Happy Birthday Jeffrey Andrew

Dear Jeffrey,

 

I still remember the day you were born, 30 years later and it is still crystal clear. They took you two weeks early, that’s what they used to do with scheduled C-sections. The doctor told your dad he looked like a Japanese tourist, he was taking so many pictures.

I knew you were a boy from the start, I’ll admit, I wanted a girl due to fear, I had already had one son and lost him, I couldn’t handle the thought of it happening again. Then you were here, in all of your baby perfection, then they whisked you away and put you in the Neo-natal unit. You were born with water on your lungs, common for a baby born of a scheduled C-section back then, as they took you too early.

I had to go home without you, it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, go home and look at the empty crib. Taking you home was one of the happiest days of my life, you were an amazing miracle, who cried a lot.

Watching you grow from a baby to a toddler to a little boy going to kindergarten, then middle school, then high school then adulthood, it all happened way too fast. I wish I could go back and do it all again, I would do a lot of things differently. I would listen more, talk less, play more and tell you more often how much I love you.

I still can’t believe you are thirty years old, I am so proud of the man you have become, the parent that you are, you are still that miracle in my life.

I pray for you every day, that you have great joy in your life, that you have people who truly appreciate the person you are and that you continue to have an amazing bond with your child.

Today on your birthday I want you to know that I love you beyond words, that you are still that miracle baby boy. I want you to know that you are without a doubt one of the best things that ever happened to me.

 

I love you,

Mom

 

My Dad

I have a lot to say, some of it will not be said here, in a public forum, that being said, anything I say here is my opinion, my thoughts and my musings.

I have been thinking a lot lately about my dad, usually it’s my mom that is on my mind this time of year, but lately its been my dad. I have been thinking about his sense of humor lately, he had a ready smile, a quick wit and he shared both with the world.

I remember one time our pastor was on the receiving end of my dads humor. One Sunday, in the late 1970’s early 1980’s, I don’t recall the exact year, he was preaching on lust. His main focus was the television shows, how they could make a man think lustful thoughts. Well, the next day, my mom and dad, another man in the congregation and the preacher were going to a funeral. They all decided to ride together, so my mom and dad went to Brother Stevens house, my dad got in front, my mom in the back of the car.

They stopped and picked up the preacher and my dad was moving to the back of the car to sit with my mom. The preacher jokingly said, oh you don’t trust me with your wife. My dad looks at him and says not after yesterdays sermon. To which everyone had a good laugh. I do believe the preacher even told that story at my dads funeral.

My dad had a warm, wonderful smile and a huge laugh, he used to tell me it was better to laugh than to cry. He was right, I rarely cry, but I do laugh, often, when I think it is something my dad would have enjoyed I see his smile.

My dad taught me so much, life isn’t that serious, love the Lord with your whole heart, find the humor in everyday life and laugh. Laugh often, laughter bonds a family more effectively than tears ever did.

 

 

 

Tough Week

Here we are in August, a truly bitter-sweet month for me, Michael’s birthday was August 9th, and the anniversary of my mom going home to be with her daddio was August 11th. This year it hit me that I have no one in my life that remembers Michael and I have few people left who remember my mom. Wait, let me amend that I have one in my life that remembers both, my BFF Tammi, she is the one I went to this year for remembrance.

Grief is a funny thing, it can hit you when you least expect it, and it can linger for years, we never fully “get over” losing someone precious. The grief is always there, the pain doesn’t lessen, it just becomes bearable, a way of life.

When I lost Michael I was told, by a member of my family no less, that I was being punished for things I had done in my youth. for a long time I bought into that, as I was only 20 when he passed away. I know better now, I know he was taken by no fault of mine, by no fault of his babysitter, God did not take him to punish me or because He needed an angel. We do not become angels when we die, we are saints, let’s all try to remember that. He died from something they still know very little about, SIDS, he was healthy, perfect and amazing, and a freak thing took him.

My mom is another story entirely, she lived an incredible life, until Alzheimer’s robbed her of her memories, her life and her dignity, it is a horrible disease I would not wish on my worst enemy.

My mom was an amazing woman, there are things about her I bet people who knew her don’t know. Everyone knows she was kind, gentle, a staunch prayer warrior and an amazing woman, she was also a published author. She wanted to be a school teacher, however during the depression there was no money for college, especially for a girl, if anyone got to go to college in those days it was the boys. because they had potential to earn money for the family.

She was so smart, wickedly funny and loyal, loyalty is highly underrated these days, but in her day it was a virtue, she epitomized that trait. If you were lucky enough to be her friend, you were her friend for life. if you were fortunate enough to be adopted by her, well, you were her daughter for life.

I’ll never forget her last words to me, she told me I had been the most pleasant of surprises, I know she meant in life. I’ll always be grateful for her example to me, what it is to be a mom, a woman, a friend and a Christian. I celebrate her, I mourn her, I miss her, but most of all I look forward to seeing her again and telling her how much I love her.

If you are reading this and you have a memory of my mom that stands out, I would love to hear about it, please feel free to comment here or on Facebook.