Monday, December 14, 2015

Champagne Bubbles & Birthdays

Photo by Maren Engel
I stare into my glass of champagne and watch it freely bubble with life as the song "Happy Birthday" dances upon my ears. I wonder if those most comforting and familiar voices that surround me know the weight of such a simple song. With every note I feel the ever present dull ache in the pit of my stomach begin to stir ferociously. With every breath I can feel its stirring panic intensify - bubbling up with every breath of air I graciously give back to the world that lent me the last. For a moment I am lost within myself - immersed within the champagne bubbles that yearn to kiss the air. As I feel that aching stir threaten to overwhelm me, I fight back the tears that brim my eyes. 

I catch Mark's smile reflecting in my glass of champagne. His laugh dancing within each bubble. The dull ache inside of me growing. I wonder if Mark, too, feels that same unspoken dull ache within. That stirring unease about the passing of time and the celebrating of birthdays. I am careful not to look at Mark as I know he'd be able to see the well of emotion and desperation restlessly stirring behind my telling eyes. The desperation to live. The desperation for one more day. The desperation to stop time. I fiercely try and grip life within my salt stained fingers - to hold on to another moment, another day, another year, another birthday, another breath. 

Tears threaten to interrupt the final notes of "Happy Birthday" as each voice moves through me, embracing me with reassuring comfort. Within every stifled tear a moment etched in my memory and on my heart. Each a reminder that this life I live is filled with such goodness. A life I wouldn't trade for anything. That dull ache of stirring panic only combatted by the deepest gratitude that accompanies every breath I take and the deep love I have for the people that fill this life. What I wouldn't give to hold onto this moment forever. 

To 29
This last year has been one I will never forget - in so many respects. Through the very best of days to the most heart breaking I've embraced every moment. I've embraced this life with CF and all that it means. Every single one of those experiences bringing me to today - a place filled with such meaning, so many incredible people, the deepest of relationships, and the truest of honesties. My 28th year was like that of a beautiful bottle of champagne - bursting with life and fullness - more priceless than I could have ever imagined. Yes, every bottle of opened champagne goes flat at some point no matter the cost. But the dancing bubbles do not lose their excitement to kiss the air, they are simply set free, never once looking back from the bottle that used to confine them.
Photo by Jayna Fitzsimmons

Tear off the foil and pop the cork. 

Here's to year 29.
To never looking back. 
To embracing every beautiful breath that I am given - whatever the days graciously bring. 
To honesty. 
To sharing endless love and gratitude with the incredible people that fill my life.

Here's to truly living. With such love to you all. 

Cheers! Pour yourself some champagne and set those bubbles free. 


  1. Found your blog through FB. I am from Sioux Falls too. Your words are so inspirational and it's rare to find something so heartfelt and soulful on the internet these days. I look forward to following you :)

    1. Katie - What generously kind words. Your comment really means so very much and I thank you whole-heartedly for taking the time to share your thoughts. A Sioux Fallsian! I hope our paths cross in our big little city! I hope the beauty of life finds you most well this week. All my best to you.