Today is my mother’s birthday. If she were alive, she would be 66. She would have celebrated her 50th anniversary this past March. She would have come to Abilene to see my new house and celebrated that her second grandbaby is at college.
But last year, last summer, on July 19th, my mother died.
She went home to be with Jesus. She went home singing. She went home dancing. She went home worshiping the Lord.
I want to do something for my mother’s birthday, but I don’t know what. If I had freshman during this day, I would pass out cards and make them write their mothers, or someone they love like a mother, or someone who has mothered them. But I have sophomores and it doesn’t match the class.
If it were my birthday, my mother would send cake and flowers, plates and forks, to my classroom. But I can’t send those things to heaven. And if I could, what kind of wonderful would the cake have to be? Even better than Lacey Williams Herring’s cakes, which is saying something!
So what will I do for this birthday?
I don’t know.
Except that I want to tell you that my mother, who got married incredibly young and stayed married until the day she died, who loved my dad and the four of us kids with every ounce of strength she had, who could find out more about a person (and remember it forever) than anyone else on the planet, who died of a brain tumor misdiagnosed as medically induced bipolar, taught me many things in life, some of which I recognized immediately and some of which I still haven’t figured out.
One thing I knew fairly early on, though, was that my mother taught me how to pray. My mother had an unshakable faith in God’s power and willingness, and even in his eagerness, to answer our prayers. She prayed with fervency. She prayed often. She knew that prayer was the answer to many dilemmas.
So, for my mother’s birthday, I am going to pray.
I am going to pray for my ten closest friends and their extended families (one per finger or toe–helps me remember).
I am going to pray for the ten lost sheep of the Davis oikos (including my mother’s oldest grandson and the devastated brother of a friend from my last experience as a teacher at ACU [Audra]).
And I am going to pray for whatever else God puts before me, including:
Kendra, and her brain surgery that removed 2.5 tumors today
my students, especially the freshmen as they deal with homesickness
my teaching, that God will work through me and give me wisdom
my community involvement, and whether or not I should commit to cleaning up the four blocks around my house for the next X years as the Jennifer Haston Memorial
my husband’s present and future health, work, school, especially as it relates to his move to Abilene
Tell me why the stars do shine.
Tell me why the ivy twines.
Tell me why the ocean’s blue
and I will tell you just why I love you.
Because God made the stars to shine.
Because God made the ivy twine.
Because God made the oceans blue.
Because God made you, that’s why I love you.
(Link to the song my mother used to sing to me.)
Mom, I know you are bending God’s ear about Elijah. Thank you for that. Tell Grama and Pappa Davis I said hello. And I hope God gives you the biggest and best birthday party ever, if they do birthday parties in Heaven. I love you, Mommy.
God, thank you for giving me a godly mother.