Saturday, I hosted a little bbq in honor of it being my birthday on Sunday, May 4th, which also happens to be the same day which the “Star Wars, may the 4th be with you” is celebrated. Of course I had my pirate flag flying, which my buddy Frank gave to me some years ago, so as to hoist it in good fun for just such occasion. Plus, it makes for a very easy landmark for those who are coming over to the house for the first time.
Sitting in the backyard, surrounded by my friends, with dad ensuring that my fire starting skills are suffice enough so as to get the actual barbecue grill going, made me reflect silently as to how blessed I am to have the good and dear friends and family that I have, those whose presence I was enjoying that day, as well as those who while unable to join the fun, are nevertheless ever dear, cherished and close to my heart.
Two quotes on friendship come to mind as I write. The first by my Confirmation saint, Thomas Aquinas. “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” Another by Samuel Coleridge, “Love is flower like; friendship is like a sheltering tree.”
It wasn’t long after everyone was sitting around in the backyard, with both food and drinks plenty, that the various stories and anecdotal tales of things that I have said or done over the years started to be told. It wasn’t so much a bbq at that point as more of a classic Dean Martin Roast. Suffice to say, I loved every moment of it.
A little antidotal story I want to share dealt with getting a birthday cake for the bbq. Along with getting everything ready and good to go for the bbq, it dawned on me that I needed to go get a birthday cake, for what would be a birthday party without cake right? So off I went to the neighborhood “mom and pop” bakery.
When asked what I wanted the cake to say, I thought for a moment as to what would be something really fun and unexpected for it to be. I knew in an instance as to what it should be and asked if she could put “Hail Hydra…Not!” She looked at me quizzically, but after I explained the reference to the Captain America: Winter Solider film, as well as the Agents of Shield tv show, she started to laugh. Sure enough, my buddies Mark, who gave me a Captain America shield keyring and Shield hat as a present and Matt, who made some “Hail Hydra” meme’s to tease me with were totally floored and utterly surprised as to my choice in birthday cake wording!
Such was Saturday, with new friends who I have recently made, to old friends from back in the days of Grammar school, to those in between the years were all there surrounding me. I was given the best give of all, their presence and love.
What a real, tangible blessing is the gift of friendship, one that I thanked God for, as I quietly sat there while being “roasted” with a big smile on my face!