Took 27 hours to bring my firstborn into a brand new world, shiny bright, loud and cold — breaking the womb’s soft, still darkness as dawn broke the eastern sky. And from my hospital window that morning I saw the majestic Hudson glistening below, the Palisades’ straight back cliffs rising high above the river. Saluting Heaven.
Time, like the river, has flowed ever onward throughout these past 25 years…
And those days of my son being small enough to sleep in my arms are long over, having passed into the arms of his beautiful, young wife.
Yet the memory of his warm little bundle, held close to my heart, lingers. And I am 27 once again on an early summer morning. He is sated with the sweet milk of mother, asleep in my arms.
He twitches gently, my gift from God, before a tiny smile curls his lips. Angelic face flushed in sleep, he slumbers for two hours by my side as I compose a column for the weekly paper I had worked for before stepping into the new role of mother.
The words penned that morning talked about baby firsts…tooth, step, word. About shiny red bicycles and scouting trips and school plays yet to be. About all my dreams of what the future might hold.
And the years have come and gone, with all those lovely things coming to pass. And some unlovely things as well. House divided, yet remained standing. Rock solid foundation. Learning to love through the good and the bad.
Thank you, Jesus.
And the good work He has begun in this man, and his brothers, He will be faithful to complete.
This 25th birthday party was also a time for saying so long. Son and his bride head west by month’s end. Joining his brother already there. And my youngest, well, he’s off too.
“My brother’s are my best friends, Mom. I really miss them.”
And just like that…the nest will be completely empty. The nest I fashioned by the Father’s hand as best I could on my own, clinging to His promise that he gently leads those with young.
And we laugh as he plays the quarter game, with quarters like confetti spread around the table. Twenty five for his 25th.
Grandma has worked her heart out preparing scrapbooks and photo albums. Ever the intrepid, ubiquitous photographer, her finished photos never seemed to find the light of day. At least we never saw them!
“So this is where all the photos from all the years have gone!” quips Birthday Man.
And we gather together, lovingly gaze at what has been, remembering things long forgotten.
To watch them sleeping soundly. See them doing homework. Hear their laughter.
Three brothers running in the backyard. Playing under the deck with all their trucks and tractors. So much mud that day! Had to hose them off before letting them in the house.
To hold tiny hands again, wipe smeared peanut butter and jelly from little faces…
Pick them up in my arms and hug them tight, whispering to their hearts how much I love them.
Wishing I could hold time in a secret place, able to revisit tender moments of childhood.
But time is kept by no one, and we need to make the most of each and every precious moment.
And so I am thankful for now. These moments of the present. This gift of love.
We laugh some more, reminisce about the silly stories from old. And look forward to the future, with hearts open to receive all God’s new blessings.
And I praise Him, our Father who delights to give His children gifts, good and perfect from above. Cup running over with blessings past and blessings yet to come, and my heart is full, gratitude spilling over.
I smile at my Birthday Man and his wife, wish them well, hug them tight before sending them on their way. So far away. With a blessing for a strong marriage and even stronger faith in God. A life of purpose, passion, peace and joy; good health and happiness and someday…babies of their own.
Who will sleep in Grandma’s loving arms and I’ll marvel when their angelic little lips curl in smile..
And my heart feels weepy but doesn’t dare show it. Not until later, when Dearest Husband takes me for a long drive on a dirt road newly discovered. A road lined with trees so tall and lush that I cannot glimpse the clear blue sky, mere slivers of light filtering softly through the foliage. Holy hush is broken only by the gurgling of a brook. And I am awed and comforted by God’s beauty. And thankful for my husband and his wonderful suggestion.
We wind up in the quaint, historic village of Cold Spring. By the river.
And he puts his arm around my shoulder as a late afternoon sun, still warm, starts to slip behind Storm King Mountain. A man on a bench strums his electric guitar and music fills the air. We sway to the gentle rythyms and Dearest Husband, he holds me tight when tears and prayers mix, watering seeds of hope and new life, the next chapter, future generations.
One thousand generations with good Jeremiah 29:11 plans, righteousness yet to be.
And the river, flows…