Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beautiful Birthday Weekend

My entire family congregated on the grounds of the art museum. My mom's one birthday wish was to have her entire family photographed. She arranged the photographer and location. Our job was to bring four clean, happy children (a feat in itself). Amazingly enough, it went really well. Bribery does wonders!

Cooper potting tangerine mums.

Connor participating in his last flag football game.

Connor's football team celebrated their season with a cookout at a teammate's home.

We celebrated my Mom's 65th birthday over an Italian dinner and a vanilla buttercream birthday cake.

We spent much of Saturday celebrating my mom's birthday. The family congregated for pictures, and then the adults enjoyed a celebratory dinner. At the dinner, my siblings and I (and our spouses) wrote letters to my mom expressing our appreciation for her on her special day.

Thought I'd share some of my letter:

Dear Mom:

Twenty years old, I proudly wore the Perry Meridian powder blue cross country uniform. Each race, I nervously took my place at the starting line. With the sound of the gun, I’d race through the course, huffing, puffing and desperately trying to maintain my momentum. As I darted around the course, inevitably I’d whiz around a bend, and glance over to see my mother pacing me from the side. You’d stride along side and yell, “Keep going. You can do it.” Then, you'd dash off and locate me along several other portions of the course, often at times when I most needed the encouragement. Looking back, I’m still not sure what made me run faster: hearing your words or wanting desperately to run faster than my mother.

As I reflect back on these memories, I’m cognizant of how you’ve been running by my side since the beginning. You were the one who taught me the fundamentals of running a good race. You taught me to run with a purpose, keeping God first and others (family most importantly) second. You warned me of hazards along the course. You instilled in me a belief that I could run as fast as I wanted, as long as I ran the right way. You taught me by example the fruits of finishing the race strong.

You’re still maintaining your role as cheerleader. I can still feel you striding along side of me shouting words of encouragement. You lift me up and propel me forward. You push me to finish well.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Love, Becky

When I finished reading the letter, Mom said, "I always knew you could fly."

I can because of her.

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