Today is a very special day. I want to pause for a moment to paint a portrait in words about a woman who inspires me. She’s a heroine to me and many others, but you won’t see a literal portrait of her on a book cover (and she prefers it that way.) She has the magical ability to breathe life into characters and plots seemingly without effort, yet the moment you digest the words she’s written, you sense she has spent countless hours mulling over a sequence of events or the tiny pieces of the puzzle to make it all flow so beautifully.

Her creativity extends beyond book borders to fashion living spaces that rival Architectural Digest for beauty. Like the writing, it all seems to come so easily to her, yet no one knows better than she the great price she pays, day in and day out, on many levels.

Life continues to chuck grenades at her, but she has the amazing ability to duck, weave, or punt and never once lose her dignity. When she takes on any task, you know she will finish it; it will be done right and you will need to take your own multi-vitamins faithfully to keep up with her brisk pace.

I’ve never known her to toss in the towel, run up a white flag, or abandon anything or anyone. Most touching of all, her loyalty extends beyond the human race to animal companions. She is steadfast and devoted to those whom others might consider lost causes, whether people or pets. Nobody, nothing will daunt her determination to solve a problem, ranging from complex formatting to an incontinent cat.

When she has your back, you know you’re safe. I thought I was one of those lost causes. She gave me the personal courage to venture online again after a long absence spawned by bitterness and broken dreams. For that, I cannot thank her enough. Distance makes celebrating together impossible, so I hope these words convey the heartfelt gratitude I want to give her on this special day of days.

Happy Birthday, Darby!


English: Traditional Devil's Food Birthday Cake