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Rebecca’s Gift

Someone had said to her, “Let’s go out front. Want to show you something.”

20140920-untitled (38 of 134)“Oh, that’s a really pretty car.” 20140920-untitled (39 of 134)It’s yours, Rebecca. A gift from your brother Steve. 20140920-untitled (40 of 134) 20140920-untitled (41 of 134) 20140920-untitled (43 of 134) Aw, Aunt Bek, we love you so much.20140920-untitled (53 of 134) 20140920-untitled (54 of 134)We were down at Steve’s to help celebrate his 20th pastoral anniversary when last Saturday all this happened–Rebecca’s generous, giving brother Stephen surprised her with a shiny red Cadillac.

20140920-untitled (50 of 134)I believe I have mentioned before that our dear Rebecca has suffered cruel breaks in life, the major one being extreme and deadly health issues. Literally, she has more than one time been at the point of death. She is divorced and not able to work. Her old car was choking and heaving.

20140920-untitled (56 of 134)20140920-untitled (61 of 134)Sir Winston dressed for the occasion.

In the midst of this disheveled, gone crazy world, where only yesterday in Oklahoma a woman was beheaded in her work place…..there are still those who care, who love, who give. Lots of them.


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Rebecca’s 50th

She was born 50 years ago during those ancient days when parents did not know the sex of their baby until the baby was born. We already owned Steve and Mike and I was eager for my third one to be a girl. In the delivery room I heard her wailing and I asked, “Is it a boy or a girl?”

“It’s a girl. A healthy little girl.”

I recall vividly through my hazy state of mind that I continued to ask two or three times if it really was a girl. Finally, my very friendly doctor said, “Mrs. Buxton, I’ve had lots of experience telling a girl from a boy. This is definitely a girl baby.”

And so she was. Tiny and beautiful. The best daughter anyone could ever have, she has brought unspeakable joy to Jerry and to me. She is kind, giving, a Christian, thoughtful, loving, steadfast, optimistic, determined . . . and on Friday the 19th will be 50!

I planned a surprise family party, found a date that would fit all my children’s schedules and made reservations at the Claim Jumper in San Bernardino. Everyone was in place (except Steve and Dearrah who couldn’t make it after all because of Steve’s knee surgery)when Holly and I walked in with her. A massive balloon bouquet was flying from her chair, gifts were on the table, everyone yelled surprise, and she was! Totally–didn’t suspect a thing.

Holly (whom we count as family 🙂 ) helped me pull it off by inviting Rebecca and me out for dinner. “I’ll take pictures of you and Holly since you’re best friends, so be all dressed up,” I told her. We had to cancel plans for taking pictures at an outside location because of pouring rain, but in her house we grabbed a couple of instruments and I snapped pictures of the two while we stalled for the party people to assemble at the restaurant.

She posed with her dad and with Nathaniel before Jerry whisked Nathaniel away and in the car told him of the surprise party.

We had a wonderful waiter, we all ordered from the menu and had a delightful visit as we ate our delicious food, drank coffee, and ate from the huge cake the staff so wonderfully presented. It was so big, we had 8 boxes left over.

Another large group in the room was celebrating a birthday, so Mike and Rebecca loosed one of the balloons from her bouquet, and Mike took it over to them and wished a happy birthday. A delightful aura of happiness and human good-will was the atmosphere that night. It was a great party for an exceptional person.

(All the birthday pictures are posted over on my flickr account.)

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The Chipped Cup

While she was still there, I drank coffee from the cup, and after she and Nathaniel left for their home, I set the cup and its fine saucer on the sill beside my kitchen window where I have a splendid view of trees and birds and the flowers of next-door-neighbor-Bill which change by the season.

