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Friday, July 27, 2007

Thorn in my Thumb

That's right....I have a thorn in my thumb. Let me tell you the whole story.

As most of you know, I turned 25 this past week. It was unbearably painful. Not only did I have to throw myself a birthday party just to make me feel better, but I had to hear my brother repeatedly gasp with disbelief at how OLD his little sister was. Nice. Need I remind him that he is 31 and balding.

The day really wasn't so bad. My husband got up early and brought me breakfast in bed. We bought a new car and I felt mighty young and hip in my new SUV. I even received 20 roses from my sweet little baby Caily.

Those roses are what caused the problem. Knowing exactly how to care for a bundle of aromatic silk, I carefully trimmed the stems at an angle. After I finished, I searched for a vase large enough to furnish all of the radiant flowers. Failing, I decided to split them up into two vases. Not only does this fit them better, but also I am able to decorate two parts of my house with them. As I am arranging them around the Baby's Breath, one rose slips from my fingers and lunges right into my thumb. yes, this was painful, but I was courageous and pulled that thorn right out of my thumb. It immediately got red and a bit swollen, but I thought...I'm 25, I'm tough, I can handle this.

The day went on and my thumb continued to throb as though it had it's own heartbeat. To ease my mind I thought of things like my baby girl getting shots, the soldiers in Iraq, and the thorns that Jesus wore. Ok, actually I didn't think about these things, but I should have. Instead I told everyone I encountered about my sore thumb. Yes, I may be 25, but I am still the youngest child.

The next day my thumb felt a little better. The swelling was down and the redness had paled. This is when I noticed that although I pulled that thorn out of my thumb with all my might, a part of it was still stuck in there. My thumb didn't hurt nearly as bad and I was able to use it, so I didn't think much of it.

As time went on, every now and then I looked down at my thumb and saw my war wound. I've grown quite acquainted to it. It can symbolize so many things...the love my daughter and husband have for me....my devotion to making my flowers live as long as possible....a sign of rememberance of the first present given to me from my baby.

I was content with my new life, thorn and all. Until recently. A good friend who will remain nameless, suggested that I see a doctor about the thorn in my thumb because it may get infected. I about flooded the room with tears like Alice did on Alice in Wonderland. First, I have horrible anxiety over needles. It may stem from all those needles my mom poked me with growing up trying to get splinters out. Second, I don't want to get rid of my thorn. The thorn is a part of me now. It's part of who I am. Everyone has some sort of signature characteristic on their body that defines them. It may be a freckle, a tatoo, a piercing.....I have my thorn.

Everytime I look down at my thumb and see my wound I will remember my 25th birthday and the thoughtful gift my daughter got for me. 20 roses, a way to say I love you 20 times and thank you 20 times for bringing me into this extraordinary world.

As I continue on with my aging, and I'm feeling low about my sagging skin and thining hair, I will look down at my thorn and remember Cailyn. I will think of her youth and innocence. Her love and enthusiasm. I will think of the day Eric brought her in the house holding my birthday card and him holding my roses. I will realize that Cailyn is my youth, therefore I have not lost my youth. And I will continue on being content and happy with my life.....and my age.

All this, because of a thorn in my thumb.

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