Day 20, 2019


Author: Melissa Barber

Happy Twentieth Day of Thanks Everyone!

As you all know, Lilah and I love birthdays. And we, like most black folk, celebrate for the entire month. Recently, I drove down to Delaware with one of my besties to celebrate the 40th birthday of our other bestie at a Brazilian steakhouse. We ate until our hearts were content—a full salad bar, lamb, rib eye steak, sirloin steak, sausages, chicken or steak wrapped in bacon. I’m not much of a meat eater but I know I’d be in heaven with all of the choices they had available for us.  Not only was the food great but the company was amazing.  I saw people who I had not seen since my college years (which was a long time ago!)

My bestie and her family are my family.  I saw dad, my younger sister, my auntie, my in-laws and my nephews (who I can’t believe are growing so fast before my eyes).  Because my bestie is a teacher, in addition to the games we played, we had pages of fun facts and trivia of the year she was born. We took cute photos, had tilted wonder woman cake (that was a good cup of diabetes all by itself!) and watched mama open her presents.

One of the best parts of the night was taking a walk down memory lane and reminiscing on all the wonderful, awe-inspiring, tear-jerking, sometimes sad and sometimes absolutely crazy moments that we had lived through in the 20 plus years of our friendship.  We had so much fun in college!  We went on vacation for the whole summer in Puerto Rico together one year and had a blast. In college, among all of our friends, we all knew that my bestie turning 40 that night would be the first one of us to get married and have children. So imagine the surprise a few years after graduation when she called me and said, “I have something to tell you!” My reply was, “I have something to tell you too!” Her next response was, “you’re not going to believe my news!” I said, “You’re not going to believe my news either!” She said, “I’m pregnant!” I said, “I’m pregnant too!” We just started laughing like crazy.  The laugh was because I was due first. (In college, I was voted as the last one of my friends to have children, if I ever had one!) Interestingly enough, my nephew came prematurely and was born 4 days before Lilah. (When I spoke to my bestie, I told her, “We said you were going to be first!) And both of our kids are baby huey, looking like full grown adults as teenagers. (SMH!) One year, my nephew had a bowling party. Lilah got so fascinated with the bowling balls going down the lane, she decided to chase one and running after her, I busted my butt and slide all the way down the lane trying to catch her. (Now, Lilah is something kinda fierce in bowling so that fall was well worth it!) I’ve been there for weddings, baby showers, christenings and any other occasion you can possibly think of, as well as a funeral.  We just recently lost her mom. When the night was over, we (semi) decided that we would do the next round of birthday play dates to celebrate other besties in January.  

We all looked amazing and were aging like fine wine. I love birthdays.

Today as we give thanks for birthdays (having life and aging another year), I’m highlighting the organization, Dream Foundation ( Their mission is to serve terminally-ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life Dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure.  As you are thankful for one more day of life, please give your financial donation or volunteering skills to this organization to make a person’s dream, while nearing the end of their life, come true. 

Love Ya, Have a Great Day of Thanks!

Published by: Dream Without Borders

Artist| Scientist| Creative Entrepreneur| Activist: working at intersections of arts, health, healing, and activism, my practice focuses on the performance and performative articulations of vulnerable bodies, exploring and examining expressions of identity and belonging. I hold particular interest in the lives and aspirations of the African Diaspora/Black Atlantic in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Categories Melissa's Thanks, Notes From The People