On Sunday noon, yesterday, 12 of us gathered around Rachel’s table. She is my daugher but we honored her as the mother and grandmother of the clan. The men did most of the cooking and other kitchen work. Her eldest son Dan supplied the barbecued ribs. Everything was delicious. Eldon brought home a hanging basket of red petunias to satisfy Rachel’s yearning for the beautiful.
Rachel’s granddaughter, Samantha, had a unique gift for her. It was a poem book in which she had written in her own hand some of her own original poems. She is eleven years old. The book was a school project.
Dan and Angela had another special gift for Rachel. It was a book by Susan Branch that invited a grandma to tell her story. It is composed of blank pages on which Rachel can respond to questions about the events of her life journey.
I have seen other such books, but I think this one is the best of them all. After Rachel examined it she said, “I wish I had given one of these books to my mother.”
(My “Joy” has allowed me to see and read a book of her life which she has written for each of her children. I did not tell you in the “I Like Her,” blog that she is a ten-year breast-cancer survivor. She told me that each added day of life is important to her, and laughs when she tells me she never thought she would have a friend who had once been a bishop.)
Phil called his mother from Colorado and Belinda called her from Tennesee. We talked by skype with Kenson and Hanna from Haiti.
The day was special for another reason. We wore black because it was Conrad’s 50th birthday. I wore a red tie to tell him that it wasn’t all that bad. My contribution to the occasion was a “tres leche” birthday cake, Mexican style. The sales person advised me that it would be a bit “soggy” because it was made of three kinds of milk. We ate till it was all gone.
Last evening “Joy” and I concluded Mother’s Day by going to the St. Vincent Catholic Church, Elkhart, for A Mother’s Day Concert by the St. Joseph Valley Camerata, Scott Hochstetler, Music Director. Scott is “Joy’s” nephew. The program was called “Comforting Embrace.” I met Gerald Shank, Sara Wenger, and Sharon Kniss, each of whom I had long ago memories.