The Greatest Gift

Today is my mommy’s birthday. Had she lived, she’d be 66.

She hated having a birthday so near Christmas. She always felt like she missed out on something, having the two blurred together by only 3 days. If someone so much as wrapped a birthday gift in Christmas paper, you’d hear about it.

She’s been departed from her earthly body for over 8 years. But it still feels like yesterday.

In the “season on giving”, one is forced to become introspective. What was the greatest gift she ever gave me?

Her love? Yes. Her hugs? Certainly? Her humor? Without a doubt.

But there is something else that stands out, something that has guided me through every long and short day since her death.

Her Hope. Her optimism. And most importantly, her guiding wisdom:

All things as they are meant to be.

Truly. All things. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Perceived luck, positive and negative. The miraculously caught bus and the annoying traffic ham that makes you late. The promotions and the job losses. The new friends and the painful feuds. The miraculous “coincidences” and the unforeseeable tragedies. Everything is part of a unspeakably beautiful tapestry, each thread, light and dark, woven into its ideal place. The picture only visible from a distance.

I am someone she didn’t know the last time she blew out candles on a cake. Stronger. More resourceful and resilient. More creative. Braver.

I am the “me” I couldn’t be within her shadow. The diamond that has emerged from untold duress and pressure.

And for every ounce of love, wisdom, joy and sacrifice she poured into me, I am so very grateful.

Happy Birthday mommy! Love you forever and always.

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