This year, I took the time to make an outline for my mom's birthday. I went through a couple of memories from her childhood, mostly that I got from my grandmother earlier in the day. Then I went through some of the choices she made, both good and bad.
We talked about the struggles she faced in her life because she was living for herself.
We talked about her sense of humor, her love of games, especially trivial pursuit and cribbage, how book smart she was, and her desire to help others. We talked about how frugal she was, and how she loved to get a good deal.
We talked about her addictions. We talked about how extreme it got. I told them about the day I watched her be taken away in the back of an ambulance in a straight jacket...
We talked about how I would dress her abscess wounds and nursed her back to health and the decisions that I couldn't bring myself to make at the end. And how God ultimately made that decision for me.
We talked about how much she would have enjoyed her grandchildren, and that she didn't feel old enough to be a grandma, so therefore wanted them to call her 'Honey.' (We also talked about how this would NOT have happened, lol!)
My children walked away knowing a great deal about my mother...but also with a great deal more questions. Questions that I want them to ask. Questions about life, sin, sinful nature, love, depression, drugs, alcohol, death and more. It has been a wonderful opportunity to talk to them about some of the less pleasant issues of this world, and open their eyes to see that they exist.
We ate some of her favorite foods, and her favorite dessert. We talked about other favorites that she had.
All in all, I think it was a good experience, and a wonderful way to honor my mother. To talk about some of the good and the bad. To discuss what lesson we can all learn from her life, and praise God for her, and that she chose life for me...