During these days, I am in the process of learning what it means to love two very special people best. Mom’s birthday is Sunday, but Larry and I celebrated with her on Friday. Even though we usually celebrate birthday meals on the day, we are loving Mom best by doing it differently now. The place where Mom lives makes a big deal on birthdays. She will have a balloon tied to her chair and other special recognitions. So that Mom can enjoy that too, we will help her celebrate over several days. A card has already been sent because she enjoys receiving mail. Friday we took Mom flowers, visited with her, and took her out to eat. Eight years ago, on Mom’s 75th birthday, her children and 10 grandchildren compiled a list of memories and reasons we love her. The goal was to come up with 75, but we had 100 on the list in no time. They were printed up on stationery and given to her at her birthday celebration party. I’m not sure that I’ve seen the pages lately, so since I still have some of the stationery, I printed them again. It was a precious time to read those together yesterday and remind her of how dear she is to all of us.
We are so grateful for the place where Mom lives. She feels safe and at home there. In recent days, there have been times that she is more comfortable there than being away from what is familiar at a different location, even with family present. Through tears at times, we three girls are learning that to love Mom best we need to allow her comfort and security to take precedence over traditions and our plans and desires.
We are also learning ways to best love our granddaughter Mary and her parents during these days. What Scott and Abby provide for Mary now will impact her for the rest of her life. They are diligent about getting it right by meeting with doctors, counselors, inviting people to pray, researching, and going to training to help Mary benefit the most from her adoption. This past weekend Larry and I joined them for the two day Empowered to Connect adoption conference at Houston’s First Baptist Church. I don’t for one minute think that the two main topics for the conference, sensory issues and attachment, were by accident. The presenters were an excellent source of information. Now to process and implement what we heard. Even though it is hard to not be able to hold Mary and interact like we will be able to someday, we are learning that we can joyfully do “hard” knowing that it is the best way we can love her right now.
Two phrases, repeated often during the Empowered to Connect conference, were the importance of every child finding and having a “voice” and secondly to know their own “preciousness.” I pray that as we willingly love them best, that will be true for both Mom and Mary during this season of their lives.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I Corinthian 13:4-7
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.