It is Easter ....the celebration for Christians of a resurrected Savior. A day of Hope for believers.
It is also the birthday of two very special people in my life. My brother, Tom, had he lived, would be sixty-one years old. My youngest daughter, Meg, will be thirty-five years old. I was only two and a half when Tom was born, so I cannot remember the day of his arrival. But, I remember the coming of Megan. She was four days earlier than she was predicted to be.
Tom was very much attuned to life as he was raised. Though his own was traveled on different roads, his heart was always geared to living it in conventional ways that were taught by our parents. He was a gentle man with soft brown eyes and soft curly dark hair. He was tall and thin, and he was plagued with rheumatoid arthritis from the time he was in his twenties until he passed away four years ago. The ailment sapped his energies, and put him on permanent disability status, but still he worked as he could on his 47 acres. He cared for his small house lot and his home. He mowed with a tractor, kept his landscaping simple and easy to care for. He had a sure determination that kept him walking on his own two feet, unaided by cane or wheelchair for the entirety of his life. Doctors thought he would long ago be in a wheelchair, full-time, but Tom wouldn't entertain that idea. His gnarled joints were painful, yet he didn't complain. He did what he could to keep his life as normal as possible, in spite of the limitations.
Megan has always had her own agenda. As I said earlier, she came four days early, and rather than the usual presentation at birth, she chose to be born face up! "Sunny side up" the doctor said. She was a strong willed little person, and was quite a challenge for me, at times. I remember when she had her fifth birthday. She announced to me that now she would go to 'big school'....to kindergarten. I could not convince her that the school wouldn't let her go until September, and that she would continue at her nursery school until June, then have the summer off, until September came. She would not go to nursery school another day. The fight was so strong, and silly, that I let her off the hook. I learned how, with Meg, to choose my battles.
She always has made her own choices about things, even when she was small. Of course there were times when I had to enforce the rules or make her do what was best for her. But, she chose her clothing and her favorite foods. I offered other options, but how do you force a child to eat lima beans when they won't? She has forever been a free thinker, and is such today. Some might say that there was rebellion, and I might agree with that in certain instances. But, what harm is there, really, in shaving the sides of your head, around your ears, and pulling back the top hair in an elastic band at the crown? What does it hurt if she sprayed it purple or blue? Hair grows out. Hair color washes out. And teenagers grow out of that stuff, thankfully.
My sweet, gentle, conservative, brother was thrilled to have this little neice born on his birthday. So was I. I felt that God had given both Tom and me a gift when she arrived. I still feel that way.
My challenging, free thinking little girl has grown into a beautiful woman with good sense and comical personality. She doesn't always think as I do, but I don't want my kids to be a bunch of cookie cutter kids. The world would never change for the better if someone didn't step out of line once in awhile and make their different ideas known, would it?
So Tom...Happy Birthday to you. I miss you and love you. Megan....Happy Birthday to you, too. I wish I could share a face to face celebration with both of you today. But know this, that I celebrate you both in my heart and in my mind, and have been blessed to have had you both in my life. Enjoy your day!