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Birthday Message from Beyond

My marriage was failing, my birthday was a disaster. If only Mom were here…

Birthday message from beyond

Worst. Birthday. Ever. The second my husband was out the door, I collapsed in a heap on the living room sofa and cried my eyes out. He’d gone off to work without so much as a “goodbye” or “I love you.” Not even a “happy birthday.”

Our seven-year marriage was over. That much was clear. We’d just come home after a long weekend in San Francisco, where we’d intended to celebrate my 41st birthday with friends. We were trying to work through our problems. Maybe a mini vacation was just what we needed. But he’d ignored me the entire weekend, even flirted with one of my friends. I spent the whole time stuck in sad, awkward silence. I never felt so alone, so unloved. 

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If only Mom were still alive, I thought. She always knew just what to say, always saw the best in me even when I couldn’t.  “Leave it all up to God,” she’d tell me. “He has a plan for you.” Growing up, those words really annoyed me—how did she know that for sure? Now, though, I’d give anything for Mom’s comfort and encouragement. Please, Lord, I prayed through my tears. Let me feel that love again.

The sound of the mail truck pulling up outside snapped me out of my pity party. I dried my eyes and went to check the mailbox. A purple envelope was at the top of the stack. I examined it closely. Neat cursive on the front. The words spaced perfectly apart. I knew that handwriting! I tore the envelope open. A birthday card.

“I love you and miss you,” the note at the bottom said. “You make me so happy and proud. God loves you too. Have a wonderful birthday. Love, Mom.”

I stood there frozen. Mom had been gone for five years. How in the world had she managed to send me a card?

I rifled through the mail for a clue and found another card, from my sister in Iowa. “Found Mom’s card when cleaning out the basement,” she wrote. “Guess she forgot to send it!”

Did she forget? Or was receiving her card right when I needed it all part of the plan?

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