April 05, 2005
Happy Birthday, Mom~revised
.Having the time of her life my Mom crusing aboard the RCCL Song of America Thanksgiving Week 1992
I am writing this to you as a way to celebrate your birthday today. I know that you would like to have me there with you, and I wish that I could be there.
This is not easy to write. For even though we have a good relationship maybe even a great relationship as far as things go there is this reserve that we both seem to share. A unwillingness to go deeper and to really talk about things. As we both know there are a lot of things that you refused to speak of and things that I just have always known were off limits...Its sad as now you cannot speak and we cannot have these conversations.I find that I tell you that I love you more often now and I wish those had been words more often said in our home as we were growing up... I can and do talk at you and I hope that you are not too frustrated by not being able to talk back.
We have had a lot of good times. I look at this photo, taken not too long after the release of Dad's death. We traveled together and did a lot of things together. It was a wonderful thing and I look back on it and cherish every moment that we had together. I am so grateful that God allowed us to do the things that we were able to do and to see the things that we were able to see...
The Southwest... Alaska... Hawaii... I have those moments engraved in my minds eye and will not lose them.
Mom at the Grand Canyon National Park 1986
We didnt always agree, that was a given in a family of individuals. We were firmly fundamentally disposed to disagree. But I think, especially once I became a Believer that I understood more and as I grew older that Mom wasnt so dumb after all. You really did know what you were talking about...
And I think as you grew older you saw that I wasnt so radical after all. That we had differing gifts and even in the work of the church we were more alike than unalike.
What you didnt know what that while I rebuked you for your sometime rebellion, a dislike you seemed to have for doing things that others needed you to do in a certain way. I admired you too. I admired your pluck and daring and sometime trailblazing ideas. After entering what was to be a second very difficult marriage I understood more than ever your determination to your commitment to Dad even though no one in the world would have condemned you had you left him. You chose not to and just as I stay with Woody in the face of all who would say how I would be better off leaving him, I can say what you said... I made a commitment to God and your father in that order.
I also understand your daily feeling of loss over leaving Cuba, and how perhaps that period of your life shaped you and made you into the person that you are. I understand how a place and a time can touch you so deeply....I feel this way about Hawaii and I know that while the circumstances are so different, in a way they are the same, that is the place where your heart lies...
Weither it is your courage for face the oncomming army of Fidel Castro on your little farm in Cuba, deal with disgrace... the daily grind of a troubled marraige or face the onslought of a rapidly degenerating illness that has robbed you of nearly all that you held dear in this life, you have lived you life with dignity. I salute you.
Alone... Mom getting her shot at the Petrified Forest National Monument Holbrook Arizona 1986
And so it is... You are 73 today. Aged prematurely by disease and hard living. My heart goes out to you and I wish that I could make things easier.
In my minds eye I see you as you appear in this photo. Alone, resolute, and somewhat defiant. You are standing there on a hill that you had to walk quite a ways to get to at a time yes when you could walk but it wasn't that easy for you. You did it any way, so you could get your shot. Just as you did things your way for a variety of reasons some known only to God at this point. Weather it was waiting so long to evacuate your home in Cuba so that as the jeep went down the road you could hear Castro's army blowing up bridges in your wake... To staying in your apartment in Bellflower beyond your ability to care for yourself...You insisted on doing things your way...I look back and shake my head and wonder if things could have been different and yet I know that a combatant spirit is just as necessary in the Kingdom of God as a phlegmatic one...Maybe even more so.
Happy Birthday Mom...