling for me today.

I have been lucky to experience a lot in my 44 years of life. I’m equally grateful for the positive and the negative in those experiences. The negative things became bricks that helped me built strength of character, and the positive always came as a reminder that if you keep moving forward, one step at a time, good things will always come your way.

My husband is one of the blessings that I am most grateful for. I never thought that I would find such a special partner to share my life with. I love him deeply. Our children Natalie and Diego (they wouldn’t be a reality without Bill), and my stepson Miro, have been the biggest prize. Seeing them grow up and become their own selves is such a gift. I’m grateful for my friends, the ones that I know in person and the ones that I have never met. I love you all. I am grateful for my relatives. We have never been a role model familia, but we deserve a medal for most improved.  I love Bill’s family equally, and I am specially grateful for my mother-in-law Joan and for my sister-in-law Marguerite.

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Something good about aging is that one starts making peace with imperfection. I want to be better in the areas that need improvement, but I’m more and more aware about the role that imperfection plays in life. Imperfection comes in all forms and shapes, and some of them are blessings. One of the most imperfectly perfect things that life gave me is my son Diego with his “Autistically” wired brain.

Another thing that becoming less young has taught me is to understand other people’s pain. The more I experience, observe, and understand life, the more I realize that each of us carries some kind of pain. Sometimes that pain is visible and other times it is hidden. I have developed the type of empathy  that helps me reach for those hidden places where we are real and human and vulnerable. That has helped my heart stay open and sensitive to others and to myself. The more we understand other people’s pain, the more we can understand and heal my own.

Tonight I will be enjoying a special dinner with Bill and the kids. It will be simple and wonderful, in our favorite restaurant here in Woodstock (Cucina). Natalie and Diego have spent lots of time creating some gifts for me. They have kept everything in secret so I have no idea what they have cooked. But I know that it will be special. Thanks a lot, friends and family, for the e-mails and phone calls. I love you very, very much, and I feel so lucky to have you in my life.

Feliz Cumpleaños to me!



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