I thought I’d surprise her for her birthday. She most definitely was that… I wish I would have had a camera to capture her reaction when she spotted me through her kitchen window as she was cleaning. It seems like my mom has been cleaning her entire life. She did her fair share of cleaning up after me, but that was a long time ago.
Shock mixed with gratitude reflected in the tears filling my mom’s eyes as she scurried from her kitchen to the front door to greet me with a hug. “What-a-ya’ you doing here?” My mom asked the question she already knew the answer to. “I came to take you to lunch for your birthday – Birthday Girl!” I announced. “Oh, Floyd – You’re too busy to be doing this!” she expressed with urgency. “Naw – I’ve got plenty of time for this type of stuff, mom.” I answered.
I’d been on the phone with my mom that morning to wish her a happy birthday and had business calls coming in so I told her I’d call her back later that afternoon. She didn’t know I was already driving to see her. Three hours later I showed up in person.
It doesn’t take much to bring joy to a parent really… Just a little selflessness and love that they tried to instill in us from the beginning.
My mom was excited to show me all the improvements she’d made on the little place, “Oh-oh, and look at this! I can sit here and have my coffee and look out at the trees!” she really knows how to find joy in the simplest of things. My mom pulled out the little chair from the small table to demonstrate where she sat in the mornings to have her coffee and take in God’s creation across the street.
I could see my mom there in the mornings drinking her coffee in my mind’s eye. A view from my mom’s chair… I also saw the empty chair beside her at the little two person table… That would have been where my dad would have sat… I could see that in my mind’s eye too… The reality that my mom sits alone at breakfast caused me to fight back emotion and swallow the lump in my throat. The last thing she needed on her birthday was me reminding her.
My mom doesn’t question God’s sovereignty or blessings, even when things don’t go her way… My dad was the same way. I love my mom for a multitude of reasons and that’s one of them. She counts her blessings everyday… Some days through tears… but she counts them all the same.
I took my mom to lunch at the old Route 66 Diner where the old juke box was playing songs from the fifties. The stroll down memory lane was inevitable I guess. The day after my mom’s birthday is my mom and dad’s anniversary… Those days will be difficult days for my mom the rest of her life, mine too I guess…
As I was leaving I disguised my heart, trying to protect my mom’s, “Well – You need to get back to work!” I said in a light manner. My mom smiled, fighting back tears, “I know! – I’ve got so much to do!” My mom loves a good challenge. I suppose I should thank her for that trait too.
If you asked my mom if the glass was half empty or half full, she’d tell you her glass or cup overflows with God’s grace and mercy… “Happy birthday, mom. I love you,” I said as I hugged and kissed my mom on the cheek. “I love you too… Thank you hun,” she answered. My mom really does appreciate the simple things in life…
I can read it in her tears…