Wow! I could not have enjoyed my birthday weekend as much as I did this 41st year. As of Sunday, I officially began my forty-second year by celebrating my forty-first birthday. And what a celebration it was. The best part, it was not all about me – but centered on others very dear to me.

SATURDAYBreakfast with dear friends to start the day. Came home and got the boys moving so they could have everything ready for Brody’s wedding.

At 2:00pm we walked across the street to Christ Methodist Church where the beautiful music was already underway. What a collaboration of musicians! The Kettering Fairmont Symphonic Chorale, boosted by alumni, sang “Set Me With A Seale” and the highlight was Brody’s Bowling Green State University men’s chorus director, R. D. Mathy, singing “The Lord’s Prayer.” Quite a moment.Everything seemed to have the right touch. The dresses were simple, but lovely, and the flowers, a summer bouquet, were chopped straight across the bottom and tied with a matching brown, satin ribbon. Marty is one of the most beautiful women I know, and she chose the perfect dress – it was simple, off the shoulders, and with little trim. The dress alone would have been attractive, but she made it look exquisite! When Marty started down the aisle, most missed Brody’s tears while waiting for her at the alter.

After greeting the couple and wedding party, we waited a short time outside with our bubbles, chatting with friends and former students who sang in the chorale. Finale, Brody and Marty arrived to climb in the huge white limo, only to be driven to the otherside of the church to return inside for photographs.

The reception began at 6:00pm and was held in the big barn-like structure in the Lake Choctow community resort. What a nice evening it was. The DJ’s choice of music left a considerable amount to be desired, but it was fun sitting with teachers and choir parents. Debbie Allen, the Wandlands and the Williamsons and I were out there nearly every fast dance. I did learn that the songs seem so much longer than they did 20 years ago. Needless to say, I was not sore the next morning and felt more energetic.

After the reception ended at 11:00pm I helped with the tear down process and then offered to bring all the tuxedos back, as well as the top of their wedding cake so they would have less with which to deal.

I arrived home after 1:00am and took care of the tuxes, and other home stuff, making it to bed by 2:00am. Of course, Marcus, Brody’s dog, decided he needed a walk and would not cease whining. So, I took Flyer and Marcus for a short walk, finally hitting my pillow by 2:20am.

SUNDAY
We were up and moving by 6:30am, and on the road to Muncie, Indiana by 8:00am. Dr. Jeffrey Carter is adopting Austin J. Hunter, and his church held an adoption service (similar to a baptism).

En route, the boys slept and I reflected on the past 41 years. What a wonderful life I have had! I was fortunate to be the son of a wonderful woman whose parents were also mainstays in my life, clear up through my 40th year. My loving and supportive family and friends have been abundant, and I have enjoyed twenty-one years of teaching music and directing students and professionals in musical theatre. The past three years, I have been a father. Much has been crammed into these past 41 years, and there is very little I would change – even those moments when the dark clouds seemed to hover. As I drove beneath the dark, cloudy skies of rural Indiana, I had a flash of my grandparents’ face, and wished they could have been with me that morning. The sky seemed to lighten and to the northeast, a rainbow appeared. Gradually, the sun began peeping through the clouds and the day became brighter.

We arrived around 9:00am, so I took the boys on a tour of Ball State’s campus, showing them where I lived in Swinford Hall and my off campus house. It was the first time I had ever attended an Episcopal Service, and it was very interesting. Jeff preached a most beautiful service and I do not believe I have ever been as touched by a Sunday morning message as I was on my 41st birthday. After the service, Mother, Dena and my nephews were waiting on us to give me my birthday greetings. We talked in the parking lot a while, and soon Jeff and AJ joined us so they could meet Mother and Dena. Afterwards, we hurried back to Kettering so I could teach a few students preparing for MUSE Machine auditions and for Matt to go to work at One Lincoln Park. Brody and Marty stopped by about 6:00pm to retrieve Marcus and we had a chance to relax and chat.

By midnight, I was finished with all the things that needed to be neglected from Thursday through Sunday. What a wonderful, wonderful birthday!

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