Monday, May 14, 2012

Jerry's Birthday

Today is the 65th birthday of my husband, Jerry. Jerry celebrates in heaven now, but this day remains special to me because it is a reminder of the life of a very good man.

Jerry's birthday falls very close to Mother's Day; in fact, when his birthday falls on a Sunday, it is Mother's Day. Even when his birthday and Mother's Day coincided, Jerry always seemed to put the priority on Mother's Day. Every Mother's Day he bought corsages for the mothers in his family. That meant me, my mother, and our daughter when she became a mother. He would send some money to his sisters to buy a corsage for his mother, since she lived several hundred miles from us. He would make Sunday dinner for us, which usually meant spaghetti and hot bread. We never had much money, but money is not necessary to make the people you love feel special.

Today, in memory of his birthday, I'm including one of my favorite photos of Jerry. Some might think this a strange favorite, for he is obviously quite dirty and grungy. That is why it is so dear to me. It tells a lot about the kind of man he was.

This photo was taken on his 57th birthday, which turned out to be his last birthday, so there is a touch of sadness to it. But mostly I enjoy looking at it. That birthday was spent hard at work for a landscaping company that was doing the grounds of a new apartment complex. It was hard, dirty work. At the end of the day there was a pickup load of sod left over that would soon be dead if not used. The job foreman gave it to Jerry; we had a new house with an unfinished yard. So, after working hard all day, Jerry and Chad, our dear son-in-law, spent the evening until well after dark laying sod in our yard. They did pause long enough to eat some supper, but saved the birthday cake and ice cream until after the sod was all down and watered in.

The job finished, they came in and we lit the candles on the cake. Just then the telephone rang. It was Jerry's sister Jean, calling from Colorado to wish him a happy birthday. You can see from his big smile how much he enjoyed talking with her!

So, Happy Birthday, Jerry! I know every day is special where you are, but this day is special to us because it means you were part of our lives, blessing us and giving of yourself to us. You were a wonderful husband, a great, loving father, adored by your children, a beloved grandfather, and a faithful servant of God.