On birth days and becoming. Again.

These days are always the hardest. The birthdays.

birthday candles

Even now, at 45, I often feel 5. The still-feelings: the wondering and unknowing, the sense of loss, the heart-heavy sadness. They all still cling to me like a foul odor filling my senses no matter where I move. No matter how fast I move.

My ex-husband would get so irritated with me, my birthday blues, not understanding, me all grown-up now, after all. “How can you miss something you’ve never had,” he’d ask. I had no understanding either. No answers.

I missed my mother. My father. This day most of all. My birth day.

I’d wake all smiley excited, but in just a sleepy blink the wondering would seep in.

Does she remember?

I still wonder…

Does she remember this day? That moment? My coming into being.

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV)

For my 7th birthday Grandma gave me a new dress. Not a hand-sewn dress this time, but a real bonafide store bought dress. It was deep blue; the color of twilight, with white ruffled lace edges. A wide white sash bowed in the back. And not just a dress, but new shoes and matching lacy white socks.

I was so proud. And Daddy would be too, as soon as he laid eyes on me. As soon as he came.

As Grandma’s do she scrubbed me til I squeaked, dried me til I was as red as sunshine, then combed my long hair til I squealed. Top to bottom, inside and out, I was a brand new girl.

And Daddy was coming. And I beamed.

I stood in the big bay window watching, waiting. My heart leaped at the sound of each approaching car.

Early October brings cool, clouds, rain. I drew hearts and happy faces in the fog on that window, the fog my anxious breaths left behind.

tracing in foggy window

But the images faded. Slowly dissolved. Disappeared. Except for a faint hint of a trace left behind you’d notice only when the sun slipped from behind a slow drifting cloud.

I waited. I shifted foot to foot. I “hawed” again and drew stars, flowers. I drew til Grandma coaxed me from the window. Til the sun quit showing itself, even for a moment.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

John 1:12-13 (NIV)

I don’t know how one misses something one has never had. But they do. I did.

Did.

These days, though a hint of sadness still lingers under the surface on the day of my birth, it slowly fades, leaving only a faint hint of a trace you can only see when I turn from the Light.

These days, I have a real bonafide understanding. I have new to replace the old. I am a brand new girl, inside and out.

I am a daughter of the living God. He who brought me into being.

He who never forgets.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:8a (NIV)

holding hands

2 thoughts on “On birth days and becoming. Again.

  1. First one I read Brenda…Wow! …you have a “gift”…a God-given gift! I love your writing style. I can “feel” it! Just picked this one to read first..not sure why but I am wanting to read more. May God bless your work with His Spirit!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Chris. I am so pleased something here to spoke to you. But more so, I am beyond humbled. To think He would want to use me… ME of all people. But then God’s choices have always been most interesting; haven’t they?

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