Thoughts on Her Birthday…

 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,

Psalm 23:3a  (New Living Translation)

I have had my blog since 2013.  In the five years writing, I have only written about this woman twice on her birthday.  I just checked to make certain.

I was eleven when she died. Some years her birthday warrants just a short glimpse of a memory.  Other years I am affected by her birthday.

In light of what I have been writing lately, I knew that I would eventually write about her, and since today would have been a celebration of her, why not today?

As the years go on memories of my Mom ebb and flow.  Sometimes there is a clarity to the memories like looking through a window pane. Time seems to be non-existent, like she could be sitting right beside me.  Other times the memories are like an old faded letter.  The edges are worn and the ink is fading.  Time has begun to erase the sharp edges and the clarity of what you are grasping for.

In reality, how many of us truly remember everything from when we were eleven and before?  That is an age of being a child.  A place where things like cancer and death should not exist.  A place where there should not be a bed set up in what was a playroom before. There should not be memories of a table filled with prescription bottles and get well cards.  A child should not know what a bed pan is or how to empty it.  But, this child, along with her sisters knew that.  It was our reality. It was what part of our childhood consisted of for six months.

While thinking of writing this post I wondered what lessons I had gleaned from my Mom.  She taught us the basics, how to eat, wash, take care of ourselves, iron, do some laundry.  We learned by mistakes how to cook, clean, iron things other than handkerchiefs, how to get groceries, how to be strong, independent women.  We learned to take things in stride.  We had learned the hard lessons already,  people get sick and people die and you learn to stand up, dust yourself off and move in a forward direction.

I spent many years in differing situations wondering what my Mom would do, what she would think, what she would say.  I still do that occasionally.  The truth is, I don’t know.  For the woman who I knew and love was young.  I was young.  The truths she would have imparted to me would be the truths you tell a child.  Truths that are not totally complete, for as a child how can you grasp a full concept of things?

The one thing I always remember is her telling me that Psalm 23 was her favorite Bible verse.  Of course, it may have been for that moment it was her favorite, but, I hold that psalm close to me as being her favorite.  I chose this verse today because of her.  Also, this verse reminds me of Whose guiding hand has been ever-present in my life.  He has guided me when I didn’t have a Mom to verbally tell me not to do things.  Did I always listen?  No, just like I would not have listened to my Mom always.

The point is, though, that we are given one mother.  She brings us in to the world.  She nourishes us, holds us, loves us and teaches us as much as she can.  As a mother myself, I know mothers are not perfect creatures.  We tire.  We get discouraged. We sometimes focus on the wrong things.  We don’t always listen with an open mind.  We don’t always agree with what is going on.  But, underneath all of it, at the very core of our hearts, that bond between mother and child is permanently knit into our being.  It is a cord that cannot be severed.  It is our lifeblood.  It is our heartbeat.  It is that voice deep within us that echoes throughout us.

That cord was broken so many years ago, but the song of love still exists for me.  Happy Birthday Mom.  You are still missed.

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17 thoughts on “Thoughts on Her Birthday…

  1. Cathi ~ you write so beautifully; you’re an inspiration to me.
    This story brought tears to my eyes.
    I rushed to read Psalm 23 for you and your Mom.
    Thanks for sharing such a touching story.
    I love you, my sweet friend!!

  2. Very thought provoking. Pretty much all I remember is driving in to you house and all the relatives sitting around kitchen table. But, I don’t remember playing with you girls. Helen kay

  3. As I was reading your post, I had to swallow hard a few times. Your choice of words are so very poignant….touching…inspirational and encouraging. God’s hand was truly upon you as you went through all the pain and trials of loosing your mother as a child and throughout the years without her. He has manifested Himself through you, from deep within your heart to reach the hearts of others. Thank you, for sharing. Love you, dear friend!

  4. Tears to my eyes…I think you were eleven, the same age as my little sister when our mother died. How different things might have been, if our mothers had been able to stay with us at least until adulthood. How often I still wonder what our relationship might have been as adult daughter and mother. Thank you for another great writing. I love you.

  5. I’ve been thinking about my mom lately, who is still with me at 91. Being fortunate to have my mother for so long makes the thought of her loss unbearable. My mother was orphaned and at her age still longs and wonders about her mother. Clearly, mothers make a strong impression whether they are with us for short time, long time or not at all.
    Great post!

  6. I think so, Life, we are so intimately connected to our Moms and to me, that is just a wonder to think about. I am so glad you still have your Mom, I know it must be a lot of work for you though.

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