Her hand trembled a little as I grasped it to join the group in prayer over the meal. Frail and weak, she had used all her energies to make it a memorable day for me.
I had almost thrown a monkey wrench in the works. I was a Toastmaster and had won my club's speech giving contest, moving on to a county level against other clubs. The contest was the evening of the shower. Wanting to keep the party a surprise, she couldn't tell me the real reason she didn't want me to participate. I recall her saying things like "are you sure you should be stressing out about speeches this close to your due date?"
I laughed it off and assured her there was no stress. Not for me anyway - I'm pretty sure she had to move up the time of the shower to accommodate her stubborn and unsuspecting daughter.
Now, almost 30 years later, these thoughts come flooding back as I prepare next week's baby shower to honor my daughter who is bringing her own little girl into this world in a little more than a month.
It is all the more poignant this Mother's Day as I experience the expectant joy of the first grandchild.
My mom was kind, caring, loving, funny, beautiful and devoted to her Lord.
She had an awesome sense of humor. When she returned to work after her mastectomy she could tell a co-worker was staring at her chest during a conversation. She looked the woman dead in the eye, smiled sweetly, and said "Jean, it's the left one". "I had to put her out of her misery from wondering" she told me later.
She always said she swam like a stone...she sunk.
She could knit the most complicated things but could never get a handle on crocheting.
I was supposed to teach her how, but she passed away four months after that shower, at the much too young age of 45. We ran out of time far too soon.
As she carefully held my days-old daughter with those same trembling hands, mom said her biggest regret was that Jackie would grow up to love my mother-in-law as her only grandmother. I assured her that I would keep her memory very much alive.
This post is for you, mom. I love you.