As the fog clears from my brain early this morning, I remember her. It’s her birthday.
I plug in the coffee pot and turn the numbers on my perpetual calendar to November 4. And I think of that day 18 years ago when she entered this world.
I missed being at the hospital, thinking we had plenty of time to get there. Her three-and-a-half-year old sister was brought to us in the night while mommy, daddy, and the second set of grandparents hurried to labor and delivery.
I carried a pager in those days, and that was the thing that alerted me to the news. I listened to the message of “we have a baby girl,” with a mixture of joy at her arrival and disappointment at missing this important moment.
I suppose I made up for that one time not being there by being here in the house next door to hers. For ten years she lived close enough for me to hear her playing in their yard, to see her wave and shout, “Hi Grammy.”
I found two pictures recently of the lane in front of our house, and I wondered why I had taken them with no apparent reason. Then I spied three tiny figures walking toward our house. With a magnifying glass I could see them, my three grandchildren, ages three, four and seven on their way to Grammy and Papaw’s for who knows what kind of adventures. Hot cocoa, dress up, games, books – these were possibilities. She was the one out front, skipping along while her older sister held the youngest by the hand. Sweet remembrance.
They always brought the sunshine when the door opened to them, whether they came by one or by three.
We two are miles apart now. I miss getting to celebrate with this special young woman today. Our connection is the Birthday Box I priority mailed to arrive in time. It contains items I hope will please her, and a sealed zip bag of my special hot cocoa mix, because that is a memory we hold and my Happy Birthday wish across the miles.
She’s a busy girl now, with school, choir, friends and family activities. She’s beautiful and graceful, funny and creative, loving and her own unique self. I’m happy that she is happy, flourishing, and becoming.
But I miss her. Especially today. On her birthday.
So I pray a blessing to the Father who knows no distance. Whose hand reaches mine and touches hers. The One who holds her life in His strong hand and knows the way He plans for her to go.
I trust and believe that He hears my prayers for her. His heart is tender towards mine and the longing I feel. He sees the tears that gather in my eyes even as I write.
My Father’s heart is tender towards her too, His love far greater than mine can ever be. He has a future for her, and He will guide her to it.
“I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.
Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have Breath.”
— Psalm 116:1-2, NLT