As I grew older my mother become the queen of birthday parties.
As my birthdays continued to roll around I noticed that the friend filled parties at the local pizza joint or movie house changed into just family dinners with people that I loved the most.
Soon birthday celebrations were down to my mom, my poppers and my husband.
Enduring memories were made each and every year.
In 1997, I broke our yearly tradition of dinner and instead embarked to Salt Lake City Utah where I spent my birthday with loved ones who had been called home and My Heavenly Father.
That forever changed my life.
For my mom's 90th birthday I planned this wonderful night of food and talent with those around us that my mom had come to love because they had embraced her in their loving arms after my poppers had been called home.
It was a wonderful day for her and the best gift I could give to to her.
When one gets to their 90's,they sadly find that all their friends have been called home.
They find themselves in a home, where there is no special birthday cake made just for them, no family dinner and some don't even receive a birthday card.
This year I received one birthday card which got me reflecting on how everyone that knew and made this day so very special had passed through a doorway which I am unable to pass.
Fortunately I have a true blue friend that each and every year bakes me a birthday cake although this year she created a "Strawberry Pie" for my birthday.
I have a loving husband that continues to make this day special by doing special things with me but my circle has been greatly diminished.
While listening to old conference talks President Monson shared this thought that got me to reflecting on how with age comes a loneliness that to many do not understood:
“I went to a lady’s house and asked her questions and sang her a song.
It felt good to visit her.
She was happy because she never gets visitors.
Reading this particular note reminded me of words penned long ago by Elder Richard L. Evans of the Quorum of the Twelve.
“It is difficult for those who are young to understand the loneliness that comes when life changes from a time of preparation and performance to a time of putting things away. …
To be so long the center of a home, so much sought after, and then, almost suddenly to be on the sidelines watching the procession pass by—this is living into loneliness. …
We have to live a long time to learn how empty a room can be that is filled only with furniture.
It takes someone … beyond mere hired service, beyond institutional care or professional duty, to thaw out the memories of the past and keep them warmly living in the present. …
We cannot bring them back the morning hours of youth.
But we can help them live in the warm glow of a sunset made more beautiful by our thoughtfulness … and unfeigned love.” 11
As I watch the hands of Father Time quickly pass, I am saddened that there will come a day when there will be no Birthday card and my true blue friend will no longer be able to bake or make me a special birthday treat.
But I know that my Heavenly Father no matter the time will always remember this special day when He decided to send me to my earthly home and just like my Poppers I am and will always be His little Princess too.