My mother would have been 53 years old this past Saturday. 53 used to seem ancient to me when I was younger. Now, it’s only a little over halfway.

About a month ago, Jennifer mentioned that she felt compelled to have Maggie & Sadie dedicated. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s an alternative to having your children christened, but without the baptism. Before Maggie was born, Jennifer, Mama & I talked about how we would have Maggie’s dedication at Mama’s house “after she got better.” Obviously, that didn’t happen — the getting better or the dedication.

So Jennifer mentioned it, & the fact that Mama’s birthday fell on a Saturday this year seemed perfect. Jen & Tom kept it very small — immediate family only — and despite a sprinkling of rain, it was beautiful. Our grandparents, Mama’s parents, came down from Virginia. It was only the second time they’ve visited us since Mama’s death, & I felt the same level of anticipation about their visit that I used to feel as a little girl. Mama’s niece & nephew came as well — they’ve had a really difficult time with Mama’s death. Being around them, I realize that it’s easy to feel only my own grief & loss, & forget the others who have been affected by Mama’s absence.

It was perfect, truly it was. I think it’s exactly how Mama would have wanted to celebrate her birthday.