You would be amazed by the number of people I have met in my life who have the birthday April 8th, but…hate to break it to ya, no one quite compares to my mama. Today, she would be turning 58, and nothing brings me more joy than being able to honor and celebrate her life, and the gift it was to me. It’s been a few years of her birthday passing by without me really taking time to reflect on her life, so I thought I’d change things up a bit this year by blogging a little bit about who she was, and I hope you enjoy hearing a little bit about my mom, Debbie.
She loved and lived for relationships, and she loved being with people. She was often known as being one of the last to leave the party, as she hated missing out (a trait she seemed to pass on to her youngest daughter). She was the oldest of eight, and was close to each one of her siblings in a special and unique way. Her friendships were dear, and she loved spending time with each one of them, as one of her most cherished relationships was with Christ, and she experienced much joy spurring on those close to her in their own walk with Him. On one of my birthdays, she shared with me, “celebrate each day-it’s one of God’s precious gifts to you to enjoy and to use as a vehicle to love, honor and glorify Him.” She was an amazing example of living life to be in God-glorifying relationships, and I will always cherish the words she spoke and the love she showed to me and so many others in her life.
Now, she also loved German Chocolate Cake, and each year on her birthday my Grandma Kate would make it for her from scratch. So today, though it’s not my grandma’s, I thought it would be fun to make (almost all of it from scratch) and celebrate her life. My friends and I have a tradition on birthdays where we all go around and say our favorite thing(s) about the birthday gal or guy. It’s actually one of the greatest gifts to give, and one of the most humbling to receive, and I wish more than anything my mom was here today; to be celebrated by her family and friends and to be able to hear how amazing and deeply loved she was by all of us surrounding her.
So today, I eat a piece for me and a piece for her. And I remember all the things I loved about her, and I wish I could tell it all to her. I would tell her that I loved her joy. That I loved her smile, and especially her laugh. It was loud, but so is mine. I would tell her that I loved her gray hair, and I loved her rosy cheeks. I would tell her that I loved her love for McDonald’s Diet Coke, and how she always had Winterfresh gum on hand. I would tell her that I loved her everyday hoodless sweatshirt and leggings outfit, and maaaaybe even the wind pants and turtleneck combo too. I loved when she gave me back scratches every night until I fell asleep and I loved when she called me Lulu Belle. I would tell her that I loved her relationships with her brothers and sisters, and loved how they would stay up until 4am at Thunder Lake around the fire, having life conversations and quoting their favorite SNL skits in hysterics. I would tell her that I loved how she loved the movie “Meet the Parents” so much that she saw it five times in theaters, and I would tell her that I loved that she loved ME so much that she bought me every single Beanie Baby in existence. I would tell her that I loved all the notes she wrote me, and the encouragement and support she gave me each day. I would tell her that I loved coming home from school to find her watching Oprah, and after it was over, letting her in on all my life secrets from the day. I would tell her that I loved her love and commitment to the Lord, and how it has inspired me in ways I will forever be grateful for. I would tell her that I loved how she didn’t let cancer define her life, but instead allowed it to draw her closer to others and the Lord. I would tell her that she taught me how beautiful relationships are, and how much I wish she was here to see where her family and friends are in their relationships with others. And I would most of all tell her that I plain and simple loved her love. For me, Bren, Linds and my dad. And that her love is missed the most, in the deepest part of my heart.
Happy Birthday mama! Know that your life is being celebrated today…not only by me writing this post, but also by eating an entire cake. Why did it take me almost 25 years to realize how good it truly was?! Love you. Xxoo