We have a lot of family birthdays in the summer months. Tomorrow belongs to my sweet Mother. But, though my heart is filled with good wishes and gratefulness for the day she was born, her birthday isn't the reason for this post. I guess you could say the reason is my own birthday, which took place on the 9th of this month. It's just that after 62 years of birthdays, I finally got it. I got the perfect birthday. I might have had it many times before, but this year I was finally wise enough to really, really realize it.
I received so many precious gifts - I'm afraid to list them, for fear of leaving something out! But each gift showed the giver's thoughtful and sincere desire to bring me joy (wow! that is big), which means more to me than any material thing. Molly delivered a balloon to the front door before I woke. Terr brought early morning flowers and music; Kim and Tom acknowledged my need to preserve memories. Mike's family let me know that they understood my love for Christ. Angelic voices sung to me over the phone along with sweet conversations during busy days. E-mail and e-cards brightened my day; my mailbox even smiled at me when it was opened - my mother and my sister sent the sort of praise we long to hear from people we love. Crayon cards came my way with a hand-sewn bag and pound cake, a button proclaiming "It's my Birthday!", leis filled with the little givers' favorite candy and, of course, hugs galore. A burst of generosity from an unexpected giver, and facebook blurbs from those who friended me. My heart sang all day, just knowing that people took the time to say, "I care about you." The icing on the cake: my two older children gave up their family time, after a busy day at work, to take me out to dinner. (Terr was rehearsing for the Bard Show.) What a treat to have them beside me again.
I savored every moment of this day, every precious touch I received from a loved one, from a personal call to an elaborate gift. It just means the world to have each of you in my life. I get it! Love is the greatest gift of all...1 Cor.13:13 and from this moment on, that's all I'll ever want for. Thank you, thank you, all of you for a very Happy Birthday.
P.S. Kate is coming home tonight to make a birthday dinner for me and for all who will join us tomorrow night to see her father's performance. I haven't seen her since Christmas. It will be a joyous reunion!
My Mother says, "As your family blows out the candles that set the cake ablaze, laugh with them about your gray hair and your golden age." I will have the opportunity to do that with her tomorrow, when my sister Judy and her husband Louis bring her here on her birthday. I wish her love on her 82nd birthday, and I hope she finds an over abundance of it here. Happy Birthday Mama!