Today is my Mom's 83rd birthday! Happy Birthday, Mom!!
I wish I could tell her myself. I wish I could call her on the telephone and sing "Happy Birthday" to her. I wish I could send her some flowers or a funny card that would make her smile. Even though 700 miles separate us, I'd still like to help make her day special.
But I won't do any of those things.
You see, the very sad reality is that my mom doesn't know who I am. She probably doesn't even know it's her birthday. My mom has Alzheimer's Disease.
I've never known anyone with Alzheimer's until now. It's a mean disease. It robs the victim of the person they once were. It has robbed my mom of decades of memories. She and my dad were married for 56 years before Daddy passed away in 2007. My mom doesn't remember him. She can't recall his name when she looks at his picture. Not even when he was a young man.
And because she doesn't remember that she was married, she certainly doesn't remember having five children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
I will never understand, at least in this lifetime, why my mom had to suffer with Alzheimer's Disease in these final years of life. She was a God-fearing, Jesus-loving woman. She loved her husband and her children. She did her very best as our mother. She taught Sunday School as long as I can remember. She held backyard Bible school's during the summers when I was growing up. She served her church faithfully. She taught other peoples' children for 25 years in the public school system. She was a good woman by the world's standards. She was a faithful servant by God's standards.
And yet she was not spared from this mean, mean disease.
I don't understand. But I accept it. She did too. She knew the disease was coming. She didn't know why, but she knew it would steal her away from us.
One day in the not too distant future my mom will be whole again. She will smile and laugh and sing and dance. She will know everyone around her. She'll see her loved ones again. She'll see my dad. She'll be Home.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you with all my heart!