Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank you God, for my mom.

Is there a day on your calendar that is marked by your heart? October 27th is that day for me. It is my mom's birthday. Growing up, us kids knew that this day was special for mom. Raising four children, this was the one day of the year that demanded we take our eyes off of ourselves and place them on her.

She would have turned sixty-three today.

This day used to be filled with phone calls, birthday cards, family dinners and birthday cake. For eight years now, October 27th has become painfully quiet. In some ways, growing older I need her so much more. We used to talk every day, sometimes numerous times a day to share a story, an update about family, a laugh or just to talk about what we had planned for the day. I miss her calls the most. I yearn for her to be on the other end of the telephone to share highlights of my children's lives. She would have loved to see Meghan go to her first dance Saturday night. Her heart would have swelled with pride over David's graduation from junior high last year. No doubt she would have bragged to everyone about Grace's first goal in soccer this year and made numerous calls to friends after hearing that Samuel scored five goals this Saturday at his game.

To fill you in on this special photograph, it was snapped a few months before cancer took her life. I had just stopped by to visit and while sitting on the stool beside her, I tried hard to talk to her about anything but the heartache staring me straight in the face. A very mischievous thought came to mind. I leaned down for dramatic affect, whispering in her ear, “You know what mom? I just had a great idea. I think I am going to toilet paper you.” Sadly immobile, a frightened smile lit her face, as she looked up at me with a you-wouldn't-dare look in her beautiful green eyes. My sister was my accomplice as we twirled the white toilet paper from top to bottom, creating beauty from the cold steel hospital bed. Lastly placing a paper white bouquet in her hands. All the while laughing until our sides hurt, tears streaming down all of our faces.

Just like vanilla candles, Jean Nate, Aunt Jemimah coffee cake and Greek cookies, October 27th fills my heart with my mother. I loved her so much. I still do. So today, the day that has been forever marked by my heart, I thank God for my mom. Cancer took so much away from her, from all of us, but it never took away our joy and I am anxiously counting the days until I can laugh with her again.

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A Stone Gatherer said...

Joanne what a beautiful tribute! I'm in tears! I wish I had that relationship with my mom! What great memories, even the toilet papering! Tears and laughs!

Mari said...

I have a day like that too - mine is December 21. My Mom has been gone for 5 years now and I miss her too. Like you said, it often hits on those special times. When something happens with the kids and you think - "Mom would have loved that". What a blessing to know that we will see them again! You'll be in my thoughts and prayers today.

Cheri said...

I agree with you- you do need them just as much if not more when you're an adult.
There are so many times, when I want to just call her to talk about certain things.
What a great reunion we'll all have someday!

Melanie said...

Oh, Joanne... such a beatiful tribute to your dear Mother. Praying for God's comfort and peace for you and your siblings as your celebrate her birthday today!

Me said...

Your mom would have been very proud of the woman you have become. I know I am!

Angie said...

Oh heart weeps for you. I wish so much that you could have been with us this past weekend for our "Sisters of Faith" retreat. It was incredible. Sisterless women became adopted into our large family of growing sisters. I want to add mother will gladly become you adoptive mom until you can join yours...and you can be my sister...until Aimee and I join Wanda...I think they would smile at this.

I love you girl!

Growin' with it! said...

boy joanne, i woke up w/ a cruddy morning and ended up in tears. felt terrible. my oldest walked in and hugged me and out blurted..."i miss my mom" from my own lips. still these moments that come and go in life and whamo..that heart ache is still there. i needed to be reminded to be joyful. thank you!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I think I'll go and call my mom right now.


Aly said...

Precious Joanne,

Such a loving tribute...and I can't help to laugh through the tears pouring out of my eyes...toilet paper your mother?! Gosh, I love you!! ;o) I pray that God's love overwhelms your heart with joy today. hugs.

Anonymous said...

I love this story! I got goose bumps as I read it. I too am very close to my mom and talk to her several times a day. I can't imagine life without her. What a wonderful tribute to your mom and the legacy she left behind. You had me laughing and crying at the same time! Thanks for sharing!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and your pain. This was a wonderful tribute to your beloved mother. That is too funny about the toilet paper but what a memory for you both.

Sara@ Butterville said...

This is my first time visoting, I came because I luv my friend Linda over at Grownin' and I wanted to tell you the comment you left her was SO heartfelt and touching.
I love that you TP'd your Mom. That is really funny!
It's hearing things like this that make me wish I could trade. Both of my parents are living, but not living among my life. It is very sad...I have come to terms with that, But when I hear people speek of how close they were to there Mother or Father and I sigh, wishing I could trade mine for that cruel? I hope it doesn't sound terrible, it's not meant to. Only God can change their hearts, he's allowed me to forgive. But I too feel that void. Is it better to have loved and lost or to have never been loved at all? Blessings to you.

About Me said...

You have a beautiful way of making beauty from ashes. What a loving tribute to your mom. I know she was incredible because she raised a wonderful daughter.

Anonymous said...

My heart is with you, friend. She was so special but you never told me about the TP! What a wonderful memory! Love & prayers~C

Tracy @ our Journey said...

It great that you have such sweet memories that you can chersih. Love the toilet paper picture, too cute.
Have a great week!

B His Girl said...

Joanne, The day you are waiting for will surely come. Joy! May the Lord wrap you in His arms.

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord said to her will be accomplished.

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful tribute to your lovely mother!

I also have a memory like that except it is of my dad. August 4th marked his 19th year of entering the Kingdom of God...where cancer can't hurt him anymore. September 7th, he would have been 82 years old. There hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't needed my "Daddy". I still miss him so much but nothing can steal my memories, love and the joy that fills my heart...just thinking about him.

Thank you for sharing your memories of your mother with us.

Kim N said...

That was a very touching tribute to your mom. It made me realize I need to pick up the phone more often and call my own mom. We chat online every day, but I need to hear her voice more often.

Starr said...

That was such a beautiful illustration of the relationship you had with your mom. I am blessed like that with my mom. Even though she lives 4 hours away from me, I am so grateful to have her still here in my life. Your article made me want to savor her even more than I already do.

May you be comforted today by knowing that God has your mom in His hands and that you were so blessed to have such a close relationship with her while she was here.

I love ya, girl.

Jensmere said...

Joanne, Angie directed me to you! And what a day for me to find precious Mother graduated a year and a half ago. Your post made me remember some of the fun things I would do with her, as she spent the last 2 1/2 years completely bedfast. Someday I'll tell you about the day I painted her toenails bright coral! She was helpless to stop me and had a fit!

I love your idea of having a special day to remember and celebrate your Mom's life. Perhaps I can make that happen for my family.

Be blessed, dear one!

Growin' with it! said...

i don't know if you are much into awards, but i gave you one on my post today. have a great day!

SpejoryMama said...

I'm not even sure now how I found your site but I have had you bookmarked for a couple months now...I am sure your mother would be so proud of the woman you've become. I lost my mother to cancer a little over a year ago and think of her every day. A friend pointed out to me that every time I praise God in song, I am fellowshipping with her as she praises God in heaven. Makes me want to put on the praise music. It's so good that you write about your memories so they live on and inspire others to capture memories of loved ones too.

Jenn V.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful tribute. God bless you.

constance said...

How precious!! Your mama would be so proud of you!! What a blessing you are to so fact everyone you come in contact with. I know that for a fact because when I met you for the first time you were a blessing right away. You make my heart smile!! You can call me everyday and tell me whatever you want to tell me!! Love you, Precious


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