20 November 2013

November 19th Will No Longer Be A Painful Day

I was born on my grandmother’s birthday. I was extremely close to my grandma and cherished our relationship. I remember we would try to see who could be the first one to wish the other person a happy birthday. She always won. She always woke up super early. My grandma passed away the day she was supposed to meet my daughter, her first great-grandchild for the first time.  I think of my grandma daily. The hardest day is November 19th, our birthday.

Every year since her death I would mourn for her. I always think how we could be out having lunch together on our birthdays, or she could have a close relationship with my children as my brother and I had with her. The pain was too much at times because I would start my birthday in tears.

Last November 19th was the day I last saw my nephew alive. I gave him a hug, told him I loved him, and watched him and his family drive away from our home. Three months later we were attending his funeral. This past year has been difficult as we are trying to cope with his death. As November 19th approached the harder it was getting.

At one point I did not even want to celebrate my birthday because the pain was too much. The date was a reminder of the pain I was feeling for two people I loved very much. I cried out to God asking why it had to be on my birthday. How could I enjoy my day when my heart ached so much?

Last Wednesday in my women’s bible study, I asked my sisters in Christ if they could pray for my family and me as we were having a hard time. My sisters in Christ laid their hands on me and prayed. As the days were getting closer to November 19th the harder it was getting.

Monday, November 18th, I was alone lying on the couch watching football. I was starting to feel down. I begin to pray. “God this hurts so much.” Then God showed me to cherish my birthday. Cherish the memories I had of racing my grandma to the phone to wish her happy birthday, and how she always won. Cherish the memory of seeing my nephew alive. Cherish the day because I will never forget my grandma’s birthday or the last time I saw my nephew alive.

I was looking at my birthday in the wrong way. I was looking at the negatives not the positives. I felt blessed to share a birthday with my grandma. My grandma is one of the most important people in my life. I should be honored and celebrate our birthday not be sad. My grandma would not want that.

I will never forget the last time I saw my nephew. The last time I hugged him and told him I loved him. Instead of remembering his death I need to remember him being alive and full of love. The last time I saw him like this was November 19th, my birthday.

So I thank God for these blessings. So, yesterday as I woke up I felt peace and happiness. No tears fell for the first time in years. My grandma and my nephew were on my mind all day but I was thinking of the happy memories and not the pain of them not here.

I will not look at my birthday, November 19th as a painful day but as a blessing….

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