To my joyous, one dimple, blue eyed daughter with a birthmark on her thigh in the shape of a heart…..The mark where you told people that God kissed you when you were born. How very insightful that comment is to me today as you spend your 6th birthday with the One who sent you to me, and kissed you and left that birthmark in the shape of a heart.
There wasn’t a room that didn’t light up when you entered or your amazing ability to make people laugh! There wasn’t a stranger you didn’t suddenly become friends with and there was your playfulness, and your joy that you shared with everyone you met. And yet, you had a tender heart. A heart of grace when others would wound you. Those wounds would translate into you wanting to build a home of grace where your boys would be boys but also they would have a heart that even at their young age knew who Jesus was and already loved him….because of your heart.
So, today you turn 31. Your 6th heavenly birthday. This year, there are more family that have joined you in heaven for this birthday and I am sure they are celebrating with you today. Your Nana Griffin and Grandma Patschke will join you today. Maybe you will have some of those noodles you loved from Grandma Patschke.
Your family gathered for an early celebration of your life on Sunday, at Top Notch. Top Notch is special to me because it was the last meal you and I would spend together. So it is here with hamburgers, onion rings and french fries where I feel closest to you and try to reach back and never forget that day. When you and your sisters were small, your Dad and I would drive a long distance to eat there and it was grilled cheeses for all three of you. That tradition of grilled cheese sandwiches was carried on by your niece (Camryn Elizabeth) and nephews (Eli Fischer and Marshall Benjamin) Sunday.
John and I later attended a Mercy Me concert in Cedar Park and on our way home in Salado, your hometown, there was this amazing bright falling star that came across the dark sky in front of us. I looked at John not realizing at first what it was because it was so brilliant across the dark Texas night, but then I smiled and said “Thank you Lizz”. It was your birthday gift to me from God.
Not gonna lie, sweetie, these days are still hard for your momma, but I have come to a place of understanding and peace that it’s because I loved you and that in itself is worth it and so I carry on, enjoying life, trying to be all that God intends me to be and loving on our family.
This afternoon, I went to the place that honors your life, and laid your birthday wreath. Making wreaths and the creativity it brings is very healing for me and it is my way to honor you.
This Lent season also reminds me of our hope in Christ and so thankful for the cross and the resurrection. This season is much like grief, there is no joy of the resurrection on Easter without the darkness of the cross and Good Friday. And that is where I place my hope.
I love you Elizabeth Anne…..
To my precious Jesus…….Please hug Elizabeth for me. Tell her I love her. Please wrestle the boys for me and tell them Nana loves them. Thank you for the display of your glory with the falling star Sunday night. It was spectacular!