Its no secret that I love birthdays. My birthday, your birthday, Bill's birthday....etc. A chance to celebrate a person, life, etc. Why the heck not? I don't think that you have to go crazy. No big parties, no expensive gifts, no billboard signs. Its just a chance to feel important, a little less lost in this great big world.
Today is my mom's birthday. She would have been 65 today. Almost three years ago now we laid her to rest.
Her last few years were super difficult. Her mind and body slowly deteriorating. I remember her last birthday clearly. Beth and her boyfriend came up and we all (my hubby included) took her out to her favorite restaurant, The Red Lobster. She had just started having to use a wheelchair. She stared intently at and whispered to those lobsters they keep in the tank upfront, waiting to become your dinner. And she couldn't stop eating the cheddar bay biscuits. But really, who can resist those savory buttery pieces of heaven? She delighted in every gift she opened and just repeated over and over again how lucky she was and how much she loved us.
Even before she got sick, she wasn't perfect. But what parent is? She pretty much raised 3 girls single-handed and with some of her own disabilities. We watched her live out her dreams (horse farm, raising kids, going back to school to study art). She worked super hard, sometimes working 2-3 jobs at one time to support her family. She was a woman of strong Christian faith, and lived it in her own way, not to anyone elses rules (that how she lived her life anyway, to her own rules.) She was a proud woman. No one could tell her what to do or how to do it. She often spoke about how she would literally kill anyone who ever laid a hand on any of us kids. And she loved us kids. LOVED kids. ALL kids. I remember her always talking about wanting to have more children. And always hoping for and dreaming of grandchildren.
Well, her final dream was realized. Sadly, after her passing. Isn't that always how it seems to go? Baby Benjamin will never physically in this life meet his grandma Fronczak (though I believe that she knows he exists and is celebrating him with our Lord and other family members who went before us). I believe he will meet her one day. It makes me sad to think about that. She would have just drooled and doted over this child, hoarding him from any other visitors. She will be the first to do that in heaven.
My gift to you today mom, is to emulate your fierce motherly love. With all of your goodness and imperfections, the greatest thing I learned, and never doubted what that I was loved. What greater gift is there than that? To give that to my son is the best thing I can think of to give you and to make you smile, knowing you played an important role in this great big world. Through me, Ben will know your fierce, immeasurable love.