Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"November Thirteenth"

As a child, anticipating November 13th drew a lot of excitment. Thoughts of who would remember that date, how many gifts would I get, if I would have a great big birthday cake with colorful candles would thrill my very soul. This was a day that was a celebration of ME. My own special observance. Well.... until my baby sister came along. She was born on November 13th eleven years later. I vividly remember only two birthdays of my youth and this is one of them. Being the only girl, the eldest of three brothers, my sister's birth was a great joy. A child under 14 years of age was not allowed to visit patients in the hospital. I could not wait until they brought her home. She was so beautiful, and she is still beautiful today (even though she was a bit of a brat growing up :-) I love her dearly.

To this day, my greatest birthday memory was my 7th birthday. My parents were a struggling young couple and my mother was attending nursing school. My father would use the family car to get to work on a swing shift at a refinary. My mother would wake at 5 a.m. to get ready and catch the bus to school each day. She would drop me off at a close friends house around 6:30 a.m. where I would stay until it was time for me to go to school.

On this particular day (11/13th) she woke me up which seemed to be in the middle of the night. I couldn't understand why she didn't turn on any lights in the darkness. We turned the corner in the small hallway and I saw a dim light coming from the kitchen. My little tiny heart begin to beat a little faster and I became very anxious. And then... WOW!! the breakfast table was filled with candlelight. I had no cake, no present, no card, no guests. But, OH!!!...I did have my Mama, her home cooked breakfast, her love, just she and I alone in the dim lite kitchen talking about what "I" wanted to talk about. Most of all I appreciated her thoughtfulness and imagination to make her little girl happy inspite of having no other means or money. After we ate, she put me back to bed for a little while longer until it was time to leave for the day. For the rest of that day my mind would relive my moments with Mama over and over. With great pride, I told all of my closest friends at school that day. This shall be my most cherished memory for as long as I live. It's remembrance ALWAYS bring tears. Thank you Mama.

As an adult I have had many wonderful gifts and celebrations. My husband never forgets and has given me priceless memories, birthday parties, trips, etc. The congregation has also been very thoughtful and generous to their First Lady. I love the happy birthday song that is sung to me by my grandchildren on the phone and hearing from my Sons and wives. Oh yes, and the birthday card my Mom sends in the mail even though we live in the same city :-) My excitement is different of that of a child. I reflect upon the blessings of God and the valley and mountaintop experiences and rejoice.

When approaching my 35th birthday I became depressed because I didn't want to be 40. In the meantime, God taught me through some hard lessons to be grateful for added life. By age 50 I had learned to rejoice. I am excited about the gifts that God has ALREADY given me. My family, my faith, salvation, contentment in mind and spirit, shelter, food, health. I could go on and on. I can truly say that I don't need a thing for my birthday as I look towards 60 but prayer.

As I close, I would like to borrow a thought from my husbands favorite scripture, Phillippians 1:21. It is my desire and pleasure to daily live for Christ. He is my greatest joy and excitement. I wait in great anticipation to "gain" my greatest gift that awaits me.....
Eternal Life.

Thank you Jesus!

Happy Birthday to my beloved Sister
on November Thirteenth
Ms. Malinda L. Francis Ward
I love you


Fitts said...


This is so touching. I want to wish you a early Happy Birthday! May God richly bless you and may that day for you be filled with precious memories!

Tell your sister that your most mischievous blog son said Happy Birthday!

Thank you for what you do,



Thank You for your expressions of what seemed to be only fond memories of wonderful Birthdays.

Happy Birthday to you and your sister...

GOD Bless~~~

Pastor Lance A. Mann said...

Mother, I am so grateful to have you apart of each of the lives of your blogging sons. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to both you and your sister! And know that God put you in all of our lives so that we can see another example of a Godly woman striving to serve the Master in this present age. Stay sweet. P.S. Fitts is without a doubt your most mischievous blog son LOL.


Kim said...

Well I wanted to be the first to say Happy Birthday but I'm not. Happy Birthday anyway and I pray that you will have a Blessed Day and many more to follow.

malinda said...

