I googled it. The number, I mean. Twenty-six. Apparently it’s a very versatile number. I discovered a writing group, an architecture firm, a restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama, an independent film, a novel by Leo McKay, Jr, a retailer/manufacturer of bicycle parts, a real estate company, the blog of some guy from LA, and some chic wedding venue in Singapore. Just to name a few.

In science, twenty-six is the atomic number of iron, the number of spacetime dimensions bosonic string theory (thanks to Big Bang Theory I can actually interpret that) and the number of sides on a rhombicuboctahedron. In case you were wondering, as I was, the shape to the right is a rhombi…whatever…dron.

I’ve never had cause to google any other numbers, so perhaps every single number has a similar worldly significance. For today, however, twenty-six is significant to me. Today, around 6:15pm marks 26 years that I have been alive and breathing on my own on this planet. Before I venture into what’s to come, I’d first like to take a moment to reminisce.

In the last year of my life I was reunited with the love of my life. I then married him. Twice. We have had a number of firsts this year as a couple, the least of which is being married. I also watched my brother join his life with a wonderful woman and his greatest asset. I sang my grandfather to heaven. Or at least that’s how it felt. I’ve never hugged or kissed a dead body especially when the breath has left them moments before. I then said good-bye to a great love and support of my life. I cried for weeks. Not only for myself, but more for my mother. How do you say good-bye to your daddy? It seems, to me, an immeasurably difficult task. Father’s Day broke my heart for her. They say, however, that death brings new life and in our family that saying has proven true. My sister gave birth to a handsome baby boy – Emmett Robert after my grandfather’s namesake.

I don’t expect twenty-six to be nearly as eventful. And, honestly, I rather hope it’s not. It will be full of changes. I will be forced to adapt – which is something I’ve discovered I am not terribly skilled in. In just under two weeks I will pick up my entire life and move it to another state. And there I will make a home. There will be struggles, to be sure. But at least they use the same currency and speak the same language. At least those won’t be obstacles to overcome. I’ll also be accompanied by my very best friend. As long as we can keep from killing each other we will make a warm and loving home.

So, happy birthday to me. May twenty-six be a year of positive changes, financial security, higher education and lots and lots and lots of love. And, for my sweet husband, lots of souls won.

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