Happiest of birthdays to the most amazing woman, my Mom.
How do you sum up anyone’s life in just a few words? Mom’s life has been a complex journey through childhood, marriage (58 years and counting), motherhood (particularly when you have 5 little ones under 8 early on), grand motherhood and her faith. And her latest challenge as of 4 weeks ago, learning to live without the use of her legs.
I will attempt, on this her birthday, to celebrate her spirit, her character, her spunkification (a new word we coined over the past weeks), and the rich life of a greatly beloved woman.
She’s a cool Grandma. She’s clever, she has an amazing laugh, think shoulder shaking, she is one of those people who know how to love unconditionally. She is luminous in her love for others.
My Mom is beautiful in spite of her pain and her recent medical issues. Beyond her pain and heartache there is a youthfulness about her. Especially when she breaks out in one of those shoulder shaking bouts of laughter. We are looking forward to the return of the shaking laughter!
It has been an honor to spend the past few weeks with my Mom. Of course, a tour of rehabs and hospitals is the best idea of a great time, said no one ever. Nevertheless, it has been a wonderful blessing to talk, share memories, encourage, show love, and advocate for her. It has also been an unintended opportunity to spend time with siblings, family, and friends. A time to witness how well-loved she is.
‘In a way, life is a mosaic. God gathers all pieces, and fragments, our gifts, and our talents, our pain and heartache. He takes memories and experiences and assembles them into a beautiful work of art that declares the greatness of His plans and purposes for each of us.’ All of the countless moments in her life have joined and intersected to show us her true spirit and life. Her astounding sense of humor, in a situation that would beat anybody down, is evident to all who came into contact with her, from the custodial staff to the Neurosurgeons. Across the weeks there were many who cared so gently for my Mom, and others who continue to do so. We are grateful to them all, but none can compare to Wilma. We met her at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. She is a woman of faith who can give a pep talk like none other. We hope to carry her spirit with us in the weeks ahead. She will not be forgotten. Mom loved her.
Mom only loves unconditionally; everybody. Her strength is greater than I think any of us realized. She has dealt with pain for decades. At times it would get the best of her, but she continued to love. There aren’t many that can love so freely. She loves hard, never leaving anything until tomorrow to say or do. She fully embraces the people who are in her life. Having this time with family opens our eyes to the greatness of her soul. Not only does she whisper over and over her love for each of us. But her need to lift her weak arms and wrap them around us when we see her is comforting. She loves the wonderful people who have married into our family. They are her family and she loves them like her own. We are all grateful and privileged to give back to her a portion of what she has given to us.
She is deeply loved. And she loves deeply.
I wish for her on her birthday and beyond, the joy and peace that passes all understanding.
Love you Mom.