I awoke on the morning of April 17, thinking about my mother. It was her birthday. Although we reside in the same town, I was traveling that week and had to settle for a brief text message: “Good morning! Happy Birthday! Love you!” Each sentiment was “enhanced” with the proper emoticons.
Throughout the day, I reflected on the unexpected circumstances my mother had experienced recently. In many ways, Mom had experienced “double trouble” in the past six weeks.
On March 8, Mom heard the news that her youngest daughter had crashed her snowmobile, sustained multiple rib fractures, and was hospitalized (ironically, in the same hospital where she had given birth to this daughter). On March 12, Mom’s prayers went with her daughter as she traveled to Europe for ten days, trusting God for His provision in her daughter’s fragile state. Yes, I am that daughter.
On March 27, Mom received a phone call summoning her to the emergency room of our local hospital. Dad has suffered stroke-like symptoms. Days later, Mom would see her husband airlifted to a stroke recovery unit, spend three days with him in the hospital, and bring him home with the responsibility of managing his “new normal.” Within days of returning home, Mom had to call an ambulance and once again found herself waiting for answers on what was now Dad’s third visit to the emergency room in ten days.
After my meetings that same day, I called my sister and asked if she had talked with Mom yet to wish her a happy birthday. Like me, she had only sent a text message and was planning to call mom that evening. I told her to wait. I had a rental car. I was only twenty minutes from her house. I was coming over.
We decided it would be fun to surprise Mom with a doubly-special phone call from both her daughters, including our well-intentioned, albeit slightly off-key, serenade of “Happy Birthday.” We were right. It was fun. As we were chatting together on the speakerphone, I expressed my desire for Mom to have a better year than what she had experienced recently.
Her response? “Today I am seventy-seven. Seven is the number of completeness and perfection, so I am proclaiming a double blessing for this next year!” Priceless.
As we look forward to all that the month of May brings, including Mother’s Day and the Alliance family gathering at General Council in Orlando, may we also anticipate the abundant blessing that comes only from God.