Many adults try to ignore birthdays as they get older; the popular thirty nine is recycled and falsely reported! They demand that no parties or gifts should be given. It is just like any other day, or so they lead us to believe.
Growing up, birthdays and all holidays were celebrated in our home! We were not showered with expensive gifts or elaborate birthday parties; but we knew it was our special day! I have very early memories of my mother decorating my birthday cake with white icing and maraschino cherries topping.
When our family grew into adults and scattered, Mom would send us a birthday package with special articles that she gathered all year long. We all remember those large boxes taped, and re-taped by our Dad with duct tape! As an adult, one year while visiting my parents on my birthday; she recreated my early birthday cake memories!
I still feel like a little girl on my birthday, six times ten! It is a lonely day though, no more birthday packages in the mail from my parents, and no birthday telephone greeting. I miss both of them; though they are no longer living, their love lives on. Last year I held within my hands a birthday surprise…
Organization is not one of my strong points. My husband I are opposites in many ways; but clutter keeps us together! We sold a two drawer nightstand table; and I emptied the paperwork contents in a big plastic bag, to sort when I “got around to it.”
Well, I put off the dreaded chore for a long time. Finally, a few days before my birthday I sat down on the floor with the bag and began sorting. I discovered a birthday card from my father,given a few years before when he lived in a nursing home. I am not normally very emotional; I bottle up emotions, instead of freeing them with tears. I began to get choked up, opened the pretty card and read the verse. It was signed by my father with the tremors of Parkinson’s disease. It could have not been more beautiful than calligraphy script!
I knew my oldest sister; Donna who died a few years after Dad, picked out the card, took it to the nursing home, and asked him to sign his name. That only increased the value of the card! In my hands, sitting Indian style on the floor, years after their deaths, I held an expression of love from both of them.
My emotions continued to build.
Inside the card, I noticed a small credit card sized poem, (American Greetings- author not given):
Today and always, please know that I see you. I see the path you’ve made that’s all your own. I see the many unique talents and gifts you have to share. I see your brilliance, your enthusiasm, and how deeply you care and hurt sometimes. I see your hard- earned wisdom, your soft pure innocence, your courage and compassion, your unconditional goodness. I see what a difference you make in this world, and I hope you know how very much I love you, and how proud I’ll always be to have a daughter as wonderful as you.”
The birthday card and smaller poem card were displayed with the others I received last year. Remembrances from family and friends brightened my day; but none before could compare with the one from my dad. After decades, I felt like “Daddy’s little girl” again.
My parents would be proud of my new writing ministry. Mom wrote beautiful poetry and as secretary of community groups, she enjoyed the opportunity to write up the newspaper articles for club announcements. In the year 1949 our home celebrated the arrival of a 4 pounds 15 ounce premature baby daughter. Now, I rejoice in another year and give thanks for my parents who gave me life.
My spiritual birthday came eighteen years after the first. The date that I was born again, falls in October; and I give thanks to Jesus for His bountiful gift of eternal abundant life!
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