Good morning. It is Tuesday, August 24, 2021
It was 42 years ago today that I became a mom. I was only 16 but that baby changed my life! I was so proud to be his mother. And although he is no longer a baby, I am still proud to be his mother. 🙂
The first photo was his 39th birthday. The second photo was his 40th birthday and it was the last birthday spent with his dad.
I am reflecting this morning on the first birthday Michael had with Wendell Stark. It was 1984 and Michael turned 5 years old that year.
Wendell has moved in with us just 2 months prior to that. I also had a 2-year-old son.
We bought Michael a plastic bowling ball set among other things. I made his cake: Yosemite Sam. We had my aunt and uncle, and my grandparents over to celebrate. It seems like a lifetime ago and of course in many ways it was. We also bought him a toy wheelbarrow.
Both sets of my grandparents have passed away and I rarely see my aunt and uncle. Of course, Wendell is gone, and all the kids have moved out and on with their lives. Time sure changes things.
It would be soon after that 5th birthday party that he would stand in that wheelbarrow, leaning too far forward, and would be tipped out, landing mouth-first on our cement porch. The impact shoved his two top front teeth back into his gums; making them completely disappear.
There was nothing the emergency room could do for us and subsequently not much the dentist could do either. They eventually came back in and fell out early. But that was just one trip of several to the emergency room with my children over the years.
Oh, the joys of parenthood!
When I was a young, stay-at-home mother of 4 I was overwhelmed. I was a drill sergeant, and my kids were well behaved. I kept a neat, orderly house and the kids learned chores early in life. But in many ways, I could not wait for them to grow up.
We had a "funny" little thing we would do when they were little. I would ask them "What happens when you turn 18?" They would answer "We have to move out!" I would say "that's right and don't you forget it."
It is not so funny anymore.
I have spent the last 12 years raising grandchildren and the youngest of those, who will be 19 at the end of this year, moved out Sunday morning headed into the next chapter of her life.
For the first time in 58 years I am living alone. I have never lived alone! I have my dog, but you know what I mean.
She drove Wendell's car for the past 2 years. It sits in the same spot in my driveway, like she is here. I still feel her in the house. I think she is just behind her bedroom door. I think she will get home from work, and I will hear the squeak of the hinges. But that chapter is now closed for me as well.
Life is constantly evolving and moving. I used to tell my kids “Nothing lasts forever." I was usually referring to hard times, but the same can be said for good times too. Nothing lasts forever.
Cherish today. Find the beauty in what surrounds you, even in the chaos, even in the grieving.
I heard someone say once "grieving is love." That really did not make sense to me until recently. Our grief is a reflection of our love!
If we did not love, and love deeply, we could not grieve.
Grieving is love, perhaps the most painful kind of love, but it is love none the less.
Grief can wear many hats. The loss of a loved one. The loss of a friendship. The loss of a relationship. The loss of a pet. We can grieve when we are misunderstood, when our words are twisted. We can grieve a broken keepsake or the loss of a home. Grief can come in many shapes and sizes. But if we did not love, we cannot grieve.
So, even in my grief, I will cherish today. I will find the beauty that surrounds me. And if I get knocked down, I choose to get back up, brush off my knees and find the positive in my life, today.
Revelation 21:4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”