Because I didn’t send a card in time…..

When she awakes in the morning and reads this, as she does so faithfully everyday, it will be her birthday.  This is part of celebrating her birthday “all week long” as Mama learnt us to do all these years (It’s also because not only did I forget the peaches, I also forgot the card.   And Cooter deleted the picture of the flowers I took that I was going to send.  *sigh*)

My first memory of her

is reaching up to take her hand

as she takes me for a walk down that old dirt road

and she smiles

the smile that has not changed once

over all the years

The smile that gave me comfort

and filled me with love

still does today

as recently as a few hours ago

She shared with me her love of reading,

of books, of yarn, of General Foods International Coffee

Irish Mocha Mint

(I felt quite grown up and proper, you know)

and of all things English

It was her name on the paper

We would be hers if “anything” happened

A promise to them she took seriously

and still does–there is never a time she doesn’t answer

She tells me stories of my Daddy

how he let her curl up next to him on his bed

while he was reading

How he read to her

(I wonder if she knows how much her big brother’s face always lit up

when he mentioned her name)

How he took her to a book store and ignited her love for reading too

Just as she took me all those years ago

I spent $3.85 and fell in love with having books on my shelf

A love that has filled my heart and my home

thank you

She makes me laugh and listens well,

a gift beyond measure

I see him and others in her eyes

and her voice is home to me

She was Mama’s friend,

the first day of school celebration with “Jeremiah Johnson,”

was that every year, I wonder

She listened and weeped with Mama and laughed over the

antics and joys of having grands

And when the time came she stood around a bed, not once

but twice, she loved them too

so very much

While on this journey she has offered carrots, advice, corn, onions, help,

sweet potatoes, newspapers, new potatoes, squash, beans, hugs, flowers, tears, and

Love

And cupcake tins are okay to use without the liner, you know, and

puppies in heat, well, good luck with that *smile*

And bail money?  “I got it, do what you gotta do”

She has sat by my side and said, “It’s okay” when I just couldn’t anymore

And she has looked at me and said “You are your Mama’s daughter”

more than once

and those words that once would have made me cringe

thirty years ago or twenty or ten

Are the greatest of all gifts to me now

She has hugged me and held me

And crossed her fingers and talked to God for me

She has remembered with me and

Sat in the dark with me, showing up

when I needed her most, always

She is a Mama, a Grandmother, a sister, wife, friend, and daughter

But forever and always, she was my first true love,

the first person I remember loving outside of the people who gave me life

and still today, her name means LOVE to me

Grace personified, a beautiful soul

who knows me and calls me by name

who loves me and gives me hope and

who knows a lot about math–

we had the same teacher you know, years apart–

multiplying the joys and dividing the sorrows,

she’s really good at both

I’m afraid that I need to learn another language

to find the right words, enough words,

to express how full she makes my heart

She would probably want me to say here, at some point,

“she is not perfect”

and there it is for any who believe it

but what matters is

She is a gift that God gave the world,

to show us the peace and wonder and light

there is in the midst of all the brokenness

She is a reminder that we are loved

And that will do for a birthday Monday

Sometimes you’ll stumble – sometimes you’ll just lie down
    Sometimes you’ll get lonely – with all these people around
    You might shiver when the wind blows – and you might get blown away
    You might lose a little color – you might lose a little faith

      We are each other’s angels – we meet when it is time
      We keep each other going – and we show each other signs

Tonight I had the privilege of hearing David LaMotte play live at The Light at Bare Bulb Coffee.  Hearing him play was the only thing that tore me away from visiting with my  Aunt, who makes me laugh and hears me cry.  And hears me laugh and makes me cry.  (in a good way) I am glad I did.  It was while sitting, listening to him perform this song “We Are Each Other’s Angels,” that I thought about her and her birthday and who she is.   She is my Angel.  She is a blessing. And I love her.

Happy Birthday!  And as Mama would say, Happy Everyday!  Love you.

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