Last week, on my birthday, I was scrolling Facebook. I follow a page called “Phantom Stranger’s Wild Wild West”. The page posted a photo of Natalie Wood in her role on “The Searchers”. It was then I learned her birthday was also July 20th.
I was immediately reminded of a “birthday gift” I received several years after my mother passed away.
I have never worked on my birthday. I have always taken the day off. One of those days, I went to an “antique” mall and was browsing through the booths. My eye was caught by the magazine cover in the picture I have included with this letter.
Several things were significant enough to me for me to have no doubt in my mind it was my mother reaching out to me from the spirit world or the Holy Spirit providing very specific comfort. Not trying to be spooky or flaky. I just can’t overlook these things as coincidence. First, my mother’s favorite color was orange. That in itself is unusual. She is the only person I ever heard say orange was their favorite color. She loved Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner. I think McCall’s was one of the the only magazines for which she ever subscribed. And most significant. This issue is July 1965. The month and year I was born. I wish I could remember how old I was when I found it. Maybe 40 or so? I bought it and framed it and had it on the wall for a few years.
So then again last week, I felt Mother wishing me happy birthday through a Facebook post on some random page I follow. Natalie. July 20th.
I don’t care if anyone thinks I am stringing too much together. Making too much of it. Even my mother would have looked askance at me for this, I think. But she knows more now, living on the other side with the Lord.
Anything I can latch on to that helps keep her memory renewed in my heart and allows me to forward her legacy of love on to her descendants is worth anyone thinking I am flaky.
He and the children and the tiny ones took me to the zoo for my birthday adventure. It was hot, of course. July in Southeast Texas. The zoo we visited is small and canopied with tall shade giving trees. A lot more bearable for the tiny ones and this old one.
We followed with a train ride around the little lake and then on to eat a Mexican food luncheon. The cafe gave me a caramel drenched brownie and the tiny ones helped me eat it. Actually, he fed it to the three of us since they were in my lap. The two of them beat me to most of the bites.
We had a lot of laughing and playing. What else could I wish for than to have all of them with me?
Our daughter and her tiny one spent the whole weekend with us, leaving on Monday. We went to see my Daddy’s sister for a brief visit. Didn’t get to see the other one on that trip.
Seeing my aunt filled me with such emotion. I get it every time I see either of my Daddy’s sisters or my Mama’s sisters. It is hard to describe the feeling. I liken it to the sense of being adrift at sea and finally washing up on a welcoming shore.
And yet, it starkly reminds me of the many long years he and I have been without our mothers and our fathers. Years that they might have still spent with us. That loss seems to echo in me more as the years pass, rather than less.
All I can do is love the tiny ones extra for the ones gone on ahead and then love them some more for me. And try to be a welcoming shore for them as long as I am allowed to remain.
Kitchen window. Stained glass from him for my birthday. New curtain panel stitched and installed yesterday.