I know what you may be thinking. That title is usually said when you think your life is in danger. Or after a near accident. Well, not the case here. It was just last weekend my wife, with the help of about 50-60 additional “sneaky” people pulled a great surprise on me.
Recently I turned 40. One of those milestone years. I would be willing to bet you that I wasted close to 6 or 7 hours total in the week leading up to my 40th birthday reflecting on my life on this earth. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the laughable. By the time I turned 40 it seemed like I had nothing else to reflect upon. It was time to look forward and see what the future years have in store.
The birthday passed with just some fanfare from my wife. I’m not a “party” sort of guy. It was quiet, and nice. Then….last weekend came to be. Little did I realize that for a few weeks prior to my birthday, my wife was plotting…no…planning a surprise party. She really had me fooled. I had zero clue about it. So many people I know and see regularly knew for a few weeks and no one dropped a hint.
We quietly walked up to the gymnasium where the surprise was. I was asked by my wife to accompany her to “spot check” on this group that rented the gym for the afternoon. Even as I walked up to the doors of the gym my eyes were on the sign on the door that said something like, “Meeting in progress”. We opened the door. Everyone yelled, “SURPRISE!”
And my mind yelled, “OH CRAP! We are ruining someone’s surprise party!”
As I tried to back out in embarrassment, still thinking I ruined someone’s surprise party, I felt a small shove in my back. It was my wife nudging me forward into the gym. I saw my little niece and thought, “Hmmmm. Emma is here. That must mean Ann is here too. I wonder why she didn’t mention she was going to a surprise party where Sue works.” Then my eyes began to scan the room. I realized I knew each and every face. It was then the surprise sunk in. This was for me. I was totally surprised.
Here is where it might have seemed awkward. I just stood there scanning the room. Amazed at the number of people in that gym. As my eyes went from face to face, it was as if my life were passing before my eyes. There were people that knew me from the time I was a little cross eyed kid at the age of 1. There were people that know the cross eyed man who is now 40. There were people from all stops in between.
The thoughts and emotions that ran through this 40 year old noggin in those few seconds of realization were rapid, amazing, and wonderful. Those thoughts also were deeper and more encompassing in a few seconds than the 6 or 7 hours of reflection I did that lead up to the 40th birthday itself.
Until you stop and take stock, you just never really realize the impact people have had on your life. Sort of amazing what a few seconds of being startled can do to the mind. In a great way.
And if you were there, thank you so much for the startle. Just remember it’s a 40-year old heart now. That sort of shock could stop an ol’ heart….hehe.