It's one of those dreaded numbers. I'm a bicentennial baby....so if you know how old America is, subtract a couple hundred.Honestly though, it's not the number I'm dreading. It's the fact that the two people who cared the most about me are both gone. Birthdays as an orphan stink.Last year, she gave me one of my most favorite birthday memories: I went upstairs to see her & asked if she knew what day it was. She thought a while, but wasn't sure what was significant about the day. So I told her it was my birthday & she says, "oh, you're kidding me." :-) And then we took this picture.She always encouraged me to be myself. And even though she thought some of my ideas were silly, she never discouraged me.So when I started thinking about how I wanted to celebrate this birthday, I imagined she would shake her head, laugh at me, & thoroughly enjoy seeing these with a big smile on her face.....I watch kids' eyes light up when they get to hold onto their birthday balloons, so I decided I'd give it a try myself! :-) I enlisted the help of the best photographer's assistant around, made myself a somewhat-sad tutu, found someone to make me a glitter "forty" tank top (LOVE), & rounded up 40 matching balloons.And less than five minutes into shooting, guess what shows up? This....:-) Of course there's a rainbow for my 40th rainbow birthday session. Isn't God amazing? When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I’ll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth.” Genesis 9:13 MSG It's like I could feel Mom & Dad watching & grinning from behind.And of all the things that I have been involved with in the last 40 years, these are by far three of the biggest blessings. Love them so much...And so, I enter the next chapter of this life excited about what's to come, but savoring each and every day at the same time.I will be me. And I will have fun.Thanks Mom.