Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Birthday....Me!

You know birthdays when you are a kid seem to be the most important things ever! You literally wish your life away as a child due to wanting the next birthday to come quickly. Grace is such a fan of birthdays. I figure it started right when we brought her home since 2 months later we were celebrating her 1st birthday. I know she doesn't recall that one but oh, she has the heart of a kid who likes to make someone feel special on their day of birth.

My birthday started a day early this year May 29th. I had to work on Friday but came home to a house quiet because Grace & her Poppa were gone somewhere. The kitchen table was set with three paper plates, napkins & three forks. Winston was home but no Grace or Tony. I had gotten home about 30 minutes early since we had a small number of requisitions to get done at the lab. I tried Tony's cell phone several times since he was on call for work & knew he needed to get in to the office soon. I was afraid he had gotten called out and had to take Grace with him. Everything did not add up since the table was set. Then I thought maybe they went out to get lunch for a special treat & surprise. An early birthday gift. Well a little while later I heard them come in. I was upstairs & Tony yelled, "please do not come down till we call you!" A few minutes later Grace's little voice hollered "Come on down Momma, we have a surprise for you!" In the middle of the table was a cake with a ton of candles lit(not 39 though--I do not think I had that many in the house), a bouquet of VERY colorful flowers, party hats & a homemade card by my precious Grace. I took a picture so you could see her surprise & her beautiful reads, "I will never take my heart off of you." It has a rainbow, "Anna's sky", hearts & a birthday cake. Ever since Anna died Grace & I think rosy sunsets are the picture of Anna in heaven. The rainbows are to remind us that God never forgets His promises. The hearts are something she is drawing daily here lately. She loves to draw rainbows & hearts. Just like most 5 year old girls.
I was informed by Tony that she woke him at 7:30 that morning to inform him of everything she wanted to do for my birthday. Tony explained over & over to no avail that my birthday was Sat. the 30th. She informed him in Grace's way that she wanted to surprise me starting Friday. She told him I needed to have a party & they were going to throw it. For those of you who have known me for a long time(most of my VA kindred spirits) you also know Tony. You know that Tony is not known for his romantic or even sweet gestures. He is just not that type of man. Never has been & finally I believe after 15 years of marriage I finally have accepted it. So to have my sweet 5 year old crack the whip, yank him to 3 stores & like a dog with a bone not let go of her plan.....well, it is hilarious. You go Grace! That is my baby! She has a HUGE heart. Her Poppa does not have a fighting chance when she is on a mission.
This story actually started about a week ago when Grace asked when I would have my party. I explained that most grown ups just did not have parties. That was something when you were little you did. She informed me that, "Momma, that is messed up!" "Even big people need to be happy." "Birthday parties make me real happy, Momma!" This conversation was going on while driving to the grocery store. Once we got to Kroger she saw a bouquet of daisies that they had died bright blue, yellow, orange, etc. She was so impressed by this. She said, "Momma they remind me of you...happy & full of sunshine & summertime." I told her yes, they were very pretty but was really concentrating on the produce section & my list. I did not say that I thought they were the craziest looking flowers I had ever seen.
So that is why I have the most colorful flowers ever imagined on my kitchen table this weekend. I adore every silly dyed daisy it holds. Tony tried very hard to get her to get some tea roses that he knows I love but she would not budge. She wanted the crazy daisies! While eating my cookies & cream cake with my most favorite person(Tony had a piece & had to head to work) Grace put her hot(her hands are always like little pieces of hot coal), sweet hand on mine and said very sincerely, "Momma, I hope you enjoyed your surprise. I think you have been so surprised you can not take much more. I want you to know I try really hard to do things to make you happy." The cake got stuck in my throat & the tears started to surface. I asked if I had been too sad lately? She shook her head and said "no", then looked right into my face & said, "I like it best when you smile though.....Momma, this made you smile." How can I ever be sad? How can I feel some days like I want to just.....stop. Just stop everything. Breathing, feeling and hurting. How can I feel like that when I have the most beautiful miracle still right with me. God has given me Grace and His will is for me to be happy with her and for her. This is a moment I will hold in my mind every "bad" day that surfaces in the future. I know they will be coming.
This birthday has been bitter sweet. Like most days, hours, minutes here lately. 39, one of those years that is well, really just a number. Next year is supposed to be the "biggie". Well, I look at 39 as "my biggie". It is the year that proves I can survive one of the most life changing and crippling events. It has shown me that I can live & slowly start to enjoy to live again. God can carry me in the cleft of His hand until I can walk again. God can take my bad days & handle the shake of my fist. He hears my cries & wipes my tears with His spirit. He gives me beauty in my family & shows me His face everyday in my Grace. So no, I am not upset to be one year away from 40. I praise God for continuing His unbelievable rebuilding of "me". I praise Him that I am still alive. I praise Him that I have Grace, Tony, Winston(da' hound), Dory(da' Fish) and all of our other family & friends we are blessed with. I praise Him that I am finally able to stand & starting to get my strength to walk maybe one day soon, run. 40--no biggie. If I made it to see 39, well, with my God & the loves of my life I can age without concern. My wrinkles & gray hair are my battle scars but I am still a warrior of the Highest of Kings. Thank you God! Thank you! Thank you!
No matter how many years pass, each of us remain forever new inside.
So celebrate! Souls that belong to Jesus never wrinkle!

Hugs, Jo

1 comment:

Jill said...

What a sweet girl you have!!
Happy Birthday Jo!
Hugs, Jill