K: Happy Birthday!!!!
W: I’m 100.
K: See you after school.
W: See you in heaven.
Walker has no recollection of this conversation, which really goes to show his year long struggle with turning 30, often proclaiming his life is over. But the truth is, it’s just beginning. Everyday is a new beginning, and I keep reminding him how thankful I am that he turned 30. That he has the chance to turn older. That I give thanks for every new day he’s given.
I think it’s safe to say that 29 could have been then hardest year of his life. He lost a sense of reality as he knew it and gained a whole new, shocking perspective on the world through an assortment of situations. I’ve watched him grieve and struggle, but I’ve also watched him meet every challenge with sincerity, humility and selflessness. No matter what has come his way, he has risen to every occasion by continuing to treat people kindly, give generously, and be present through it all. Even when physical and emotional exhaustion set in, he stayed committed to his friends, family, church and calling to love others, even keeping his sense of humor through it all.
And then on the other hand, the past year brought him many joyous adventures, too. He rocked his way through his first European vacation, mesmerized by new sights and cultures. He discovered a new love of a healthier lifestyle, eating a more disciplined diet and working out regularly. It has been such an inspiration to watch him work toward his goals and complete his first sprint triathlon, half marathons and most recently an Olympic triathlon. And a baby, too, he made a baby!
29 was a year of craziness. Good crazy and bad crazy. So, I choose to celebrate all of it. Every single bit that has only enhanced who Walker already was. I celebrate his perseverance, his discipline, his sacrificial commitment and his adventurous spirit.
So happiest of years to you, Walker! I’m glad you’re 30. I’m glad that as of now, you’re 30 and 2 days. I think the next 363 days are going to be some of the very best moments of your life!
Couldn’t be more proud of Walker and Hall for completing the Kemah Triathlon!