Some days of the calendar are just a little more special than almost all of the others. Some calendar days resonate in our soul and take their place in line of importance behind Christmas and Easter. Of course our children’s birthdays and now their kid’s birthdays mean a lot, but without our mom’s birthday, none of us would have ours.
My mom’s birthday is August 30th, the day before my mom and dad’s anniversary. Some of the roughest days of the summer land on my mom’s birthday, but neither rain nor shine can take the meaning of that day away for her loved ones.
It was six or seven years ago, a year or two after my dad passed, since I surprised my mom for her birthday by showing up out of the blue unannounced.
That birthday she was at the sink doing dishes when I strolled up her front walk. She started crying tears of joy instantly.
I took care of loose ends and headed north. It’s about a two and a half hour drive from where I live in the Valley of the Sun to her place. It took a little longer this year with all the road work and detours… and people that do the speed limit…
It’s easy to throw my mom off and give her misdirection. I always text her early on her birthday and call later in the afternoon. I sent my yearly birthday greeting long before I started heading her way so she would have no way of knowing if I was coming to surprise her or not.
I knocked on my mom’s front metal screen door around noon. There was no answer, but I could hear the TV or radio blaring inside. I waited as long as an impatient person can and rapped the back of my knuckles on the metal door again, harder the second time.
Finally her front door opened, but with the sunlight glaring behind me and the tiny little circles on the bug screen, I couldn’t see her… but I heard her. When a person knows another intimately, like a mother and her children, you know the sound in their voice and if tears are accompanying their words. My mom’s was.
I gave my mom a hug and she cleared a place on her coffee table for the oversized arrangement that engulfed her quaint coffee table.
My mom asked me where I wanted to go for lunch. I reminded her that it was her birthday so it was completely up to her. We had a nice lunch in her favorite spot that fronts old Route 66. It’s a great place to remember the years of life and celebrate yet another one that God provides.
With age comes wisdom. By now I know how precious each year is and I don’t want to take any for granted. And certainly not the day and the year of my mom’s birthday.