Ring ring…..ring ring….. “Hey, Mama! I’ve been wantin’ to catch up with you and, oh yeah! Happy Birthday! ……..Mama? Mama?”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about calling you since February. You come to mind all the time, but I’m always left standing there alone, with what I want to share with you. So I’m writing this letter to you instead. At least I will have gotten my thoughts OUT, whether you read them or not. 77 years old! I know, I know…you feel like you’re 90. Wait! Not any more!
I know you can’t be here today. Yes, you have better plans. Worshiping at the feet of Jesus? Yes, those are MUCH better plans. But if you were here, I’d come over to the house and sit with you today. So let’s pretend you came and met me there, OK? Here’s how I think it would have happened…
“Let’s just sit and talk, OK? I know you probably aren’t up to much else. But you look very strong today! Great actually!” I sit down in my usual spot, next to “your chair” with it’s great view of the back yard. As usual, the birds are active on the back porch. There’s Joe, the cardinal with the deformed beak. I see Daddy is keeping plenty of food for him on the rail, since he has to turn his head sideways to eat. Look! There’s Peek-a-boo! Yes, that regular visitor to the glass of the back door, the Eastern Towhee that you so aptly named. He’s surprised to see you, I think. It’s been a long time. The sock feeder is teeming with goldfinches.
What was that? Oh no! One hit the window! He’s fine though, because you prayed over him, just as you always did before.
Hey, let’s take a walk, considering how wonderful you look today. I get it. That old sick body is gone! As we walk out into the yard, flowers that had recently started to fade are lighting up again! You’ve been in the presence of your Maker, THEIR Maker. They can feel His glory as you walk by. Yes, I know; it’s not you. It’s Him they are responding to. We must give Him the glory.
As we walk down the hill into the back yard, you tell me the names of each type of rose. Your Peace rose is my favorite. Daylillies. Irises. Wanna look in the bluebird box? Let’s do it! It’s full of baby birds! Did you notice the mother bluebird isn’t on that limb fussing at you for being too close to her babies? She can tell you’ve been in His presence too.
That magnolia tree has held lots of grandchildren, hasn’t it, Mama? The Lord kept them safe in it’s strong branches, even when they were just inches from the top it seemed. So beautiful!
The birdbath is full of water…and birds! Oh yes! Those camellias have always been a favorite of yours, especially since they bloom when it’s cold and everything else is brown! I have one now too, Mama. Cathy (Hamilton) gave it to me the day of your funeral. It is full of buds too. I can’t wait till it blooms and I can send her a picture! Thank you for sharing your friends with me, Mama.
As we come into the kitchen, I notice all the little things sitting on the window sill. Some would call it junk, but I know that there is a story behind every little thing there, including that rock. If I remember correctly, the story behind that rock includes a grandchild.
No, let’s not go into the living room. It’s difficult for me to see it as your living room. It was a hospital room for so many months. It’s where you left me. So no, let’s go somewhere else.
Yes, the computer is still in Allan’s old bedroom. Can you believe that I taught Daddy how to email? At 79 years old! Considering he didn’t even know how to type, I’d say that was amazing! Slow, but amazing. You spent so much time at that desk. Hours and hours typing out your prayer letter. Yes, I know you didn’t just type it. You PRAYED it. Daddy said he saw you there many days, hands raised toward heaven, bringing those needs to your heavenly Father.
Just like the kitchen windowsill, there are knick-knacks all over the room. Again, each has a story, a special person behind it. Books, books books…and this is just ONE of the places you stored them. Many of them contain your handwriting, notes of importance to your heart. But none of them compare to your Bible. I’d love to sit with you sometime so you can explain all these notes. Some I can figure out on my own, but some…I can tell there is more to it. You had your issues, just like the rest of us, but you were a woman of His Word. You read it faithfully. One of my favorite memories is seeing you up late at night with that Bible in your lap. Remember when you hurt your hand and were in so much pain? You went to sleep listening to The Bible on my phone. I think you listened to at least 40 of the Psalms. It was very calming to you when you were in great pain. Another great memory.
We’re back where we started, me sitting by you and you in your chair. Some would think that chair was in an awkward spot in the room, but we knew different. It wasn’t awkward, it was strategically placed for your viewing pleasure. It was there so you could see God. And you did.
You need to go? Well, if you have to. I have so much more to say. I’ll save it for next time. Yes, every time I see a bluebird, I think of you. Actually, birds in general are far more special to me now. Thank you for that. Thank you for sharing His presence with me. I know it’s always here with me, but I don’t always choose to see it. Yes, I will pray about that. I have not because I ask not. Nothing more important that prayer, communicating with Him. Thank you for being such an example of that to me, whether it be over some great need like the serious illness of a friend, or simply a stunned bird that flew into the window.
I love you, Mama.
Yeah, I knew you’d say that.