The cup was hidden in a gift bag when Rebecca brought it up to our place after church on Sunday–Mothers Day Sunday. After the excellent meal for which Nathaniel expertly grilled chicken and the rest of us added things to round out the feast, Rebecca handed me the bag. As I was drawing out the contents I recognized I was grasping the edge of a saucer, and knowingly (and slightly sarcastically) said, “I can tell this is something I really need,” for it is well-known among my family that I have a penchant for beautiful dishes, and possess far more than I need. Anyway, here it was; a Mothers Day gift from my only daughter, Rebecca. It is beautiful. The blue is an amazing shade and the floral images appear to be hand-painted and they definitely are gold trimmed. Made in occupied Japan, it is an old cup and saucer set.

“It has a chip, Mom,” Rebecca anxiously said, “but it’s on the other side from where you will sip.” Within my hand, I turned the elegant cup and tilted it so that I could see the area she indicated…and saw that she was right. The cup is flawed. Damaged. A chip mars its edge.

Rebecca had brought brownies, and when I prepared the coffee cups, I poured strong black coffee into my new cup. The golden handle fits me perfectly, (“Look Mom,” Rebecca had said earlier. “The cup is so old the paint has worn from its handle.” ) and sure enough the chip was on the other side when I lifted the cup to my mouth.

Heavy fog was rolling in, threatening to make the trip down the mountain treacherous, so rather early Rebecca and Nathaniel gathered their things, we said our good-byes and they were gone.

On Monday morning, as I stood at my sink, my eyes fell on the beautiful blue cup…and its chip. I began crying. I cried then (as I do now) for love, and neediness, and for my beautiful daughter, and thoughts of her difficulties in life, and for her strength, and for her inner beauty, and her outer beauty, and her loyalty, and her fine son, Nathaniel, and her health challenges, and her financial challenges, and her extreme and sincere love of God and of the church, of her love for her mom and dad and for her brothers, and for those less fortunate than she…

My heart hurts, but my tears are of joy. Joy that God blessed me with such a daughter as Rebecca. Joy that on Mothers Day, 2010, Rebecca deigned to give me a chipped cup, knowing I would love it and would appreciate it. Joy that Rebecca understands there is value in things old and broken and marred and, perhaps, cast aside.

I’m in Lake Havasu now. I left the cup in Crestline…for fear that in travel it would become shattered.

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The Birthday of Rebecca Jean

She was full-term, but tiny; 5 lbs 8 ounces 18 1/2 inches long, when on October 19th, Rebecca joined our family, rounding us out to five now. Her birth was before the days of routine sonograms, so I didn’t know the sex of the new baby, and having thus far only male beings around me, I was hoping for a daughter. Jerry and I had decided her name would be Rebecca. In the delivery room, slightly hazed from drugs, I heard my baby wailing, and the doctor said, “Mrs. Buxton, you have a baby girl.”

“A girl?”

“Yes, Mrs. Buxton, a girl.”

“Are you sure? Are you sure it’s a girl?” I remember feeling warmly foggy, and asking this question, which didn’t seem at all extraordinary to me.

The doctor chuckled, then spoke again, “Mrs. Buxton, I’ve had lots of experience telling boys from girls, and this definitely is a girl.”

The nurses and doctor did their work, then they handed me my daughter. Rebecca. Little did I know at that moment what a precious person had been given to the earth. Today is her birthday, and with all sincerity I say there could be no better daughter than my Rebecca. She loves God, is a remarkable mother, dotes on her dad, looks after me, cares about her siblings, is kind and tender-hearted, beautiful, fair, intelligent and strong. DSC_0021She’s had many rough breaks in life. Severe, life-threatening health issues have battered her about, knocked her down, and ravaged her. Inevitably, she rises, and with rare courage and gutsy strength, she walks again.

Friday, we met for lunch, then while Jerry got a haircut and picked up Nathaniel from school, she and I went to Barnes and Noble and the World Market where we prowled about for a couple of hours.

I am most blessed to say I am the mother of a truly remarkable, beautiful person–Rebecca Jean. And at this moment, I wish her a very happy day…and the kind of future she deserves.