Surrender 51: Heavenly Birthday and Earthly Treasures

Today is Bob Moore’s birthday. He was not a world renowned man and yet I felt a sense of wonder and loss, realizing that for the first time in 95 years, a century nearly, this unique person was not present in his earthly body on this day. There was no party, no birthday lunch as there was last year, no massive slices of chocolate cream pie to laugh over and devour. Surely the world noticed the absence of this bright, beautiful soul. 


All three of his grandchildren and his son noticed. They were aware that this was his first birthday celebrated in a heavenly way, with a host of family members on the other side of the veil. By Divine appointment, Greg and I, Elissa and Josh, Adriel and Nate Pugh, spent part of the day in Arkansas, at Bob’s house. Nathanael had to work today and couldn’t join us, however he communicated by text, and he will go with us to Arkansas on Monday. 
 Papa Bob with Elissa, who was 9 months old.  

As we are preparing the house for the market, Greg and I have been sorting through all the items left behind. We are ready to empty the house so Greg can paint and new carpet can go down. It was time for the kids to walk through the only house they remember their grandparents living in, and decide what they wanted to take to their own homes. 

 Papa Bob and Mimi Leta with Nathanael, who was 1.  

It was a sweet time today, watching the girls look through drawers and cupboards, stacks of photos and a vast assortment of momentos. They exclaimed over found treasures, full of memories. I heard them say often to each other, those magical words that have the power to unlock the past, “Do you remember…?”

 Papa Bob with newborn Adriel.  

One of the fun discoveries today was when the kids, all in their 30’s, uncovered the stereo. Adriel confessed she always thought that piece of furniture was a table! In a short time the top was cleared and the lid opened, revealing a turntable, a radio and an 8 track player. It’s been at least 20 years since anyone has peered inside, much less dropped an album in. 


The 8 track player was tried first, being such a novelty! It worked. The kids found a Sound of Music vinyl. After tinkering with the record player briefly, Julie Andrews’ voice sang forth. It was such an enchanting moment. 

The young men also discovered that the Japanese sake set, a gift to Leta years ago from one of Peterson’s traveling salespersons, actually had sake in the bottle. Sake is an alcoholic drink made from rice. For 30 years or more that set has been on display on a shelf, and I never picked up the bottle. In honor of the day, and Papa Bob’s birth 95 years ago, for the memories and the love and the joys, the four young adults each had a shot of sake, using a cut crystal glass rather than the little ceramic sake cup. I passed on having a taste, but I laughed, watching their faces, as they experienced the fire of vintage sake. 


It was a precious, memorable day, and a start to clearing the house. The girls experienced a bit of overwhelm, looking through so many items, recalling so many memories. I understand! Each sister took home a small collection of treasures, wanting their brother to have a chance to look before they make further decisions. The girls expressed gratitude for their family today, how love and compassion for one another governs our actions and flavors our words. There’s no greed or selfishness exhibited here…only cooperation and care. 

I was proud of them. I know Papa Bob was too. What an amazing birthday for him, to have his granddaughters and their sweeties laughing and remembering in his house, to have his grandson present Monday, to see his son there telling stories to the children. Happy heavenly birthday, Dad! I miss you, and yet I know you are not far away, watching over us all. I love you.