Go Lila, it’s your Birthday!

“Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty”-John Finley

5K race
A busy birthday

The party may be over, but the memories will never end. This has been one of the best days of my life and it all started with some very special people.

All you need is love

Prior to the actual birthday, so many other things have gone on. Moving for the third time, working with the Pacific Whale Foundation, attending a one day Writers Conference and then my birthday.

Around 10 p.m. on Saturday, I joined Jennifer and Genita at a local restaurant. I thought it was just a quick get together to roll in my special day and didn’t think much of it until I sat at a rather large table for more than three people. When the other guests Kathy, Glenda, MJ and her husband and later a family member of MJ’s arrived, I realized it was a set up. No camera at hand, it was a time to kick back and enjoy. Little did we know.

The kitchen closed at 7 p.m., no drinks were available, and they didn’t have ice tea! Everyone agreed that sushi just wouldn’t suffice and decided to move on. After all, time was not on our side as my birthday approached. After several suggestions, they settled on International House Of Pancakes (IHOP).

Do you want to party with me?

Who would have thought a pancake house would be such fun? We had placed our order when two more people joined us, Rubi and Christine. After working a long eight-hour shift, they took the time to hang out with me. Jokes, laughter and lighthearted conversations, kept the late evening in good spirits.

The joke was on me when I heard the familiar tune, “Happy Birthday to you,” in the background. Genita and Jennifer brought in a cake with twenty-four candles that lit up the atmosphere with a true sense of surprise. I could not believe that for once I didn’t have my camera!  Everyone else used their iPhones taking photos of me and for once I didn’t mind because it was my party!

The crew stayed until the stroke of midnight when the official birthday began. We closed down the pancake house and the manager didn’t seem to mind. Our server was sweet and I passed the rest of the cake to her. We departed and I gave hugs to each person thanking them for such a wonderful surprise. As I drove home I purposely pressed the gas pedal a little harder until the speedometer said, “55.” With a smile on my face I didn’t care because my heart had been filled with love.

It’s not over until it’s over

With only three hours of sleep, the day started at five a.m. and a drive to Lahaina for the Maui Oceanfront race. Originally I signed up for the half marathon until my training schedule went to ruins. Instead I did a 5K with a 8:20 start time. As the race progressed and I thought I would walk some of it, a stranger would tell me what a great job I was doing or how well I was pacing myself. After hearing that a few times, I gave up the idea of walking and ran the course. Thank goodness for my inhaler and some pumped up jams playing in my ears.

A warm shower followed up with a good nap led to the second part of the evening, dinner with Melissa. Cafe O’ Lei, 2439 S. Kihei Rd., provided great service and an excellent meal. Shannon, our server made sure that my birthday went as smooth as possible while keeping a sincere smile on her face.

Maybe it was the birthday tiara or the beautiful birthday lei, but several people

Onion soup

stopped by our table or in passing, wished me a happy birthday. Melissa and I had great fun with conversations throughout the course of the meal. To top it off, a chocolate brownie with a single candle and a soft flicker of light melted my heart and added a few more pounds to my backside.

So glad we had this time together

Before the evening ended, we took in a movie, The Life of PI. The cinematography is excellent while viewing the movie through 3-D glasses, and a thought-provoking storyline.

We said goodnight, departing to our destinations. While driving home, one of my favorite songs, Bennie and the Jets, by Elton John, poured through the speakers. I cranked up the music and pretended to be the lead singer. My birthday was coming to an end and I wasn’t ready to let go of the wonderful feelings of the past forty-eight hours.

I had come to Maui because of a job. Instead some very warm and fantastic people have embraced me. I’ve learned many things about several cultures, the island, what the land offers and the spirit of. Today, on January 20th, the blessing was to live another day and that my friends, is something to sing about. (In photos below, food from birthday dinner. Melissa and waitress Shannon in larger photo.

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