full of thanks for July 16

The fact that Susan’s birthday falls merely two days after mine has been interesting. We often get ‘combined’ birthday parties. The fact that she is an amazing cook, and fantastic baker means that her birthday cake is almost every single year – the second half of the cake that she made for me two days prior.

Dress from last year’s Women’s Day fabric

{insert dissaproving tsk-tsk sounds directed towards me here}

this is a fairly common look for her

The web doesn’t need another post bragging about how someone has the ‘best spouse evar!’ – especially when you know how they really feal about them not on their anniversary. Or people who post “love you babe” on Feb 14 as they consider separating.

This is a post about how much Susan means to so many people – and the miracle that this last year has been in so many ways.

even though they can’t really carry on a conversation – this is Susan’s “favorite market lady” who is so excited and gives her hugs when she comes to buy beans, oil and soap from her

The attention given to me after our attack last February clearly eclipsed what was given to Susan. Yes, I was physically hurt more than her, but in many ways I feel like her sitting tied up in our living room listening to what was going on was in many ways worse than what I endured. At least I knew when I regained consciousness I wasn’t dead, she didn’t.

This past year has been one of drastic changes, moves, adjustments. Constant adjustments. So many disappointments, so many feeling of loss.

However, Susan continued to do what she always does best: care for others.

From the night of our attack when she nursed me back to health. Our months in Canada where we kept getting delayed, she continued to support the kids. Constantly reaching out to friends. Caring with such seeming unending compassion and love for the mama’s and kids at our feeding program.

I usually do these birthday posts for the kids, and often marvel at how much they’ve changed over a year. In this case, I feel like almost everything around us has changed this year, some things more than once, yet Susan’s compasionate heart remains constant.

She has so willingly burst out of her comfort zone here in Burundi, doing things she isn’t trained for, things she dosens’t fully understand, and has no idea if she’ll be doing it alone, but she persists because she see’s how it helps others. Usually for the most vulnerable, most needy, those who seem to slip through the cracks. The months we were gone last year, apparently the women at the feeding program kept asking when “mama wacu” was coming back…. ‘our mother.’

This year on our birthdays, I think we both have a deeper appreciation of life itself, and the amazing kids we have, and the incredible life we have been blessed to live.

I am more aware how incredibly fortunate, and unusually blessed I am to have her as my life-partner. Every year is a gift – but I guess I’m just more aware of it now.


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