Birthday Tears

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I thought I was doing quite a bit better in this whole mourning process. I haven’t been feeling weighed down and on the edge of tears for the past month or so. Not that tears don’t sneak up on me sometimes. Because they do. But the emotions came in briefer blips, and haven’t been lingering for hours and days.

But even though the day is bright and sunny, the birds are singing, the apple trees are blooming and it’s my favorite time of the year, I feel the heaviness of heartache sitting on me again. I think it’s because my birthday is tomorrow.

It feels strange to me that my birthday would make me cry. It’s not about getting older. I think it’s because this is the first birthday I’ve had in fifty seven years without my mother. And I’m surprised it’s impacting me so much, since my mom hasn’t really known me for years. But there was still such a comfort in visiting her and just being with her.

Here are memories I wrote last year….

“Mom, it’s me– Cheryl. It’s my birthday today.”
Mama looks at me and asks, “What do you want to do?”
“I want to have a party with you.”
Mama looks at the massage therapist on the other side of her and raises her eyebrows and frowns a bit. It almost feels like she’s rolling her eyes at me.

But a minute later Mama reaches out and takes my hand. And she holds it securely for about ten minutes. And she taps my hand with her thumb as she holds my hand.
And I smile.
The massage therapist says, “What a gift!”
And I agree.

Thank You Jesus for my sweet Mama. For the life and love and example she gave me.
And for her soft hand holding mine today.

And here’s a memory from 2015…

I sit on the love seat and ask Mama if she wants to sit by me. She gets up from her rocking chair right away and shuffles over and plops down next to me. She leans her head on my shoulder and says something she’s never said to me before. She asks, “Will you take care of me?”
“Yes, Mama,” I answer. “I will take care of you.”

She pats my arm. She sings a bit of “I love you a bushel and a peck” with me.

I start “our” verse, “For God so loved the world…” I pause waiting for her to finish it.
But instead Mom says, “He did, I guess…”

I take out the bag of Mini Pecan Delights I brought Mom for Mother’s Day and we eat a few of them as we cuddle. And for a few minutes I forget about all the other challenges in life. And I soak in this gentle softness of sitting next to Mama.


I miss Mama this year. I suppose I will every birthday. And I’m a little bit dreading Mother’s Day. But I’m so thankful for all the years I did have with my precious mama and all the memories that we made. I”m thankful for every word I wrote down, so I can picture and relive the moments again.

And I’m forever grateful that God DID so love the world, that He sent His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) And because of that, I know that even though I may miss a few birthdays on this earth with my Mama, I’ll have an eternity of birthdays with her to come!



  1. Happy Birthday, tomorrow! I understand completely how you feel! My mummer’s B-Day was 09/03/1922 & mine 09/04/1946! For the first time in 70 years, there will be no day before B-Day for me!?! Like you, this will be my first Mother’s Day as a 70 year old orphan. God will be our comfort. Blessings, Mary Beth

  2. What a PRECIOUS post! I LOVE it…it made my day. May God bless you always. Thanks for posting.

  3. Tami God’s grace is sufficient in all experiences in life. Keep claiming His Promises; being honorable to God even on special days as these. I love your mom with fond memories church days, dating days, summer in Chicago me @ Moody and she at Wheaton and recreation jumping in my dads old truck to attend a Burwell Neb. Rodeo . Whee what fun !! Carol was blessed with brains and her friend Sally really needed her 😃

    1. Sally, I’m not sure who Tami is that you’re writing to, but I appreciate your comments. Maybe God is using you to give me the message I need today. His grace is sufficient and I can keep honoring Him even on special and emotional days. Thank you! ~Cheryl (the writer of this blog post

  4. I don’t remember how I found your blog, but I have it in my reader. Thank you for this post. I have been feeling the immanence and dread of loss as this will likely be my last Mother’s Day with my sweet mama, who is on hospice and getting weaker. Alheimer’s is a strange and unique disease; a year ago she didn’t remember who I was in relationship to her, but although she’s down to one-word responses (and no responses), she still knows my name, and the last few times that she could answer the question, she knew I was her daughter. I am so thankful for the blessed hope of an eternity of mother’s days with my mom who will be able to remember and celebrate and sing with me again. May comfort and hope wrap around you on your birthday.

    1. Thank you so much, Ginger. What a gift that your mom still knows your name and that you’re her daughter! Yes, the hope of eternity is the best blessing. I hope you can treasure the moments you still have with your mother. God bless you!

    1. As always, thank you for sharing. After reading this I watched a video I saved of my mom, a few days before she passed. I have been dreading Mother’s Day and missing her so much. Thank you for the reminder that we do have eternity. Hugs to you.

  5. I hope you did enjoy your birthday, Cheryl. I know it is not the same without your sweet mama. Your memories were precious. I am dreading Mother’s Day and my birthday which follows in June. However, I know I need to be thankful that my mama was such a good one which is why I do miss her so. “Grief is the price of love ” I read once. God was so gracious and kind to give me such an extraordinarily sweet and loving mom who was a “mama” to everyone she met. I am thankful for the example she left me of showing Christ’s love to others. I am thankful for precious memories of a mom who I certainly didn’t deserve. May God grant you peace and comfort as you praise Him for the love your mom gave you. I will be thanking Him for mine and praying for you on Mother’s Day as well. Big hug!

    1. Thank you, Ivy. I did enjoy my birthday. I’m praying you will know God’s peace and grace today and on your birthday. You honor your mother (and our Lord) well with your sweet and encouraging spirit! Thank you! big hug back!

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