Today is my Mom’s birthday. It is yet another “first” we are experiencing without her. I have been celebrating her birthday for as long as I have been alive, so to say the day feels foreign to me without her is an understatement.
Among the many things I learned from my Mom, thoughtfulness and the “fun” of gift giving is at the top of the list. For the most part, my Mother’s love language was giving and receiving gifts. If she was out shopping and ran across something that reminded her of me (or anyone else), she was more than likely to buy it. Whether it was a cute dress, a Christmas ornament, or simply my favorite candy, she was always thoughtful enough to pick it up and surprise me.
I remember being 6 years old and allowed the privilege of shopping “by myself” for her birthday at DePaulo’s Gifts in Southington, CT. Mom waited in the car while the sales ladies helped me pick things out in the store. I have always loved picking out gifts for people and I was so proud because I was going to be able to give Mom a real surprise for her birthday. The store even wrapped everything up for me.
One thing I picked out was a small heart shaped porcelain jewelry holder. It wasn’t very big, so only a few ear rings would fit in there, but it was heart shaped with a purple Iris flower painted on it. It caught my eye because I thought it was an appropriate sign of the love I had for her. After all these years, that jewelry holder still sits atop her jewelry box filled with her earrings. She continued to use it every day since I gave it to her, so I guess I made a good pick!
I hate that she is not around this year to appreciate the surprises I might have found for her. I have heard it said that in heaven we have no need for material things and I do believe that to be true. However, what about birthdays in heaven? Since Mom expressed her love and appreciation through gifts, how would she feel if there were no gifts given to show our love and affection for her? Trying to figure out the answer to this got me thinking about what heavenly birthdays must be like.
To start there has to be an unimaginable feeling of joy and appreciation from all those you have touched during your life. You are surrounded by all those who love you and can still feel the love from the ones you watch below.
I picture my Mom sitting at a long table with my both of my grandparents and great grandparents. Also there, are several of my great aunts, along with my uncle and aunt on my Dads side. There are also the many friends she knew and loved in her lifetime. Her heart is filled with unimaginable love and joy as she watches over us. She is smiling like I have never seen her smile before. The decorations have the most vibrant colors and beautiful fragrant flowers complete the table’s centerpiece. Gifts are delicately wrapped in beautiful paper tied up with exquisite bows. Oh, and the cake? At least 2 tier, with elegantly decorated flowers. The cake is out-of-this-world delicious. No matter what the flavor, every bite is the “perfect” bite.
Each gift given is one of faith, hope, love and grace. Mom always said that “it’s the thought that counts”, so the gifts aren’t of the material kind, but are the feelings of love, excitement, joy and appreciation that went into finding the perfect gift just for her from all those who love her and continue to miss her.
These are just a few of the things I would imagine make Heavenly Birthdays unlike any other……….
Happy Birthday Mom! I hope you have a fabulous heavenly birthday with all the love and joy you deserve. And I hope you can still feel all the love and appreciation we continue to have for you in our hearts everyday.
-XOXO — Caroline
P.S. The cake IS unbelievably good, isn’t it?