A Memorable Birthday

Strawberry cake

Can a mother forget her nursing child?… But even if it were possible, I would not forget you.—ISAIAH 49:15 (NIV)

Veteran’s Day 1948 proved to be memorable for Mom—my birth, her first-born. Record snows that year meant treacherous roads. Dad missed my arrival while coaching his high school basketball team’s out-of-town game.

Exactly five years later to the day, my sister was born. To my young mind, it was just as I’d expected. After all, I did ask for a baby sister for my birthday. Over the years our birthday photos showed the two of us wearing matching dresses with a twotiered cake—a large bottom layer with a smaller one on top. One year we wore necklaces with the numbers “5” and “10” hung in silver around our respective necks.

In her later years, Mom’s dementia robbed her of these memories. She no longer remembered our November 11th birthdays. While not surprising, it still brought sadness to our hearts, and to hers when we reminded her.

In her 96th year I went down the stairs on my birthday to make sure she was awake. Dread dogged my steps, knowing that I would again have to tell Mom that it was my birthday. I opened the door and there she stood wearing her lavender robe and a big smile. With arms wide open she exclaimed, “Happy Birthday, Daughter!”

Wrapped in her embrace, I felt a great sense of well-being sweep over me. That moment redeemed all the previous years, eaten by the locust of forgetfulness.

Today's Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for the comfort of being remembered— especially by you.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts