It seems a little too soon to celebrate after losing someone so close to our hearts this week. Yet, it is my sweet mother’s birthday today. She is turning 70 years old, and she deserves to have a celebration of her life.
She hasn’t always had an easy life. Growing up, it was hard what all she endured. The stories she has told in the past make me happy that I grew up with parents like her and my daddy. They were high school sweethearts, although my dad admits when he first saw her, he thought she was ugly. Then, the next year, she wore her hair differently, and he fell completely head over heels in love with her. Her sister really wanted him, but my mom won the prize. ~Smile~ They married and went on to have two beautiful daughters. They struggled some in life and in their marriage, but if we’re honest, we all do at some point or another. They lost their oldest daughter in 2001 when tragedy struck. Life hasn’t been the same since. My mom continues to press on despite the pain, and most days, you will find her smiling, joking, and digging around in my candy dish when she comes to my house. Fishing out the good ole Dove chocolate, she, then, turns to my refrigerator to snack on some cheese. She knows I’ll always have a good supply of both chocolate and cheese at my house. It’s a running joke now as soon as she hits my house, she’ll hit up my candy and cheese, but that’s okay. A woman of 70 years old can do whatever her little heart desires. She’s earned that right! And we just smile.
After the week we’ve just spent burying my mother-in-law, it makes us want to cling tighter to the loved ones that are still here with us. We don’t want our love to become suffocating, but we want them to know, now more than ever, how much we truly love and appreciate them.
During my mother-in-law’s illness, a lot of things got pushed aside while we focused on her. I was fearful that while our focus was on her, we’d lose valuable time with others. I prayed nothing happened to anyone in my family when I was so distant with them during that time. I wasn’t cold at all toward them, yet I wasn’t as close as my heart desired to be with them since I was spending so much time helping my mother-in-law and helping my husband through these months leading up to her death.
I thank God that I can now shift my focus back to my family; that they’re still here for me to do this with. They understand, and they don’t have any ill feelings at all. They would never be that way about it. My dad lost his mom a few, short years ago, and the pain is so new even still. So he, of all people, understands.
When you think about it, my mother has lived a long life! She’s 70 years old! She has out lived her own mother and her siblings, as they passed at an earlier age. I thank God that my mother is still here for us to celebrate with! And, I beg God for more time with both of my parents. Please, God. Please!
Ah, yes. A celebration of life will take place today. Unlike the celebration of life that occurred three days ago when we attended my mother-in-law’s funeral, today we will celebrate the life of a beautiful soul that will be smiling back at us from across the table. She’ll joke with us, she’ll laugh, and we will soak up every single moment with her feeling ever so thankful that she’s here. We can hug her close to us, and we will!
Thank you, God, for 70 years of my mother being on this earth. I pray for many, many more years with this beautiful woman!
Happy birthday, Mama. We love you so very much.