Today would be my mom's 75th birthday!
I'm sure she organized her own party in Heaven for today; then acted surprised when everyone yelled her name. 'Cause that's just how Mama rolled!
Coming up to this day brought some struggle for me. The big days that she should be here to mark often do. But, His grace is sufficient!
Frank knew I was quietly grieving her loss all over again today. So after my lunch appointment, I found the most beautiful bouquet of spring flowers waiting on my desk. Frank sent them to honor her special birthday and memory. Such a good, good man!
You would have loved my mama! Everyone did!
She battled a rare form of cancer for many years. So, of course we made the most of every holiday and major event. But it was a brain tumor that sneaked onto the scene and stole her away with almost no warning.
I'll forever be thankful to the precious people of Garden Grove Church who prayed and put action to their prayers. They released me to be with Mom as much as possible during those final six weeks.
One of the great moments I remember during that time took place in the hospital. I had no idea how rapidly the tumor was progressing so I wanted Mom ready when she got out. (She had many hospital stays over the course of the years.)
It took some strong "requesting" but the physical therapists finally arrived in her room. They started trying their best to get Mom on her feet. She had rocked forward several times but couldn't seem to quite make the last push necessary for standing.
The therapist looked at her kindly. He probably understood much better than I about what was actually going on. He suggested that they lay her back down and just work her leg muscles. Mom determinedly shook her head no!
Talking had become almost impossible for Mom. The woman who had always been a verbal dynamo was reduced to monosyllable responses and visual cues for communicating. But there was no misunderstanding her intent this time.
Mom wanted to try again!
The two strong therapists made eye contact over her little gray head and one responded rather dubiously, "Okay, let's try again."
They grasped her arms, steadied her feet against their own and counted off once more.
Lift. No good.
Again. No good.
On the third try of what we all knew would be the final attempt to help Mom stand, something seemed to rise up in her.
She tucked her chin and suddenly called out, "With the help of the Lord...........I WILL!!"
Even though they were shocked, the therapists managed to hang on as Mom came to a slightly bent, standing position! She wobbled around for a few moments, then sank back onto the bed. Completely spent from the effort, Mom allowed the therapist to help lay her back down.
But the look of satisfaction in her big brown eyes will stay with me forever.
With the help of the Lord, she did!
What a great rallying cry for us all in moments when it feels that life will surely keep us from doing what we long most to accomplish.
"With the help of the Lord..............I Will!!"
And just in case they have internet in Heaven -
"Happy 75th Birthday, Mama! I know the celebration of being there beats any party we could have planned for you here!"