It’s your birthday. Do they do those in heaven? Or do they only celebrate every thousand years because of forever? I’m guessing if they didn’t have parties before you arrived, they are having one today. You definitely know how to gather a crowd. Don’t have too much fun without us before we get there.
You lived more life in thirty-eight years than some people live in a lifetime. I think about you often. Last week, I received the final copy of Just Show Up to read through. Of course I wanted to text you, to celebrate with you. I think you would be so excited to see it. I imagine your text saying how you’re just “tickled” about how it turned out. About how crazy it is that your name is now on not just one, but two books. Have I ever mentioned how proud I am of you? Two books and soon to be a third, all while fighting cancer. You’re a rock star. Last night Terry and I were discussing how we expect you to come around the corner at any moment and make him lip sync or sing some eighties or nineties song with you or pull one of us onto a dance floor. About how it doesn’t seem real that you’re gone. But I guess you’re not gone. You just went home first.
The time with you feels like a blink. We didn’t get to know you as long as some of your lovely people here on earth, but the moments we did have were so good. We packed in a lot in those few years. Maybe there’s something good to be said for suffering—relationships get fast forwarded. There isn’t time to waste. And I’m so glad we didn’t.
To say that I wish you were here to celebrate another earthly birthday is the understatement of the century. I hope you’re celebrating big up there. We’re going to do that down here too. Funny thing is, even though tears are streaming down my face, I want to choose joy today. You always did. We sure had fun last year, didn’t we? Your house packed full of people just the way you like it. All of us wondering if it would be your last birthday on earth but not willing to let the thought slip from our mouths. All of us clinging to a party full of joy instead of sorrow.
You did good. You did so good. I’m so proud of you for using the hard you were given to glorify God. I’m thankful to have called you a friend. I know this will shock you, but now I want to file these words away on my computer and hide them. But for your sake, for that extroverted, share-it-all personality of yours, I’ll post it for the world to see.
I miss you, mama. I love you. Save me a room up there.