The Bonus Prize

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She has always been a gift to me. Never in an official role, she has always been the bonus prize.

When befriending her oldest, I got the chance to gain her by virtue of being my friend’s mother. She exemplified what it meant to love Bobby – to both help him from falling and to be there for him when he did. Her persistent love for her son through the ups and downs showed me what it was to be a mother, before I was even trying to learn. Her persistent love for her son since his death has reminded me to cherish the days as they pass, to hold them gently and loosely, and to be a good steward of the lives entrusted to me. For nothing remains forever, other than the love shared. That always remains.

As wife of the pastor and eventually the boss, she became not only the family friend but also a source of encouragement and support. Her words always have a power to soothe me. They are a balm that restores my spirit.

As lover of babies and queen of the nursery, she became one of my first instructors in motherhood. She received the arrival of both boys as her own personal gift – not in a sense of ownership, but in the spirit of stewardship. She cares for the newborns of Highland with the same gentle perseverance that Mother God showers upon us all.

On this occasion of her 60th birthday, I pause and give thanks for her life and the gift that she continues to be.

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