Yesterday, September 15, was Mom’s birthday. Gosh, I believe she would have been 79. I wish I could have wished her a happy birthday. I wish I could have made her a cake and watched her blow out her candles. I wish I could have bought her a birthday present. I wish I could have taken her to lunch. I wish I could have spent the day with her. I used to try to make her birthday extra-special, by doing the things with her that she loved the most.
Since the Bible isn’t clear on how all this works with our loved ones who have gone ahead of us into Paradise, I prayed yesterday that God would let her know how much I love her and how much I miss her, especially on her birthday. Some people believe our loved ones can see us from heaven. Others don’t. The Bible doesn’t lay that out for us clearly. I was blessed that in our Leadership Meeting yesterday, Tina prayed the same thing. 🙂
I thought about her all day yesterday. I thought about how we used to love to spend time with each other. I thought about the conversations and the laughs we used to share, over coffee, sitting at her kitchen table…the table I ate at for as far back as I can remember growing up. I thought about the Saturday mornings we used to spend shopping and going to craft shows. I thought about attending BSF together each Wednesday after she retired from her job when she was 70. How I used to cherish those Wednesdays…we would go to lunch afterwards, spend the afternoon together, pick up Ali & Zach after school, then take her home. Many times we would stay and visit at her house afterwards. I thought about the meals she used to make, the sewing she used to do, the cleaning, the ironing, the laundry, the gardening she used to do…all out of love for her family. I thought about how she used to always be there for me, and I would call her each Monday evening on my way home from my Mary Kay events. How interested she was in my life, and in Ali and Zach’s lives. She was never too busy for me. She would encourage me, support me, help me to see things from different perspectives, and unconditionally love me. I thought about her last birthday on this earth in 2006, and how we took her to her home that evening, away from the assisted living facility she was staying in at the time. That was the biggest gift we could have given her. I remember her eating pie for dessert at her kitchen table, with a smile on her face. It brings tears to my eyes as I write about it now. I’m thankful for these beautiful memories with Mom.
God continues to bring memories like this to my mind. I cherish each one of them. I think of how proud Mom would be of Ali and Zach. How she would love to attend every one of their volleyball and soccer games if she was here! How she would love to watch them perform in choir and show choir! And I think of how proud, and probably concerned, she would be of me answering God’s calling on my life at Mission of Hope. She enjoyed going to church with us at the Mission every now and then, but she was totally devoted to her own church. And on that subject, she was the one who made sure me and my three brothers attended church with her each Sunday. She knew the importance of raising children in a church. Those seeds of faith that were planted in me when I was little, took root and God grew them to more than I ever imagined. I’m thankful to her for that as well.
Mom was such a beautiful and amazing woman. As I look into the mirror each day, I see some of her resemblance in the face that’s looking back at me. I see me becoming more and more like her, in ways I didn’t expect. I stand like she used to. I hold my hand on my hip like she used to. I say things she used to say. I do some of the things she used to do. These things make me smile. 🙂
It was nice to go to dinner last night to celebrate Mom’s birthday. We have done that every year since she passed away…sometimes just ourselves, and sometimes with the rest of my brothers and their families. Last night we lifted up our water and pop glasses as we said a “cheers to mom,” and a “happy birthday Mom!”
I look forward to the day I see her again in our eternal home! I can only imagine it! 🙂