Well Vie, this is your sister (your biological sister; the one with the same birthday and all!)Please regard this as a birthday present because this is the first time that I have ever participated in a blog. Only for you my dear! I was really touched by your "Two Cents Worth" while reading it today. It's good to know that I was and still am loved by my big sister (even though I was a brat growing up). Don't tell anybody, but, I think I'm still a brat. Just an old one. I love you so very much and have a wonderful birthday! Linda

Pastor W.L. Pullam said...

Wow! This is truly a moving, touching and heartfelt post. It is both beautiful and "priceless."
I thank God for both you and my baby sister, Malinda, of whom I had the distinct honor of helping to register in the first grade. God bless you "my sweet" and thank you for sharing these memories from the heart.

Watch Me Change said...

I wish you a wonderful birthday. It's good to know that God has blessed you with wisdom and grace all these many years. I love you.

Keith D. Witherspoon said...

Happy Birthday Mother!

I wish you many more!!

Pastor Andre' A. McGhee said...

Happy Birthday to a most deserving Woman of God. It is my prayer that you and your sister can write another glorious chapter to your "Book of Birthdays." Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Happy early birthday mom....I can tell from your blog that you and your mom were really close. As you approach your birthday I pray it will bring more greatful thoughts and precious memories.

Be Encouraged Mom and "Keep on Truckin"...lol....remember that one?

Tony R.

mother said...

Happy Birthday baby. I love you You keep the melody in my heart Your eyes still shine at me just as they did when I first saw you and held you in my arms. Having two daughters sharing the same birthday is a joy . You are both lovely yet so different. you are both beautiful yet differently talented and loved by others You both make me soooo-- proud My God continue to bless you both

Shanita Waters said...

That was beautiful. Happy Birthday and if I'm not able to make it by here tomorrow. I lost your page and am happy to have found it again. I'll see if you have a link to follow your blog.

I wish you the best of blessed days!


Clinton Smith said...

Happy Birthday young blog-Mom!


I just returned from Bible Study which one of your blogging sons serve as my pastor Andre`a McGhee, GOD is really operating through him.

I quickly logon to my computer to see that I have been truly adopted into the family of blogging, Once again.

Happy Birthday


GOD Bless You~~~

Pastor Kraig L. Pullam said...

Well let me say that I have been out of pocket the past few days on the blog...but I am so glad to have read your blog for the day! I did not forget your birthday on the 13th...I praise God for your life, health and strength. What a blessing you are to so many; and we praise God for the day of your birth. It is a blessing to be alive! Of course you will hear my voice on your birthday, though I wish I could be there...if the Lord says the same.

Love you,

Shauna said...

Good Morning NaNa Bear!!

First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thank you for sharing your most cherished birthday memories. As a child I had many cherishable birthday moments but the most memorable one for me is when i received my first cabbage patch doll, to me that was a dream come true. When I was smaller I couldnt wait for my birthday and also couldnt wait to see what i was going to get, but now that Im past 30 I can relate to how you felt. It seems as if time begins to fly by when you pass 30 then you're like whoa! slow down what's the hurry. But I have learned to be grateful to God for every minute of everyday throughout the year that he blesses me to see. God has truly been good to me these 31 years and I will continue to follow him wherever he leads me. As an adult, i have come to learn that birthdays have become more and more sentimental to me each year. The little things mean alot to me it is not about receving material things anymore like it was when i was younger, but now it is about thanking God for another year lived full of his grace, mercy and blessings, as well as being in the presence of, or talking to those that genuinely love and care for me on my special day. It is your special day today and I thank God for not only creating such a beautiful precious gem, but I also thank him for sending that beautiful precious gem my way to partake in the life that he has given me!!! Having you in my life has truly been a blessing in so many ways!! May God continue to bless you and keep you in his perfect will and may he grant you the grace to see many, many, more birthdays!! I love you VERY much!!! Have a blessed and wonderful birthday!!!

Pastor Kevin L. Pullam said...

