Happy birthday! I’m pretty sure earthly birthdays don’t matter in heaven, but just in case they do, I’m telling you.
I’m making oatmeal raisin cookies with the kiddos today in your honor. It’s become a tradition. I talk about you, show photos of you and just remind them of how much you love them. I want them to remember. It’s so important to me. Does that matter to you now?
It breaks my heart that Esther was too young when you died to remember you on her own and Paul Louis never met you. It may not matter in heaven, but it sure matters to me. The woman who loved me most should matter to them, right? The woman who came to take care of them the week they were born should matter to them, right? The woman who loved bragging about them to coworkers should matter to them, right?
Right. So we’ll make oatmeal raisin cookies and talk about Mimi today.
You know what’s weird, Mom? I’ve seen three women at three different times, strangers on the street, that looked so much like you, I lost my breath. As silly as it sounds, I thought, “Is she really alive? Why would she…” Then my brain kicks in, instead of my heart that longs to see your face and hear your voice so very much, and tears fill my eyes.
I just can’t stop missing you.
Life sure has changed since the last time I celebrated your birthday with you. I don’t think you’d be a fan of any of it. Except for the news about my children.
The kids have grown so much in these almost five years. I think you would have loved the kids at these older ages much more than when they were little.
You wouldn’t believe how old Hannah Beth looks. You’d be so very proud of her. She is beautiful inside and out. She reminds me of you every time she is buried in a book, which is almost every day, and every time she is a bit snarky, which is also almost every day.
Noah is really coming out of his shell. You would love talking with him. He likes to play cards and I’m pretty sure you’d try to talk me into letting you teach him how to play poker. You would snicker at his sense of humor. He is comfortable around adults and loves to create banter with them. I don’t know what kind of silly dialogue you two would have, but you would definitely have one.
Chloe would charm you every time the two of you spent time together. She loves to tell stories and has the sweetest spirit you’ve ever seen. She is thoughtful and gentle.
Phoebe, believe it or not, is your biggest fan. She talks about you often. She brings you up at unexpected times and keeps a photo of you on the wall by her bed. My heart aches in gratitude for that. The best part is that she really remembers you so very fondly, even though she was only four and a half when you died. I think she is a lot like you. I bet Aunt Rita would agree if she was able to see Phoebe more. That girl has spunk coming out of every pore.
Esther, well, she wishes she knew you because she knows how much you liked to shop. Out of everyone, she’s the girliest girl. She is also the biggest slob. You would want to brush her hair every time you saw her. And probably wash her face. I’m pretty sure I would giggle behind your back every time you walked in and said, “Esther, where’s the brush?”
Paul Louis, well, I know he would melt your heart. With your thing for boys and his thing for adorable grins, you would be at his beck and call. It would be a love fest.
Paul and I are well. Actually, we are at a tough season, Mom, and it’s made me miss you even more. I want to call you almost every week to ask your advice on something. I still head for the phone occasionally before that silly brain kicks in again.
I know my Loving Father’s plan is perfect, but I don’t see one good thing about you being taken from me/us. Not even one.
God knows I feel this way, since we talk, but feel free to tell Him yourself that I’m really struggling with losing you and all that has transpired as a result.
Mom, I want you to know that I’m sorry I didn’t show my appreciation for you, both as a person and as my mother, often enough. I’m so very sorry. I’m sorry that I allowed my pride, due to immaturity, to get between us having a closer relationship. I allowed my stance on some issues to create a wall instead of being willing to set them aside so we could connect more, really connect, not just spend time together.
I hope you know I loved you while you were here and that I love you still.
I know how proud you would be of me at writing my eBook. You were always my best cheerleader, is true mom style, and I know you’d be telling every single person at the hospital (while working) about it. I grin even now knowing how proud you are of me.
If I could give you a gift today, I’d give you a pair of Lucchese boots. I’d tell Paul to ignore the price tag.
If I could do anything with you today, I would take you to see the sting rays in Grand Cayman again. What a special memory that is for me. This time we’d bring the grandkids so you could watch them experience it.
So… do you get to eat oatmeal raisin cookies today while hugging Jesus? That would be a pretty great birthday. Especially if he gave you a brand new pair of really great shoes too.
Have a heavenly birthday. Literally.