The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. (Helen Keller)
One of the great blessings of the “growing up” years of my sons was undoubtedly the friendships we made with other families around us who were in the same season of life. This most certainly includes the Mattei family, who lived around the corner and whose four remarkable children we enjoyed so very much. Steve and Julia are some of the finest parents around and their four children include three sons (Michael, Jack and Joey) along with one daughter, Megan, about whom I am writing today, on this her 20th birthday!
Megan is exactly one week older than my son, Drew, and they were classmates at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School in Fishers for a decade. As a little girl, Megan was joyful, polite, sunny and genuine. She always had a way of making my uber stoic middle son giggle despite himself. In fact, one of my favorite snapshots from his childhood is this one, below. She was quite dissatisfied with how he was wearing his life vest and was determined to get him squared away. When I look at this old picture, seeing her smile and his, I can still hear their giggling.
These days, Megan is a student at Indiana University and Drew is at Purdue. When I recently received a photo of the two of them together– at a chance meeting at a casino in Canada– I had to smile again. You see, the thoughtful Miss Mattei knew that her mom and I would get a kick out of the fact that these two old friends both happened to be at the same spot at the same time for their own respective fraternity and sorority events. What were the odds? I would include that photo here too if it wasn’t a little too dark and grainy. Since it is, it simply doesn’t do her justice. I’ve chosen a better one so you can all see just how absolutely beautiful our birthday girl is! She’s pictured her on campus with her dog, Rocky.
Isn’t she gorgeous, you guys?? There is a cheerfulness and buoyancy of attitude that to me has always made Megan a favorite of mine. She has great personal charm, and she’s incredibly bright. She’s witty, courteous, articulate and best of all…she’s kind. Also, her laugh is the best, and we all know life is better when we’re laughing. The world is simply brighter and better with her in it!!
Today, on your birthday, Megan, I hope you ate something covered in icing and were loved up in a BIG way because your amazing life should absolutely be celebrated festival style! We Thiemes don’t get to see you as often as we did when you were small, but we all think you are someone pretty wonderful. So, from the bottom of my heart back home in Carmel, please know I wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEGAN!! This little shout out is my way of sending you our hugs and love on your day. Keep doing you, sweet girl…because you are a giant scoop of awesome.