Today.... is no ordinary day.
On this day... this very day... eighty six years ago...
If today... she hadn't been born. My whole life would have been changed forever.
If she hadn't come into this world to immigrant parents.
If she hadn't been raised in a home filled with brothers and sisters.
If she hadn't danced around the kitchen with her dad.
If she hadn't dared to be daring.
If she hadn't quit school to help provide for her family.
If she hadn't let the man who pursued her heart catch her.
If she hadn't made it to the hospital in time.
If she hadn't been brave enough to take on the world when she was left alone.
If she hadn't packed her life in suitcases and gotten in that car.
If she hadn't been daring enough to leave all she knew... all she loved... with three little girls in tow.
If she hadn't decided that she wasn't going to give up.
If she hadn't made a new life in a new place where she had never been.
If she hadn't determined that she wasn't going to let whatever life held for her decide who she was going to be.
If she hadn't made sure that the life she built for her daughters was going to be better than the life she had had herself.
If she hadn't worked herself to the bone.
If she hadn't loved more than she knew she could.
If she hadn't supported... fought for... thrown away what didn't belong....
If she hadn't gotten up every morning to go to a job that was not what she had envisioned for herself.
If she hadn't raised my mom to be just like her.
If she hadn't gotten back up when others knocked her down.
If she hadn't decided that she needed more than she was able to provide for herself.
If she hadn't said yes to Jesus.
If she hadn't loved her family with more passion than anyone I have ever known.
If she hadn't picked a lonely and hurting little girl up every other week-end.
If she hadn't filled her house with heavenly music... sharing her love for worship.
If she hadn't been silly... filled with so much joy.... and showed exactly what laughter should sound like.
If she hadn't stayed up to play dominoes and let a seven year old win.
If she hadn't shared Sizzlers and Fish N Chips.
If she hadn't made chocolate pudding for dessert.
If she hadn't introduced me to Jesus and showed me what passion for Him looks like.
If she hadn't showed any of us what you do when those you love are hurting and they need you desperately.
If she hadn't shouted at the devil and taught me how to fight.
If she hadn't held a very sick little girl and demanded that she be taken care of.
If she hadn't mended our broken home and helped to pick up our shattered pieces.
If she hadn't let me crawl into bed with her when I was scared.
If she hadn't taken me aside and secretly taught me to shave my legs.
If she hadn't shown me what a real women looks like.
If she hadn't shown me strong in the face of hard.
If she hadn't danced and laughed in our living room.
If she hadn't taught me to make home made tortillas like her mama used to make.
If she hadn't shown me what it takes to make a house a home.
If she hadn't looked at me with that look that I knew meant I had broken her heart.
If she hadn't danced in the hospital hallway when she found out her first great grandchild had arrived.
If she hadn't chosen to watch my baby and wipe my tears as I was forced to drive to a job that took me away from where I wanted to be the most.
If she hadn't shown my two year old that it was okay to get up on the table and twirl around with glee.
If she hadn't let my baby boy launch himself right into her waiting arms.
If she hadn't loved us so much.
If she hadn't understood.
If she hadn't been there.
If she hadn't cared.
If she hadn't cooked.
If she hadn't cleaned.
If she hadn't disciplined.
If she hadn't grabbed us with her fierce love wrapping us up in that love as her arms surrounded us.
If she hadn't been selfless.
If she hadn't prayed.
If she hadn't cried.
If she hadn't traded normal with what was uncomfortable.
If she hadn't chosen adventure instead of convention.
If she hadn't set the definition of what my family stands for today.
If she hadn't shown any of us what true devotion. True sacrifice. And True love looks like.
If she hadn't been born today....
I wouldn't be the woman I am now.
Even though you don't remember...
Even though the disease that has stolen so many precious memories from your mind...
And has robbed you of understanding sometimes.
Of knowing who we are when we call you on the phone.
Even if that confusion that I so often see now in your eyes squeezes my heart until it hurts...
I want you to know Grandma....
Because you chose to love me. I love more.
Because even though I disappointed you at times... and still do... you never give up on me... and always welcome me with your open arms.
Because you dreamed big grandma... I dream bigger.
Because you put up a fight.... I fight harder.
Because you didn't let anyone tell you that your passion was wrong.... I have chosen to live my life passionately.
Because you lived your life sold out for your Savior.... grandma.... my children are choosing to serve Him with theirs.
Because you didn't hold back and gave us everything.... we live our lives with our arms wide open.
Because of you grandma.....
You are our gift from God.
A true and lasting treasure formed by our Masters hands.
Embedded deeply into the very depth of who your family is. Who we all are.
Because of you... we show glimpses of who He made you to be.
I know that the days are few...
I know that there isn't much more of what we have had the privilege and honor to know up until now...
And although I can feel the time slipping through my finger tips... even as I try and grab for it...
I know that I can't make it what it was.
Even though Grandma... if you can't anymore...
I will remember for you. I will never forget.
I, this granddaughter of yours... will never be the same because you have made all the difference in my life.
Because eighty six years ago today.... You were born.
It was no ordinary day....
Not for me.
Happy Birthday Gram.
I love you.
"... She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates."