Today would have been my mother’s birthday if she had lived this long. I always hesitate over “is” my mother’s birthday or “was” my mother’s birthday because I never know which is really correct. “Would have been” seems a logical choice since she isn’t here to celebrate. I no longer find much joy in the date either. And that’s what birthdays are for…joy and celebration. Today IS the birthday of a friend and many other people as well, so I am happy to wish them well and pray that they celebrate many more anniversaries of their birth.
For several years after Mom’s death I mourned each minor and major holiday without her. I remembered the celebrations of the past and thought about how we might do things differently now if Mom was still with us. I don’t do that as much anymore. I still miss her. I still think about her often. But she would be the first to say that life goes on and we should celebrate the events of our lives in ways that makes us happy.
I still wonder from time to time if things would be different if I still had her ideas and her opinions and influence to consider when I make decisions and solve problems. And then I realize that I always do. You can’t be the first born, only girl-child of a strong Christian woman without having her values and life lessons deeply embedded in every fiber of your being. Sometimes I hear myself talking and I AM my mother! And if I have doubts about what she might think of something I also have hundreds of pages of her writing to read. Her heart and mind and values are evident in every letter and article and newspaper column she ever wrote. It is a legacy I cherish.
Things might have been different if Mom had lived to celebrate this birthday, but things are what they are, and life goes on. I hope that if you have a birthday today it is the best ever and that your life brings joy to everyone around you!