Today is my birthday and I am 27 years old. Am I now at the age that I should be keeping my age a secret? I still feel 22. I know some people say they look forward to each year with joy and cherish each stage of their life. I still remember being 9 years old (left) and standing by my window looking outside and thinking of the elderly couple I had seen earlier that day at the library. The woman holding on to her husband as she walked towards the check out counter... each step she took was painful and pronounced. Her husband, feeble himself, did his best to help her maintain her balance as he propped himself on his crane. I realized that day, that growing up meant going there and that day on the eve of my tenth birthday, I no longer looked quite so forward to being one year older. A birthday marks the march of time as it drums on caring not whether or not you are willing to go, it swoops you up in its clutches and takes you with. Time makes you grow up, time makes little brothers you climbed trees with and rode bikes with into people you see a few times a year. Today as I talked to my family on speaker phone hours away from me I missed them with an ache in my heart that I feared if I examined too closely, would open into a crater and swallow me whole. But today I learned a childhood friends father who was my Sunday School teacher died of cancer. And then it hit me. Seventeen years later. Time will come either way but the fact that she comes for me at all is a gift I am lucky to have. Instead of looking to the past at the time gone, and things not accomplished, I can look at it time spent with loved ones and loving. Instead of looking furitively and with sadness to the past, I should focus on the now for the now is the only thing that is real.