It didn’t dawn on me when I first woke up this morning. In fact, I’ve been at work nearly an hour and it’s just now hitting me. Today’s your birthday. I remembered it yesterday, even spoke about how old you would have been, 55. And yet, it took until 9 AM this morning for the date on the calendar to resonate with the date etched in my heart. Memory is sometimes like a Polaroid. It takes time to develop. So, here I sit at my desk but stand at a crossroad. I have two paths I can take.
I can cry. I might should cry. But crying is not on my “to do” list today. Some would argue crying is for the best, that keeping it in only makes things worse. I would have agreed last year, but I don’t want to shed one tear on this your celebration day. Your time with me was perfect, not too short like I always saw it before “like baby bear soup” weaved its way itself my fibers and changed my outlook, and my life, forever. It isn’t that I don’t wish I could have had more time with you. I do, almost daily. However, wishes won’t bring you back, no matter how many candles I blow out. Wishes just make me sad, and I don’t want to be sad today. No, I will not cry today.
I can smile, knowing somewhere in heaven you have the same smile on your face, the one you gave to me, and that today, we are sharing that smile. This is the path I choose. Today, I will walk the road leading only to happiness on this your birthday. I will laugh the way you did. I will clap the way you did. I will sing and dance and be silly the way you did. The way you still do just over the horizon.
My goal used to be to never let people forget you, to will them to remember, so they could help keep you alive somehow. My goal has changed. Now, it is to live out your legacy, one day at a time, one smile at a time. This legacy filled with joy unspeakable, strength unfathomable, and faith immovable was your gift to me and to this world. By living it out, your hands still reach out to the hurting, your heart still gives to the longing, and your light still shines for all to see. The gift you gave to me, Mom, I will give to those I meet. It’s the only gift I can give you that means anything. Flowers die, candles burn out, but love lives on. I know by living out your legacy, you are still giving me all I could ever need: HOPE
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
My hope in life, and in Christ, began with you, and continues through you today. It is this hope and this hope alone that pulled me from the despair I found myself in when I thought I lost you. It is this hope that allows my heart to beat with joy rather than sorrow. It is this hope that will unite us again some wonderful day. For without hope, I could not have faith, and without faith, I would be lost.
So, today, Mom, I will not cry. I will smile. I will love. I will hope. All for you.
In the words of your grandson,
“Happy Day” Mom
❤ Like Baby Bear Soup