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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: birthday (05/23/05)

TITLE: The Birthday Lady


Maud is not old enough to live in our senior citizen housing area, as a matter of fact she not yet thirty, but she is the ward of someone who is. Maud has been “One of Jerry’s Kids” since she was 12 and has been living in a wheel chair since she was 18.

Maud was a late-in-life child for her natural parents, they were more like her grand-parents than her parents, and when muscular dystrophy attacked Maud, in spite of their love for her, they were ill equipped, financially, mentally, physically or emotionally to provide for her many needs: Doctors, therapists, special equipment—it was all beyond them. They turned to that special resource: prayer. God heard their prayers and it wasn’t long before Maud’s mother’s sister, Phyllis took Maud into her home.

Phyllis is a retired nurse and a widow; she is also an active and loving member of our church. As a caregiver Phyllis is always in the forefront for anyone in need. This example has surely not been wasted on Maud. Within her limitations she has become the favorite care visitor in our congregation. As a matter of fact Maud found her niche as “The Birthday Lady” because she felt so much compassion for others and did not dwell on her own malady.

Many of our congregation are elderly home bound, hospitalized or in assisted living homes. Before Maud became more home-bound herself she accompanied Phyllis on many of her caring visits, building endearing and enduring friendships with all she met. As the years went by Maud built quite a dossier on her incapacitated friends, she kept a card file on birthdays, favorite flowers, candy, fruits, stuffed animals, and other special interests

Another interest of Maud’s was the computer, which she mastered to a superior degree. There’s not much that Maud couldn’t do on the computer; her specialty though was producing beautiful birthday cards. Maud just sort of slid into her new name,” The Birthday Lady”, her card file contained all the ammunition she needed to create a special card for that special person with all the special sentiments. Every day some member of the infirmed or home-bound receives one of “The Birthday Lady’s” creations.
Our church publishes a monthly newsletter and it has a Thank You column. You can be sure that many parishioners give “The Birthday Lady” their thanks for her remembrances.

Maud wasn’t just one of “Jerry’s Kids”, she was also one of Jesus’ kids. Her birthday falls in December, not on the 25th, but we are not sure that Jesus’ did either. About this time the national rage of WWJD was in full swing, and within her handicap Maud was living “What Would Jesus Do”. Maud’s MS had been inactive for several years, but recently she has required much more bed time than before. We don’t know how much longer Maud will be with us, but two things are certain: She will have a mansion in God’s kingdom and she will be our “Birthday Lady” as long as anyone remembers.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shari Armstrong 06/01/05
Thank you for sharing that -well written and enjoyable. Some family friends lost their son to MD a few years ago, he was an amazing, caring young man. It's hard to see people having to deal with such tough situations, but inspiring to see they still reach out to others!
Phyllis Inniss06/02/05
Maud was truly a remarkable woman and you've given her a well-written tribute. Thanks for sharing.
Debbie OConnor06/03/05
A beautiful story. Well done!
Amy Michelle Wiley 06/05/05
Thank you for introducing us to The Birthday Lady. Well done!