Thursday, January 27, 2011
We shared a special day.
I was born fifteen minutes before midnight. My mother had been in labor for many, many hours (she reminds me) and finally I emerged from birth waters into the arms of the doctor just a few short minutes before the turn of the day. Therefore, I was brought into the world on my grandmother's 42nd birthday, her first grandchild of seven. Whew! I barely made it!
Being born on her birthday was one of the greatest gifts that the Lord ever bestowed on both of us.
January was always a lean month, especially when I was a child. Christmas gift giving and extra food for holiday celebrations had usually squeezed all of the extra out of spending and most of my birthday gifts were insignificant. In fact, I don't remember any of the gifts that I received on my birthday. Well, I do remember a beautiful winter coat that I received the year I was in middle school. I had drooled over the picture of it in the Sears catalogue for hours and hours. I couldn't believe it when I found it hanging in my bedroom. That beautiful warm coat was an exception. My mother was very conscious of our lack and always fretted about my gifts being small, but I never thought of it that way. Grandma, one of my favorite people in the whole world, shared my birthday and that was a wonderful gift to me.
She died when I was 42 years old on a very hot summer day. Days before her death, she had a vision that she was dancing with Jesus. "Right there," she pointed her long finger to a spot on the floor at the end of her hospital bed, "we were right there dancing, He and I. Surely someone saw us." My grandma was not demented in her final days. I always believed her story and I treasure the memory of her tale.
I turned fifty last week, this is my year of Jubilee. It has been eight years since Grandma left with her dancing shoes on. Every year I feel the ache of her absence as my life goes on and I keep having birthdays without her.
January 20th is a day that is usually extremely cold, someone is usually sick, and everyone's pockets are nearly empty, but I wouldn't want any other day to be my birthday. One of these days, when I stop celebrating my birthdays here, I will witness with my own eyes, Grandma dancing with Jesus. Reunited, we will celebrate our born again birthday together with all the hosts of heaven because that is the birthday that really matters.
"Your days for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16