These days the celebrations have been far and few in between. My mother turned 80 back in March, and while we were gearing up for a special birthday surprise, the world began shutting down.
Turning 80 is quite a milestone and I have been fortunate enough to see both my parents reach this achievement. This celebration was a long time in the making, and something my siblings and I couldn't have been more excited about.
Almost 30 years ago, my mom wrote a children's book for my two oldest nieces. Its hand-typed pages, assembled in a small purse-sized photo album with reinforcement stickers for the 3 miniature binder rings was something that was admired and brought many fond memories as the story became a family favorite among the growing list of grandchildren. However, after everyone grew up, the book became shelved and housed states away with my sister's family as a lovely keepsake.
When tossing around ideas on ways to make my mom's birthday extra special, we decided to take the book out of retirement and get it published. The Stinkweed Story was not only a celebration of my mom's birthday and talents but also because she was able to accomplish one of her life's biggest dreams, becoming an author.
Witnessing this avid reader, writer, and artistic woman's dream coming true, especially at the age of 80 was a true gift. My younger son Ethan re-created all her artwork she had hand-drawn digitally and the newest edition of The Stinkweed Story was born.
My mother has always been a fearless leader, always helping others in need, and inspiring us while putting her family first. The message of The Stinkweed Story mirrors the way she's lived her life. Showing that simple acts of kindness can make a big difference in the lives of others.
This celebration offered more than birthday wishes. It reminded me to not wait for the "perfect time" to honor the people we love. That time is now. It reminded me that God's timing for things is always the right timing, even if it's 30 years later than we had hoped. And, sometimes the more patient we are the sweeter the reward.
You can purchase a copy of The Stinkweed Story on Amazon.