|eighteen-year-old Joshua on the right, and a friend at an amusement park|
Joshua got up early, a rare thing for him in the last months before his death. He came to me and said, “Happy Birthday, Mom.”
I turned to see his unsmiling face, but his expression showed determination. I hugged him. “Thank you, Son, for remembering. I can’t believe I’m fifty.”
His eyes darted, and he looked away. I wondered what I might have said to worry him. He finally said, “Yeah, fifty,” and left the kitchen. A few minutes later, with a duffle bag slung over his should, he said, “I’ve got to run an errand.”
My husband came in soon after Joshua left. He looked me up and down. “Dress nice today. We’re taking a ride in an hour.”
My husband then walked out the door. Okay, something’s going on. I went about my morning chores still concerned over Joshua’s sad demeanor.
Our ride consisted of a trip to the city park. Jim weaved the car past picnic areas and to a large barbecue area. People stood around the site and watched us get out. At first they appeared to me as strangers, but then faces smiled. My cousin and her family walked toward us. I recognized a few friends also.
People began to yell, “Surprise! Happy Birthday.”
My hands flew to my mouth. I looked at my husband. “Did you do this?”
He shook his head. “Joshua did.”
My youngest son, Joshua, stayed at my side all day, except when he discovered he forgot some of the food he prepared back at the house. He even watched me play volleyball with my cousin’s children and our grandchildren. He never smiled, though, and that fact nagged at me.
After I crawled into bed that night, my mind flashed on Joshua’s stern expressions. Is Joshua worried because I’m growing old?
Dear Lord, this day was a mixture of happy and sad. Why would Joshua go to all the trouble of bringing people together for my birthday and seem so withdrawn? Please, Lord, help my son. In Jesus’s holy name. Amen
~Your Mother Memories~
~Your Prayer of Praise~
~A Scripture of Encouragement~