Today is your birthday. It is a Sunday morning. You would have been 86 on earth today, and knowing you, you would be just as neatly dressed and coiffed as ever! I sincerely doubt you would have on long pants unless it was bitter cold…which it certainly is not right now! But your out fit would be a complete ensemble of panty hose, shoes, purse, and jewelry that matched. (I think some of that stuck with me…but I’m really OK with the pants thing now…just never shorts or jeans. I think you would approve! Very few men wear a suit and tie anymore. Church is way more casual. But, Don and Tommy and Pop and a few others who are our age or older still do. Joy wears pants, too!)
You would sit in your special place next to daddy. You would not be very at ease in the song service, There would be mostly songs you didn’t know. And all that clapping would not set well with you, for sure. However, You would sit next to Pop and smile and just hold your clasped hands gently in your lap. We usually sing 1 hymn. You wouldn’t need a book…you always knew all the words to every hymn we sang! And you wouldn’t even look at the screens… (you did not like those either. You said it made our church look like an auditorium instead of a sanctuary.) I guess its a sign of the times…every church you attend has those screens now…no one uses hymnbooks anymore. Of course, hymns are very rarely sung, either. There would be many familiar faces missing in church this morning and that would make you very sad. But, there would be a lot you still recognize and you would hug and love on them! You would also see a lot of new faces…and this would make you very happy. It always bothered you that we did not reach more of the community that surrounded us.
Don and I would be sitting behind you and Joy at the piano…Tommy sitting with her. None of your grandchildren go to Southside now. But, they are all serving in churches around the city. They would make you proud. Even your great grandsons who you never met on earth, are very involved in church. They have made a profession of their faith at their own churches and have both been baptized. Their parents are bringing them up just like you and Pop did…and like Joy and I did.
You loved to hear Joy and Pam play a beautiful offertory. You listened to every note. You would know if there was a single mistake. And, your beautiful white hair would be bobbing in time with the music until they finished. Everyone else would clap when they finished…but you wouldn’t. The words to the music they were playing were holy and reverent and you held your hands and smiled and thanked God in your heart.
The beautiful flowers in the church today are in honor of your memory. You have so many friends who still love and think about you. The work you did in missions and on missions trips is still talked about. The little 3’s who passed thru your group ’s class were indeed blessed. You reached out to those who were shut in and sick and lonely. You must have baked thousands of your famous pound cakes and took them warm to those who were on your heart. You wrote note upon note upon note! The recipient never knew if it would be silly or serious!
You made people smile, Mom, everywhere you went. You were a lady. You are a gem of a mother. I hope you get a party in heaven today. Perhaps, angel food cake! Or maybe all the celebration you need is to remember your family and your church and your friends. We all love you still and always will. I, for one, feel your spirit close to me all the time.
I’m sure today you are worshipping in a temple so grand we would not believe it! And, I know…I just know…that you are in the choir with the angels! And, you see Jesus! Oh, Mom! I am so happy to know you see Jesus face to face!
I love you forever!
Hey, save me a seat in the choir next to you! It’s OK…God’s gonna give me a new voice!