Thursday, August 19, 2010

Friday the 13th

Yes, I's technically not Friday the 13th, but we've been busy here getting ready for our first week of school (and for those of you who know, I'm a shameless procrastinator).  My Mom always said that Friday the 13th (F13) was her favorite day.  She was born on an F13 and passed away on an F13.  Last Friday I was feeling down - really missing my Mom.  How could I help not think of her on an F13?  I looked forward to the day that I would call my Mom for parenting advice (hey, after all, I didn't turn out that bad, right?) and wished that she were here to hold her grandkids. 

My Mom loved teaching, golfing, playing bridge and bird-watching.  She marveled at the Canadian geese that would flock to the shores of the Mississippi River, but her favorite bird was the Cardinal.  She often joked that, once she left Earth, she would come back as a Cardinal.  "Whatever," I'd mutter as I rolled my teenage eyes.  Now, over nine years since her death, whenever I'm faced with a particularly stressful situation, a Cardinal appears in some form or another.  Even if the season or weather fails to cooperate, the Cardinal makes its presence known.  For instance, over the years, the Cardinal has taken form of a stuffed Weebean, card, photo, a thermometer and most recently, a toll-free number that you can dial to hear the distinctive chirp of the Cardinal.

Last Friday, however, proved to be different.  No Cardinal appeared...not in any shape or form.  To make the day worse, the strong thunderstorm knocked my Cardinal thermometer off the porch wall and it shattered beyond repair.

I know it seems silly, but I truly felt abandoned.  Finally the mail came.  All the usual suspects - a few bills, a few magazines, an invitation...whoopie.  From between the pages of one of the magazines fell an oddly-shaped, rather thick envelope; addressed to me from my aunt in Minnesota.  The envelope contained an incredible gift - one much more treasured than a Cardinal.  Two years ago, my aunt had challenged herself with the task of transferring old family slides to digital discs.  I raced to the computer to view the images.  Bless her heart!

There are some amazing photos on that disc, but this one is my favorite...not because the quality is fantastic or that the expression on my face is is my favorite because I had never seen it until last Friday.  Happy F13 Mom!


  1. what a precious gift... and in God's perfect timing!

  2. I've found you, dear Julie. This is "Bat." Your darling mom and I were "sisters." Starting in college together at Hamline. Sadly, we lost contact in the late, very late 90's. Doesn't matter why. The fact that my Bo is no longer here does. Perhaps we can find a way to "talk." I have tons and tons of pix. My precious Jim and I were your godparents (never understood what that was. grins). Love reading your thoughts. What sweet boys. Just ran across a pic of you holding a baby. I think it was son, Clay. Maybe your brother, Brian. I'd have to go back and look, sweetie. What a lovely lady you are. I so want to know what happened with your mom. Much as I use the internet to find out anything I want, I dislike the "public-ness" of it. grins. So I can't post my e-mail. And perhaps you'll never see this. Btw, I was there the night you were born. Bringing your dear Gramma Gladys (Gladdie as your mom called her) to the hospital. So many memories. Forgive the "rattling." Just happy to "see" your face. Later. I hope. With love, Arleen (Bat)