every holiday, every anniversary, every birthday...ALWAYS so thoughtful, recalling memories that she has, how much she loved her, and how much she still misses her...and it just helps! It helps to know that just because she is gone, that she isn't forgotten...that although its 9 1/2 years, there are other people that miss her as much as I do!
I am talking about Mary Simpson, my mother's very best friend in this world...and she is about the sweetest, most thoughtful person that I have ever met in my entire life!
Almost every memory of mom's childhood included Mary...they met very early on, I want to say in first grade, when mom (along with her family of course) was transferred to Memphis from the small town of Sharon, TN. (feel free to correct me Mary, you should write a book :)
They were inseparable from the start (and who wouldn't want to be friends with such a thoughtful girl!) Later in life Mary was dating a boy named Chester...Brenda (mom) was spending the weekend at Mary's house and Mary was dying to go spend time with her boyfriend! Mary's dad refused to let her go, UNLESS there was a boy that mom could hang out with! Mary assured her dad that she had already taken care of it! They wind up spending the afternoon at Chester's house...and little did Mary know...that the first meeting between Brenda and Chester's brother (Mike) would be (that would be my dad and my mom!) the first day of the rest of their lives...OBVIOUSLY they got married...however unfortunately enough, Chester was killed in a automobile accident involving a drunk driver and so Mary's dreams of marrying Chester weren't quite fulfilled! God has certainly blessed her with an amazing husband, Jeff and they have a beautiful life together. And although Mary and Mom didn't end up being sister-in-laws as they had dreamed of, they did remain lifelong friends to the very end...And Mary continues to be an amazing friend of mom's! I can't emphasize to you enough about how thoughtful she is...and always has been!
Since mom's death, there has never been a holiday, a birthday, an anniversary, a birth (Brenly, Avery and Baylee--she wasn't physically there...but she has always been there for us (Chad and I) in spirit!)that she has missed, she thinks all of us, she prays for all of us, she loves all of us...ALL THE TIME! She sends Chad and I (as well as our kids)notes/gifts all the time...reminding us how much she loves us!
She has even given me items of her own to remind me how much she still loves mom and misses her just like we do! She presented me with a strand of REAL pearls that Chester had given her for Christmas the year before he was killed, she sent me a book that mom had written in after that tragic event in her life, She had a Bible (the exact same Bible that mom had given to Mary and Jeff for their wedding present..and it had mom's handwriting in it) rebound and had our names (Ray and I) embossed on the cover... I mean....I could go on and on about all of the ways that she has been so thoughtful over the years!
Tomorrow would've been mom's 60th (wow!!) birthday!
I can't believe it...I just checked it with a calculator...and what a party we would've thrown! But God had other plans and she will again celebrate her birthday with Jesus in heaven (I am sure that Jesus probably throws a better party than we could ever imagine!) I remember exactly 10 years ago...Dad, Chad and I came up with this elaborate plan to throw mom a surprise 50th birthday party...and we were going to surprise her with a brand new car...My brother worked for Chrysler(as still does, for now...Praise the Lord!) and so he brought all of these car brochures home and said that Chrysler was doing a survey on what kind of car people would like...make, model, color, etc...little did mom know, that she was actually picking out her very own car...Dad and Chad worked on that end of it, while I was busy planning a huge birthday bash at the Tutor's house...With much help from EVERYONE...we were able to pull it off without a hitch...Mom was SO excited! I remember the look on her face when she saw everyone that she loves in the same room...all there to celebrate her life, and the last birthday that she would celebrate on this earth! What an awesome memory! (however that was NOT the subject of this post...OOPS!)
ANYWAY, tomorrow is mom's birthday and when I got to work this morning, this email was waiting for me...
SUBJECT: Thinking of you and your sweet mom...
Hi, Kim! You have especially been on my mind as I always remember your Mom's birthday on April 7th. From the earliest days of our friendship, we would always celebrate around Easter which has stuck with me all of these years! I remember birthday games and Easter egg hunts all wrapped up with the same candied eggs! They are still my favorite indulgence!!
With the sweet memories of her in mind, I have sent a bracelet to you from Laura Gibson Designs. Laura is a jewelry designer in Tucson, Arizona, and she and I worked together at IBM many years ago in San Francisco. Laura became a jewelry designer some years ago, and if you go to her website, you will see that she has enjoyed recognition in many circles.
Laura designed the bracelet in commemoration of breast cancer victims and in support of the cure of the disease. At Laura's website, www.lauragibson.com , you may see a copy of a an issue of Ladies' Home Journal where Robin Roberts (Good Morning America) is wearing this bracelet.
Bren was the sweetest woman I have ever known, and I hope that this gift may be a reminder of what a dear friend she was to me. I am so grateful to remain in touch with you and your dear family. God has blessed me greatly by the most special of friendships with your Mom. It was forged from the moment we met!!
I hope all of your family is well and happy and that you have the Happiest of Easters! Please give your beautiful girls a special hug from me!! :)
P.S. I'm guessing you will receive the bracelet by mid-week.
(Can you imagine that I am a little emotional today after receiving such an amazing email, from such an amazing woman!)
Mary, I can't thank you enough for who you were in Mom's life and who you continue to be in our lives! You have remained a constant source of support for Chad and I and we can't even begin to express our gratefulness to you! And even though mom isn't here to celebrate her 60th birthday with us...We will certainly remember her tomorrow...recounting all the things that we love about her, all the fun memories we have about her and how God blessed her life...one of those many blessing is YOU! God really out did himself when her blessed mom with a friend in you...and because of that...Chad and I are still reaping the benefits!
Thank you for ALWAYS being so thoughtful...One of my many prayers is that I, too can learn from you in how to be so thoughtful and so self-LESS ALL the time! May God bless you ALWAYS...and may you remember that you are LOVED more than you will ever know!
...and yes, she STILL looks like a million bucks :)