After a longer than normal stretch of fretting and anxiety I woke up the other day feeling very much like myself. The sun is shining…and it has been. The days (weather-wise) have been perfect and I can’t help but feel that the black cloud that had been hovering is finally gone! I went out to my garden for the first time in a week and saw that though my “fruits” aren’t really doing that well….it is August and I have yet to pick a tomato, I have no zucchini and no beans. a few struggling cucumbers but no lettuce and one eggplant…small and determined. But…for the first time ever, my sunflowers are growing and growing! I have flowers that I planted when I realized that the crop wouldn’t be what I am used to. I had been wanting to incorporate flowers…I love the mixing of both. The sunflowers should be eight feet by now but the early weather and the soil depletion slowed down their progress. But they are fighting hard to reclaim their natural inclination; to grow and beam!Tomorrow is my sister’s birthday, we had a big family party planned and we were all looking forward to it anyway, when two weeks ago I received a message from a dearly loved niece (the birthday girls daughter) that she and one of my beloved nephews were driving up last night as a surprise for my sister…it was all a secret with only their father and me knowing. I have a very big family and it was hard to not let it slip so I kept to myself for those two weeks. None of us were communicating. They kept me posted about their progress when they left SC and began their drive. This was necessary since Mommy couldn’t worry, Auntie needed to. They understood. They arrived last night with her dog and a balloon…the best present a mom could ask for. My mother called all excited that they were here not knowing that I knew….then a couple of minutes later I was tagged in a picture from another sister with a “look who’s here!” next to it, and it was my big brother and his wife at the local airport! I wasn’t the only one keeping secrets! My heart filled at the thought of my whole family being together tomorrow for my sister’s birthday. For my kids to see the family members that they adore (we are also celebrating my daughter and another sister’s birthday) and for the promise of hugs, humor and sunshine. There is nothing I could get my sister that will top that. But today I thought that maybe I would cut her the prize crop of this years garden, a giant sunflower. A reminder that the sun will shine again…we just sometimes have to wait.