Hi, Mom. Happy birthday. 94 years ago today Frank and Sophia welcomed their first daughter into their family. I bet you are really glad you are able to celebrate this birthday in heaven. Are you with Dad, LeRoy and David today? Maybe, though, birthdays aren't important anymore. Maybe they are only important to those of us left behind - a time for us to remember and rejoice.
And I do remember. September 13 will always bring my thoughts back to you. After you died - after everything was over and I was back home - I felt drained and, yes, relieved. Relieved that your struggle was over. Relieved that (dare I say it??) I no longer had to worry about you. But today, on your birthday, I find myself missing you. Over the past couple weeks I've been reading books that you gave me. They are books full of humor: "Cream and Bread", "Holy Hilarity", "More Holy Hilarity", and the one I just finished, "Stories I Couldn't Tell When I Was a Pastor". It seems like a dichotomy; I so seldom saw you smile or heard you laugh, yet you had a collection of humorous books, readings and poems. And at unexpected times you would throw out a statement that had everyone laughing.
Today, on your birthday, I hope you are liberated from any earthly restraint or piety and are reveling in joy and laughter and freedom of spirit. I miss you, but I'm so glad you are where you are. Happy birthday, Mom!