Roses For Jennifer

There are memorable times in the life of those we love which are often referred to as a “Birthday.”  Sometimes celebrated in great grandeur.  Other times, in quiet reflection.  Such are also in the days when your children cease to be children.  Even harder when those you love have been lost rejecting that love they once professed, in favor of choices driven by things they know nothing about – or still, refuse to acknowledge.

We have days of remembrance where our children caused us to laugh uncontrollably… and days when our tears could not be stanched.  Neither of these times are ever far from our thoughts.  It is sometimes hard to tell whether the laughter, or tears, remains the greatest of importance.

I received an unsigned birthday card from one of my children once.  It had a photo of someone’s lovable dog on the front.  It said simply, “Oh, that face I miss so much.”

Every father dreads the day his daughter begins dating.  It is as Jim Bishop once wrote; “Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.”  Yet, in this phrase, you understand the remembrance of that Dad is in the birth of that small, frail, precious, jewel of a daughter.

Does there ever come a time when you do not remember that birth?  Is there ever a time when you do not feel the pain of separation?  Is there ever a time when the love of one’s life will ever be separated from the memories that helped to make you who you are?

There was a man who lived some 2000 years ago.  He taught many things.  He taught of love, of life, and of a life to come.  But he taught something more… he taught us to never lose sight of who you are and what is expected of you.  This is one of His teachings:

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? (Matthew 5:43-47 )

We are all His children.  In this we have so much in common.  For as we live and learn, we celebrate the unique gift of being parents.  This gift of Heavenly perspective.  We can find the strength to overcome adversity. And, we can make hard choices to assure our own children’s success.
Now that you are is all grown up, I pass on a poem that was written long ago by a man named Euripides:

“Lady, the sun’s light to our eyes is dear,
And fair the tranquil reaches of the sea,
And flowery earth in May, and bounding waters;
And so right many fair things I might praise;
Yet nothing is so radiant and so fair
As for souls childless, with desire sore-smitten,
To see the light of babes about the house.”

Enjoy each birthday with those you love.  But, let them have delight in celebrating yours.  You are worth every moment in time, every breath of love’s professing, and every ounce  of childhood mischief that reminds you that you are alive.  You are a wife, a mother, a daughter…  and, will never be forgotten.

There is another thing Euripides once wrote, which I find most treasurable: “To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter.”

Happy Birthday, Jennifer…