Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11... Windows and Doors

 We have all heard the comment, "When God closes a door, He opens a window."  Usually, though...  we don't want a window...  we want our door!  I have for many years wondered about the magical qualities of dates on the calendar--- simply numbers ascribed to a certain square on the consistent cycle of our lives --- or of someone else's life.  Four years ago this week My son and I were driving to Kirksville to do some school shopping for me...  He looked at me and laughed, "What is the 14th of August?  It seems like that date means something..."  I nodded no.  The date meant nothing, I mumbled.  I was thinking instead of August 11, three days past.  That date had multiple meanings.
 Later that day four years in the past, the square marked August 14 suddenly grew new meaning...  My sweet Daddy walked into Heaven on that day...  closing that door, opening something Other into our lives...
Today, the calendar reads August 11...  2011...  and I hear the crunchy-happy sound of my mother rolling out saltine crumbs with a peanut butter jar, making her famous corn casserole for a family dinner tonight.  We are celebrating the birthday of my son's lady love.  Her day began, if I'm to interpret the bits of texting that came my way through the night, with a trip for several friends and family members and my son.  They started their day at Columbia IHOP, her favorite restaurant.  How fun!  How young!
We are having a shrimp supper tonight, and we are celebrating a window...  another reason to mark August 11...  On this day in History, as they say, my grandmother (Mom's mama) celebrated her birthday.  On many such days I cooked her favorite dishes to tell her how much I love her...  Gramma remains a very special rock in my core strength.  If a person has a solid source of love, that person is indeed a lucky one...  I have had so very many sources, my cup runneth over...  August 11...  my dad's father also celebrated this day as his birthday. Many a fish fry, watermelon party, and trip to the Lake of the Ozarks pinpointed August 11 for his happiness...  And one quietly sad and stormy August 11, my other gramma, my dear Ma, slipped out of this world into Heaven to wait for my dad... to celebrate birthdays with Gramma and Grandad...  and to join the ranks of those who are the hosts cheering us on here on earth...

So my son's girl had no idea what she was stepping into when she happily announced her birthday to be August 11...  She couldn't know why both my mother and I nearly shouted at her, "AUGUST 11!!!  That's your birthday?"

It's time to wrap a few gifts, set the table with my new daisy plates, and brush off the celebration mode in this family.  We have cause to celebrate another day on earth, another chance to make a memory and to keep one...  As I have grown older (notice I didn't say "grown up")  I have come to learn each gift we receive IS a doorway or a window..  a portal to or from somewhere in time or a means to illuminate our dwellings....  And as I close my eyes and play back the snippets of memories, I see my large, overall-wearing grandfather standing in the front of our spare, simple, country Baptist church with his arms around his dear wife...  August 11, a Sunday in memory...  The church recited its birthday benediction, "Many happy returns of the day of thy birth, in sunshine and gladness be given.  And may the dear father prepare you on earth....  for a beautiful birthday in Heaven."  I see him give Ma's sunkissed arm a happy squeeze as he says, "It's a happy day when we're all together!"

And doors snap shut, windows open...  then doors slide open again in mysterious ways.  The calendar squares fill, along with our hearts.  Thank you, Lord...  for lives and life.

1 comment:

Lisa Pogue said...