Hey Mom... "I've been through the storm and rain, OOHH but I made it." Point??? I am SSOO glad I made back to your blog BEFORE midnight. I read the post early this morning but was interupted by children getting off to school and didn't get around to "commenting." I was overjoyed early to hear the happiness and contentment you obviously feel and experienced today for your birthday. You DESERVE that and so much more. You are a virtuous Lady (notice I've been listening and didn't just say woman). You are a faithful Christian. You are an excellent wife. Loving and Diligent mother... The list goes on. As I said earlier, I can't imagine life having any mother besides you. Kraig as expressed my same sentiment. November 13th, 19-- (I'm not crazy) was a notable and needed day in history. There was birthed, on that day, a jewel of rarity and riches. Your "price is far above rubies." Thank you for who you are. On this birthday you remind me that YOU are actually the gift to mass and multitude of people. Love You

Aunt Malinda, I think about you all the time and miss you so much. Hope that you were bombarded with blessing on your birthday. You are STILL my favorite Aunt. Love You TOO


La'Tonya said...

Mom, this is my OFFICIAL birthday blessing!

What a Mighty God we serve and what a beautiful model He has given so many, especially me, to follow! Just the mere fact that one of your fondest memories as a child is centered around not material gain, but rather a mother’s love, gives testament of the kind of spirit that you possess. You’ve allowed that beautiful spirit to resonate into all who come into contact with you and I believe myself to be a better wife, a better mother and a better Christian because of you. I have said it before, and will go to my grace declaring that Sis. Vietta L. Pullam is the epitome of how a woman ought to always present herself. “Who can find a virtuous woman?” anyone who looks to you. For your price is far above rubies!

I don't a childhood birthday memory as extraordinary as yours, but I have a memory as a young woman (a new daughter-in-law) that, even as I type, brings tears to my eyes. It was about 12 years ago. We were celebrating the Birth of Christ and although I wore a smile that day, I still felt somewhat out of place and found myself in a bit of a funk. I remember a present under the tree in a big beautiful box addressed from you to me. I wasn’t sure what it could have been. I knew it had to be special but never in a million years did I image it was such a marvelous gift, such an incredible expression of a mothers love. It was my red and white afghan. I remember you having to wear a brace that all week and I later found out that it was because even though your wrist was tired, you never faulted. You were determined to finish that gift because you knew it was what I NEEDED and you knew WHY. I thank so much for that memory and I love you so much for loving me so much.

Anyway…. I’ll wipe my tears (you wipe yours) and I’ll end with this…. I honor you today and pray that your day has been one that is as beautiful as you truly are! I’m elated to hear of how Gods “aging” grace has not only been a growth experience for you but a reason to rejoice as well and I have to say mom, YOU MAKE 50 LOOK FABULOUS!!!

I thank you and I love you dearly


p.s. When I grow up, I want to be just like you. =D

Anonymous said...

Oops, almost messed up!

Birthday Blessings to my beautiful auntie Melinda. I pray that this day finds you basking in the bountiful blessings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I love you

Vietta P's two cents said...

I am truly overwhelmed by all of your kind words. I even read the parts BETWEEN the lines of some of you. You will never know what it means to me at this time and moment of my life. EACH of you have touched me in such a PROFOUND way. Far beyond that of a happy birthday greeting. You have touched a part of my heart and spirit that only my husband could begin to grasp its meaning to me and why. I am a product of, and I personally can understand how Christians can NEVER "know" ALL the ways an individual can miss opportunities to display a portion of REAL ministry of love. Thank you for that kind of spiritual discernment in regards to me on November Thirteenth. Thank you for taking the time. You are ALL very busy people yet, you met my DESIRE to hear from loved ones on my special day. As you can tell I have a GREAT memory (so far) and this I won't soon forget. My first blog happy birthday has been great. It's coming up again one of these days I'm sure. Receiving sincere love notes from the heart has always been one of my all time favorites :-)

May you continue to be blessed of God as He supplies all of your needs and may you bask in the WONDERFUL essence of His love.

Meanwhile, I will be looking foward to November Thirteenth once again, if it is the Lord's will and be so gracious in allowing it to be so.

Thank you Lord, and thank each of you.

Rev.Aaron Holcombe said...

Happy Belated birthday my sister in Christ. What a wonderful post!