Watching our family’s “littles” play together.
Enjoying delicious mealtimes together, including a tender smoked turkey and fabulous barbecued prime rib.
Laughter and some tears with shared memories.
Time with my hubby … walking the dogs through a tree-lined lane, opening gifts that express our love for each other, embracing each other at the end of a long day.
But I think my favorite memory from this Christmas was the look of joy and the tears on Mom’s face on her 94th birthday. Being a December 23rd baby, her day is often rolled into the Christmas celebrations. She’s had few separate birthday parties. Well, this year our expanding family’s get-together is actually next weekend, so my brothers and I determined to make Mom’s birthday special, just for her.
I brought Mom to our house the day before, so on the morning of her birthday she, Don and I ate a relaxed breakfast together. After that she worked on some hand stitching (at 94!). We talked while I cut up fruit for our lunch salad. Mom didn’t pick up any kind of expectation.
The doorbell rang at 11:30.
“That must be the mail,” I said as I walked to the door. Opening it with my finger in front of my lips, I said “Hi Veronica” to my brother Melvyn, who had driven up from Fresno. He walked around the corner and Mom looked up. “Mel!” she exclaimed, tears springing to her eyes. She pushed herself up to give and receive a big hug. “I think I could faint!” The scenario was repeated a few minutes later as Bob, Sheila and Sheila’s mother (from Delaware) arrived. The moments of my dear mother’s surprise and delight will remain one of my best memories from this season.
I am grateful to still have my mother’s presence and love in my life. A godly parent, one who loves God, trusts Him (through challenges), and has led by example all my life is a rare gift. I treasure you, Mom. Happy Birthday!