Monday, April 30, 2012

Mom was Right! mom's birthday

Today would have been my mother's 86th birthday.
And today the most Incredible thing happened.

I've always known that God is by my side. He sends His
angels to watch over me. I know that to be true.

I've started a journey recently, that is out of my control.
I have never been this sure that God is holding me in the
Palm of His Hand and putting me where I need to be, guiding
me step by step and showing me the way. You might even say that
at times He hits me up-side my head and says "Here you go!".

Today was that that kind of message.

As I said, it would have been my
mother's birthday had she not passed away 5 years ago.
Dolores was a devoted Christian who served the Lord throughout
her life. Even as a teen she played the church organ and sang
in the choir. She took pride in the fact that she raised a family
of singers who knew the value of a gift from God. To this day I still
have her organ pedals hanging on my wall as a reminder that music
is an art and something more personal to each musician that
could ever be defined.

In the last couple of years of her life, my mother had only one
dream left pointed in my direction. She wished she could sing a solo
in church one more time. This was heartbreaking to me because I knew
that the Alzheimer's was taking her abilities away more than she
had realized. I worked with her by saying, "how about if we practice
something and see how it goes?" I even took her to the church
one afternoon and we sang and played the organ, but she was
a little bit too nervous that day and the disease told me
that it wasn't meant to be. A public performance wasn't going
to happen.

Six months before my mother's passing, my father suffered his
own final months which led him to Heaven's open arms. The
choice was for all of my family to sing the "Lord's Prayer" with
our mom during the funeral service. It was an experience I will never
forget, but mostly because it was mom's chance to sing once again
in church...for her love of Christ, her family and her husband.

I thought I had closure with this part of my mom's story. But today....
Five years after her passing and on her birthday, something incredible

On my way to church this mornin I was thinking about mom,
I wished her a happy birthday and how it was funny how people
always seemed to get her date wrong. Some thought her
birthday was the 28th of April and not the 29th. I made extra special
care that I thought about her today, on her date. I even wore her
jewelry (that my niece re-fashioned so beautifully).

(Kleenex alert!) Today I went to church not expecting
to see what I saw and hear what I heard. I didn't expect that
sitting in the front of choir, would be a small humble
postured woman wearing an outfit that my mother would have picked
right out of her own closet. I didn't expect that this woman who had the
same silver gray hair and glasses, like my mother, emphasizing a need for bi-focals
would step slightly up to the microphone and stand in a manner that
would make me nervously wonder if she was able to achieve what
was going to be public performance. My mother came to mind just by
this lady's presence. I was drawn in to her as if she were mine to care for.

And then...

She started to sing.

Just last night I prayed about something I hadn't felt. The
calling to work with the music program at my new church. I didn't know
why, I didn't really feel burnt out from the 40 years of contribution that
I had already made to the other churches and community groups. I didn't
understand it...but I didn't feel the calling.

She continued to sing.

I felt a familiarity about her voice. It was beautiful and confident. I then
started to identify with it...I started to put myself in her position. Would this
be the kind of song I would sing if I were a member of the musicians here
at this church? Could I see myself participating in this manner?
Who is this fail older woman
that reminds me .....mother?

She sang with the voice of an angel...she sang with clarity...she sang with a soaring soprano
voice climbing to the heavens...she sang with the infectious spirit that moves people to
their feet...she sang with the familiar
voice of mother?

She sang....I sobbed.

I had the kind of tears that wouldn't turn off. The kind of tears of happiness, joy,
inspiration and a realized message.

God spoke to me today through Alice- the soloist.

My sign.

Mom was right! I belong with the musicians at Fairhaven.

Dolores (Heberer) Kleinke 1926-2007
Happy Birthday Mom!


  1. 1) Happy Birthday Grandma, love you.

    2) Dang it! I was crying BEFORE the Kleenex alert!

    3) You and your brothers and sisters (whom I lovingly call the Von Trapps) singing the Lord's Prayer that day in church will always resonate in the depths of my soul. It was one of the most beautiful moments I've ever witnessed. I can still hear it; it was breath-taking.

    4) Glad you heard it, saw it, believe it. Renewed spirit? Yep. Love you, you're awesome.

  2. I was sobbbbbbbing today. I couldn't speak. It was your grandma singing her little heart out! I'm still speechless.

    I'm sure there's a southernism that would fit this feeling perfectly! lol!

  3. What a touching story! Thanks for sharing!

  4. A feeling I'll never forget Amanda. thank you.

  5. Please forgive the typos and stuff...I wrote it quickly and posted it too fast...I was toooooo excited to share this story. Have a great day!

  6. How beautiful and surprising and lovely. God speaks to us through our deceased ones, I know this. I'm so happy that you had this tearful, though joyful moment with your "mom." My mom is 92 and I'm dreading the day when she will be gone from this earth.

  7. Yes.. it really was an experience. It's a blessing to know that when our loved ones pass on, it isn't the last we will see of them. My father and mother are always with me. Through Jesus.


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