Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Best Birthday Gift

When I was a young child, there are certain family members that I remember loving so very much. It was my aunts and my grandma who were my favorites. I was closest to my mom's youngest sister Cathy as a child and young adult. She was only fourteen years old when I was born. I remember as a little girl asking to try on her song girl outfit, sleepovers at her first home when she was a newlywed, hanging out with her at the court house where she worked (and having her and her friends XEROX my face and hands on the printer!) wedding showers and baby showers that she threw for me. I remember at seventeen, driving to the hospital with my girlfriend when she gave birth to her daughter Lindsey. She was the one I would turn to when I desperately needed a babysitter for Meghan and again the one I turned to when I was so heartbroken over mom's cancer. When I had my daughter Meghan, I think my Aunt Cathy was almost as excited as my own mother was. The first ten years of Meghan's life she was a constant fixture. My oldest two children were so blessed to have her around. She just doted on the little ones so much.

Six years ago my aunt and I had a disagreement. I come from a family who has a bad habit of not talking to one another when hurtful words are said. To tell you the truth I don't remember exactly all that was said between us, I just remember being hurt and I am sure that I hurt her too.

We haven't seen each other or talked much for years now.

My aunt has missed out on being a part of my youngest two childrens' lives. That has been so hard for me. No longer do I call to share with her about something funny the kids have done, or said. No longer does she receive calls from my kids inviting her to their birthday parties or school activities. I don't even think my youngest two would know her if they saw her today. In return, I wasn't there for my cousins big days, their graduations or special birthdays. It has been a hurt that over time I have let become a callous on my heart...dead skin so that I don't feel the pain. She has gone through some very difficult health issues and I make sure to keep up with how she is through my other aunt and Grandma. Praying for her if I know she isn't well. The past few months I truly belive that the Lord has put her on my heart. Like Jacob with the Lord, I wrestled with God about this...ALOT. "What would I say to her Lord?" "I wasn't completely at fault here God!" "How can I make things right?"

Yesterday was my 40th birthday. It was dark when the doorbell rang. My husband answered it and received a package from UPS. It was from my Aunt Cathy, for me. Inside was a book and some wonderful smelling lotions from Victoria Secret. I immediately called her to thank her. After so many years, I still know her phone number by heart. When my aunt answered we had a wonderful conversation. I loved hearing her voice and that thick protective skin on my heart became so very soft. I have missed her so much.

With my mom gone, having my aunt remember me on my birthday was more of a blessing than I can convey with words. We ended our conversation with telling each other 'Love you'.

This was my best birthday gift this year.

I only wish I had given her this gift on her birthday.


Praise and Coffee said...

You are a winner on my blog, come see me!

Mari said...

We have been through those types of issues with my husbands family. I can feel your joy and tears at receieving that gift. I'm really happy for you and happy for your soft heart.

A Stone Gatherer said...

It's never to late to send give her a gift now! Thanks for this post. I come from a large family and we have alot of walls up! May my heart be softened to make that call! BTW HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!

connorcolesmom said...

First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
What a wonderful gift that both you and your aunt received on that day. A gift of forgiveness and healing.
May God bless this relationship and may no weapon forged against your relationship ever prevail!!
Much love,

Rebekah said...

Happy birthday! That is an awesome gift God gave you.

Chelle' said...

Hey- I meant to talk about this when I called you today... but we talked about so much I forgot to comment so I came back here...

I am so happy for you. I am a recovering grudge holder. I don't know why because my mom was and is not a grudge holder. I got it somewhwere however and have spent many a day avoiding someone that hurt me.

I am so happy to read that both you and your aunt made the choice not to let pride and or insecurity ROB you of another moment of joy and unity in the Lord.

God is so great to restore what the locusts have devoured isn't He?

As the David Crowder band so aptly states...
"O pra-ise Him!
O pra-ise Him!
He is Ho-ly!
He is Ho-ly!

How infininte and sweet
This love so rescuing
Oh how infinitely sweet
This great love that has redeemed
As one, we sing...


Talk to you again soon friend.

Jess said...

What a sweet story! It's funny, because I just covered that part of "Breaking Free" last night - about cutting off people in your family who offend...
I'm so glad she sent you that great reminder that she's been thinking of you and I'm sure missing you just as much as you have missed her.
I hope you had a great birthday! I know that helped. :)



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