My mom would have been 87 years old today. This is the first birthday after she died and surprisingly I have not been sad about it. I attribute that to God’s great grace. Make no mistake. I miss her and still grieve her loss. There is not a single day goes by that I do not miss her or think about her and all that she meant to me. But in her final years she struggled with her physical infirmity and didn’t really look forward to her birthday as she once did. Today, however, she is freed from all that. She is with my dad, whose death she never got over, and best of all, both of them are with the Lord who loves them and gave himself for them so that they could be with him. I consider that the best birthday present she could get.
And then tonight my aunt Betty called me “Kevie,” an affectionate name mom used to call me, as she said goodbye to me on the phone. I don’t ever recall aunt Betty calling me Kevie and it touched my heart because for a moment there it sounded just like mama talking to me.
To top it all off, as my wife and I were listening to music on the porch, Louis Armstrong’s, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” played. That was one of my mom’s favorite songs and it was so appropriate that it played on her birthday because she really did think this is a wonderful life. That’s just the kind of person mom was. So I got a couple of nice birthday presents on my mom’s birthday—imagine that. It’s just like my mama to be thinking of her kid on her birthday. And it’s just like the Lord I love to allow her to do that for me.
Happy birthday, mom. I love and miss you. Life’s never going to be the same without you here. But as you know better than me, the great thing about being a Christian is that infirmity and death do not have the final say. I fully expect to live with you and dad forever in the presence of this great and glorious God we love, and who loves us even more than we can comprehend or imagine. Give dad and the rest of the family a hug and kiss for me.