Happy Birthday, Mama

My dearest Mama,

I woke up to the day I’ve thought on, really dreaded, every day this past couple of weeks.

It’s your birthday- I knew it would be hard. I’ve had to stop just to catch my breath.

At night I lay in bed, so many nights, and relive our last conversations.

I’m thankful for the moments of watching you sleep in your chair in my family room. I’m thankful for hearing you laugh…and that we have THOSE MOMENTS on tape. (What a gift to find after you had gone…)
I’m thankful for the slice of pizza we had after your treatments…those are good memories for me.

Believe it or not, I enjoyed going to every doctor appointment with you. I enjoyed our time together. I was glad to be there for you, and with you. I would have been no other place.

So many things are changing in my life…

Jackson is now standing. We’ve celebrated more birthdays. Remember those phonics cards Emma was having such trouble with? She is breezing through them now. Jacob still loves his job. Darby has transitioned to her new blankie (you would be so surprised). She doesn’t even ask for the old one anymore.

They are all still taking art and doing so well. I think it’s been a comfort to them. From time to time, they make comments about how glad they are you were able to go to class with them while you were here.

Jackson is still sleeping with the animals you made him every night. He doesn’t realize just how special they are yet, he just knows he loves them.

Of course, they all still have their moments of grief. Jessica made pancakes this morning…she remembers you helping her learn to make them. She cried this week during breakfast.

Ben is still having a really hard time. He enjoys looking through your art journals. I find him crying by himself sometimes. This week, he commented on something he had been doing with you this year.  I can tell he worries about not remembering the little details of his days with you. All of these feelings are just so fresh.

You were a loved grandmother (and mother).

Most of the details of your days have been worked through. We still have some lingering things to look after- most things have been easy.  The Lord has been good to bless us with those who are willing to help, and have the information we need to work through everything with ease. The rest, I know the Lord knows, and I’m praying He’ll make a way to resolve those issues, too.

The phone rings, and I still think that you may be calling. That has been so hard.
I had already purchased part of your birthday gift and decided just what else I wanted to get for you.

I deleted the files on my computer that housed the possible birthday cake recipes for this year. They were going to be yummy (but maybe not as cute as the cupcakes with little flags from last year)! Remember I used to laugh with you about keeping a birthday cake file for you- I really did!

I have to remind myself daily that while I still hurt, I know you don’t, and that does a little to ease the pain I’m feeling.

Today, the proof for your foot stone finally arrived. I remember seeing the stone for Paul’s mom the first time-it was awful- sometimes I face moments when I just don’t think I’ll make it through …they seem huge and lonely.   These months have been filled with these moments.  I want to run and hide away- I want to think on other things and drown out the obvious.  It seems like things will never be the same.  I try to just take one step at a time and go forward. I close my eyes and I can almost hear you telling me to pull myself together so I don’t upset my babies.

It’s your birthday.

While I miss you so, I know you celebrate at the feet of Him, who created you.
I AM happy for you. I’m just a little sad for me, too.

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