Today is the day my mom (and the kids' Gran) was born! Typically, this day is pretty straightforward - you wish the person a Happy Birthday, maybe you go out for dinner, you give the person a gift. The honoree feels warm and happy and appreciated, then the day ends and you move forward into the new year of your life.
My wonderful mother though... this is a hard day for her. Every year, I acknowledge to myself that Mom doesn't like this day, she doesn't wish to consider the day she was born, and she dislikes being the center of attention. And yet, every year on December 18th, all my thoughts start with her. I cannot resist writing about it. I guess I just really need her to know how vitally important she is to me, and to understand that while this day, to her, is a day of sadness and loss, for me it's a day that I'll be grateful for forever. The dichotomy between the ways we each feel about it is hard for me, because I would hate to think she feels I'm being disrespectful by always bringing it up.
I'm truly sorry, Mom, if you feel I'm disrespecting you. This thought distresses me.
But what would we do without you? My family, my children... they love you deeply. This year is the first birthday you've had with two grandchildren. I'm elated that they are blessed with four grandparents who adore them so much but... you are something special. You relate to children in a way that no one else does. I wish we had more photos of you with the kids - let's rectify that in the new year, okay?
So bring on this next year. Did you know that the Winter Solstice is in only 3 days? You're nearly a Solstice baby. As one of my favorite books says, "A baby born at midwinter is born during the time of year when the days are shortest. This child will be forever walking into the light, as each day after birth, the days become longer." And that is how I think of you, mother of mine. You are always looking for the silver lining, living in sunlight and loving eternally. My midwinter mother. I'm so happy you were born.