Is there a day on your calendar that is marked by your heart? October 27th is that day for me. It is my mom’s birthday. Growing up, us kids knew that this day was special for mom. Raising four children, this was the one day of the year that demanded we take our eyes off of ourselves and place them on her.
She would have turned sixty-three today.
This day used to be filled with phone calls, birthday cards, family dinners and birthday cake. For eight years now, October 27th has become painfully quiet. In some ways, growing older I need her so much more. We used to talk every day, sometimes numerous times a day to share a story, an update about family, a laugh or just to talk about what we had planned for the day. I miss her calls the most. I yearn for her to be on the other end of the telephone to share highlights of my children’s lives. She would have loved to see Meghan go to her first dance Saturday night. Her heart would have swelled with pride over David’s graduation from junior high last year. No doubt she would have bragged to everyone about Grace’s first goal in soccer this year and made numerous calls to friends after hearing that Samuel scored five goals this Saturday at his game.
To fill you in on this special photograph, it was snapped a few months before cancer took her life. I had just stopped by to visit and while sitting on the stool beside her, I tried hard to talk to her about anything but the heartache staring me straight in the face. A very mischievous thought came to mind. I leaned down for dramatic affect, whispering in her ear, “You know what mom? I just had a great idea. I think I am going to toilet paper you.” Sadly immobile, a frightened smile lit her face, as she looked up at me with a you-wouldn’t-dare look in her beautiful green eyes. My sister was my accomplice as we twirled the white toilet paper from top to bottom, creating beauty from the cold steel hospital bed. Lastly placing a paper white bouquet in her hands. All the while laughing until our sides hurt, tears streaming down all of our faces.
Just like vanilla candles, Jean Nate, Aunt Jemimah coffee cake and Greek cookies, October 27th fills my heart with my mother. I loved her so much. I still do. So today, the day that has been forever marked by my heart, I thank God for my mom. Cancer took so much away from her, from all of us, but it never took away our joy and I am anxiously counting the days until I can laugh with her again.