March 9, 2022
“For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:4 NRSV
A couple of weeks ago, Rod asked what I might want for my birthday on March 9, as family members wanted suggestions. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that what I really wanted was a simple family birthday party at our home in Woodstock. I figured it would be good medicine for my soul with my sister Carol in hospice, while at the same time not taking me out of town so I could be close at hand for her.
So last Saturday some of the family gathered for an early birthday lunch, less than 24 hours after Carol died. It was good medicine for my soul. Despite the heaviness of grief lying just below the surface, I enjoyed belly laughs and good fun. We blew bubbles and tried to catch them on our wands. We shot baskets with the child-sized backboard I gave the little girls as a present (a gift for me as much as for them). We walked at Seven Bends State Park and returned with bags of shells and stones.
The highlight (aside from numerous hugs) was the presentation of a birthday cake decorated with two candles, a “6” and a “9,” as the family sang “Happy Birthday.” I asked Anne-Sophie (8 next month) and Marie-Hélène (5) “How old am I?” before they helped me blow out the candles. Anne-Sophie, on my left said, “69.” Marie-Hélène, on my right said, “96.” “Out of the mouths of babes and infants,” as the Psalmist wrote. In that instant, 69 seemed pretty good.
Thank you, God, for joy amidst sorrow! ~ Anne