I wonder. Do you think they celebrate birthdays in the next life? Today would have been my mother’s birthday were she living still: Columbus Day. Oh, I know, Columbus Day falls on a Monday; but it didn’t always. How well I remember the great “Columbus Day Storm” on October 12, 1962 in Vancouver, Washington (that’s southwestern Washington, not Vancouver B.C.). We calmly ate Mom’s birthday cake in the basement that night, while the roof was being torn off my grade school a half mile away.
I remember another birthday. I made her a dress. Oh, it was an awful tent dress, and it was in my favorite spring colors, off-white and lavender, while Mom always wore autumn colors, red-orange, turquoise, rust. Those realizations only dawned on me later. Of course she was gracious anyway.
My Mom and I weren’t as close as I would have liked, but I am grateful to her for so many things.
First of all, she gave me life, the greatest gift.
The second greatest gift she gave me was that of respecting people, regardless of race, nationality, special needs, or whether they were old or very young.
She gave me the love and tools of reading, first by reading books to me - with feeling – until I was able to read them to myself, and secondly by coaxing me to sound out every sign and label that I was curious about (and I was curious about every word I saw).
The fourth gift began in the fourth grade when my teacher said I was “a good writer”. Mom praised my writing, too, when she heard that. When I was an adult, she told me I should be writing for publication. I did that…once. And then I got very busy raising my children. For years I never really tried but once or twice to share what I wrote with the world.
These days, once again, I am making the effort to share what I have to say with others. Today, you can read my article in the Homeschooling channel at Catholic Exchange.
Thank you, Mom, for all your gifts. This one's for you. Happy Birthday!