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First Birthday Without Her

By Belinda

My birthday just over a week ago, made me feel very grateful for the people I love and who love me back.

I've noticed as I've grown older that the  quantity of cards gradually goes down over the years; but each one: each phone call; each special yearly ritual observed, is more precious, because of those with whom they are shared. Old friends; shared memories; forgiven wounds; promises to love forever held true to; faith kept; these are things that only increase in value with every year.

On my birthday I felt lavishly loved and spoiled from beginning to end, so it took me by surprise, the wave of grief at missing her; the one who has shared every one of my 61 birthdays up to this one, in a way more intimate than anyone else. We were the only two who were actually there on the inaugural birthday after all. It was the day we separated for the first time physically, and I loved to hear her tell how all through the labour she focused on what lay at the end of it; that she would hold her baby in her arms. And then she said to the nurse, "Is that all?" when it was over.

"I think that was quite enough!" laughed the nurse.

Driving home from work on the day of my birthday I felt a sudden pang of loneliness at someone so special missing from my life.

I sighed a big sigh as I put down my briefcase in the hallway and picked up the phone. The rapid beeping signaled a message waiting. I punched in the code and heard the voice of my dear mum-in-law on the answering machine.

I called her number and got her right away. I told her how I'd felt so lonely for Mum, but how her voice was such a comfort. "I do still have a mum," I said.

"Oh, I'm not your real mum," she said sadly.

"Yes, you are. You've got me and you're stuck with me," I laughed, and suddenly I felt so much better. 

Just a few days before I had received an email from one of Mum's best friends since the 1940's--Auntie May. Her email started:
Good morning Belinda,How are you? My thoughts are always with you,loving you and wishing you well...
(then after some bits of news she ended...)
Tom and I send our love to you both, and your family, (I use your Mum's cream and wipes every day) I can see her smiling at me and saying(good girl!!!) Aunty May xxxx.
Mum had a pact with Auntie May that if anything happened to either of them, they would look after the other's children. Auntie May is keeping the pact faithfully.

So I've survived this first. And God was so good in giving two  special angels to share it.


Marilyn said…
This was so beautiful, Belinda!

- Marilyn
Brave Raven said…
So sad for you. I think in heaven she knows what day it is. Happy Birthday.
Belinda said…
Thank you Marilyn, like me, you know this feeling.
Belinda said…
Dear Brave Raven,
So many blessings overflow, yet I feel I have to honour the mourning for a loss that is real. It all just "is" at once!
Anonymous said…
A friend was telling me it is 42 years today when her Mom went to be with the Lord ... and she still misses her.

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