Today is my mama’s birthday.
We won’t be celebrating with cake and ice cream, party streamers and funny hats. But we will be celebrating that she is here with us for another turn of the calendar page.
Because 25 days ago she was taken by lifeflight to the hospital and we weren’t sure she would be.
I’ve been down here with my parents more than at my own home these past weeks.
I woke this morning in the house my great-grandmother lived in, my grandmother lived in and in which my parents now live. I am the fourth generation to pad toward the kitchen in the dark, make the coffee and make my way toward the screened in front porch to talk to Jesus and watch the sunrise.
I’ve been thinking about not only the lives lived here, but the passing of time and those that have run ahead to heaven.
My great-grandfather was laid out in the living room. As a curious three-year-old my daddy told me Papa Cox was “sleeping” when I asked, “why?”.
My great-grandmother buried two children -those tiny bodies are laid to rest in the churchyard next to the rest of my kin gone before.
My grandmother suffered a massive stroke standing at the kitchen counter making breakfast and never woke again.
I have buried a son and started a new plot in the churchyard near my own home in Alabama-the DeSimones will wait together for that glorious Day.
Time doesn’t stop. The world will turn and the sun will rise. The years will pass and so, too, the generations.
It does no good to rail against the clock or the seasons.
This is trite, but true: Do not take the people you love for granted. Do not assume that there will be a “next time” for saying the things that need to be said, for giving a hug, for speaking blessing.
Not because you are afraid of death, but because while you live, you choose LIFE, you choose LOVE.
So today I won’t worry that I haven’t had a chance to get Mama a present or that she doesn’t feel like eating cake.
I will focus instead on the fact that she is HERE-that I am HERE-and that we are together.
I will be thankful that I have had many opportunities these last weeks to make sure no words are left unsaid.
I will rest assured that she knows she is loved.