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On the 28th, she would have been 49.  It has been a difficult month for me and the family.  Mothers Day was hard, I could not talk to the boys without tears.  Then there have been the three weeks of counting off days to her birthday.  And now it is here.  In our family, we developed the tradition of having a birthday dinner, just us, and later we could have cake and such with others.  Of course, the birthday person got to pick the dinner.  She joked about picking all vegetarian food, as she was a fairly strict vegetarian, but it was in jest.  We got our steaks, she got her grilled 'shroom caps. 

To my boys, the famous Sons 1, 2, and 3, I remind them that she loved them fiercely, a lioness for them.  Let no one cross her line in the sand there!  I am glad to say "remind" because this love is ingrained and like structural timbers to their personalities, and they know this and always have.  Keep that to the fore, O Sons.  Daughter1, she loved you and was thrilled beyond words, as you know, to find out about Grandson1.  She delighted in having you in our home, one more woman to stand with in a house like ours.  We only can imagine how she would have loved your son.

I owe a life of thanks to my in-laws.  In-laws take a lot of guff, especially mothers-in-law.  I will testify that they had many more reasons to have qualms and doubts about me than I  about them!  Yet they recognized that I loved her and would, and they took me in as a member of the family. 

So I say Happy Birthday, my Bethie.  I am so glad we got to celebrate so many together, and I will sorely miss you on this one.  Perhaps  the weeks of fragility have been to let out the pressure slowly so the kettle does not blow up on this date.  Who can say?  I just give thanks to you, Gentle Reader, for your fellowship and support for us.  Thank you, O Lord, for who and what you gave me.