Happy Birthday to the most wonderful woman I've ever known: my mom.
I only wish she were here to celebrate it in person. Mom would be 63 today. It is really strange not having her here on a day that was all about her. Mom was humble-never wanted any fuss about her being made. However, birthdays were always kind of a big deal in our house. And very fun, even when there was very little money to spend. Mom loved spagetti and strawberry cake. We (ok, usually I) always made a birthday sign to hang on our dining room mirror.It was pathetically drawn bubble letters shouting "Happy Birthday" with all kinds of silly coloring on it. We would eat and laugh and almost always play a game of some sort. Mom didn't care about gifts. She loved all our homemade cards; as I went through all the pictures for her funeral i found almost every card all of us kids ever made her.
Last year on her birthday, it was bittersweet. She couldn't' really talk and she was pretty sick. But she had some smiles and she enjoyed the moments we had. I don't know what everyone else was thinking, but I knew it was likely the last we'd have to celebrate. There weren't a lot of gifts last year-just a lot of time,holding onto each and every moment.
Today has been strange in some aspects. It would be impossible to go through this day without thinking about mom. Therefore, there was some sadness in some aspects. Just a gaping hole not having her here to hug and sing Happy Birthday to one more time. It hurts to even sit and think about the reality of it. However, there is joy with the day, too. Mom is having the biggest birthday party ever, I am sure. She is laughing harder than ever, I am sure. I didn't want to make cake for this day-something about it didn't feel quite right. So I ate donuts instead to celebrate. I shared them, though I didn't publicize the reasoning behind having them. I laughed today. I remembered today. My mom was so special, it is so difficult to put into words. Mom made me feel special in every way. Each time I'm sad or lonely, mom is the first person I want to call. I've never done the thing of picking up the phone to actually call, but I talk out loud to her still, strange as that sounds. Mom loved everyone and never wanted a fuss put around her. Mom's best friend was only 4 days older than she was. Her best friend was Aunt Pam to me (well, she still is ). Mom always loved a good joke and tease and she would always love to tell Aunt Pam that she was the older one. Mom never complained. She never wanted anything-and if she did, I never knew. Or if she did, it was something like a trash can for the kitchen or something like that. She loved everyone. She prayed faithfully. She taught children all her life. Mom loved games. Mom loved birthdays.
I miss her today. But the ache of missing her is somewhat different than it was 6 months ago. God is good in brining healing with each day. Today mom would still not want a fuss put up about her. Therefore, I chose not to go to the cemetery to put flowers there. I chose to have donuts:). And I am choosing to spend the evening with a dear friend and my kids. I am choosing to remember all the fun times we had. I literally would laugh with my mom til we peed (sp?) our pants-or at least I did a little . (Gross, I know, but hey, I'm smiling just at remembering the hard laughter we had.) We shared many, many cups of coffee and sweet discussions about life and about God. We had a few shopping trips to Goodwill, where we found great deals and good stuff. We told ridiculous made up stories to the kids. I remember one time mom was in the hospital and the kids picked a word and we made up a story and used that word and every time we said that word, mom would make a pretend trumpet noise. That went on until we were all laughing so hard we couldn't tell a story any more.I remember mom's prayers. I remember how she would tuck little notes in my lunch box every so often. I remember the ridiculous ways mom would stretch every penny we had, including but not limited to, some of the greatest most creative meals. I remember all the Snoopy birthday cakes mom made me. I remember her laugh. I remember her smile. I remember her caring for me endless times while I was so sick. I remember her hugs. I miss every single one of those things. I could go on forever. But I will close with a picture we took last year on her last birthday on this earth. And I will shout HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! I MISS YOU! Today she gets to hear the angels sing happy birthday. Now that would be a birthday to remember.