Happy Birthday, Mother

The Dairy Queen ice cream cake (chocolate chip cookie dough)
was sliced and served up on hot pink plates.
Colorful Happy Birthday napkins were distributed. 
Three times we sang as her fellow-residents wandered in...
Happy birthday to you;
Happy birthday to you;
Happy birthday, dear Elda;
Happy birthday to you.
 Now and then a smile played at the corners of her lips.
Her eyes met mine.  Silently.  Quizzically.
Only the day before I'd finished  reading Anne Lamott's Small Voices.
I'd copied these words from page 266 into my journal--
anticipating this hour;
determined to shine my best light on her...
 "It is so lovely to celebrate the life of a person who is still here, 
a chance to shine our best light on her as she shone her light on us, 
before the light goes out." 
 Dementia is dimming her lights, but my love for her is brighter than ever!
Happy 89th birthday, Mother.


  1. My heart feels your pain as I went through the same circumstances with my dear father.

    1. I sense your heart and it is comforting, Sandy. God bless you today with an extraordinary awareness of His peace and presence. ♥

  2. Happy Birthday, Elda!

    Rebecca, you are beautifully serving your mother and father. Honoring them. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

    1. I don't have to tell you that Mother is a big part of my journey currently, do I? :)

  3. Precious, precious post!! Happy birthday to your mom! I love that you are "celebrating the life of a person who is still here"..."shining your best light" on her.

    1. Yes! The light of life - basic and simple - IS still here...

  4. Happy birthday to your sweet Mother.
    I know the pain that your are going through (Paul's Mother had Alzheimer's) ...I also feel love and compassion for your Mother.....I can only imagine the confusion she has as she tries to understand who the people are that she genuinely doesn't recognize. It is heartbreaking for patient and for those who love them.
    Feel warmest hugs and much love, Rebecca. And give your Mama a special hug from me. I pray for each of you.

    1. Thank you, Friend. Her eyes frequently lock with mine. I search them for ANY message she might be trying to communicate but mostly see the questions.

  5. Your mother looks so lovely on her birthday. I'm glad it was a nice celebration and what lovely words from that book to encourage and inspire not just you, but your readers as well.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

    1. Those words were from a moving chapter in which Anne recounts a party celebrating the life of a friend who was dying of cancer. The words kind of jumped off the page for me - seemed so fitting a description of the "light" that is still there in my mother, deep under the surface of dementia.... She DID look lovely.

  6. Hi Rebecca,
    That is a wonderful quote and oh so true. I have a friend who always says I would
    rather give my flowers to my family and friends while they are still living so they
    can enjoy them now.........
    Great thoughts, cause how many times do we think endearing thoughts about our
    family and friends and never pass on the gift of telling them...........and
    how much more encouraged would our world be if we all realized we needed to
    not just think good thoughts but pass them on to the person we thought about.
    I went to a funeral of a elderly Pastor years ago and so many people said amazing
    things about him and I silently wondered if he ever knew how loved he was.......
    and thought right then and there I needed to get more encouraging thoughts out
    of my mouth and into those I love and admire.
    Course, I have a feeling the Lord will show him once he gets to heaven just how
    well loved he was........

    Defintely a fitting quote for your situation with your MOM, know this has to
    be a hard and gutwrenching time as she is slowly slipping away......

    Praying for you as you navigate these times.
    Love and Blessings, Nellie

    and Happy Birthday to your MOM..........

    1. Thank you, Nellie. Mostly, these are some of the most precious times of my life.


Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)