For millions of people today is All Saints Day. But for me and many others, this day of my mother's birthday can be rightly named “One Saints Day.” As the oldest member of our family my mom Maida Gower Shepard has been a beloved member of our clan for 95 years. She has always had the status of Sainthood in my book.
Maida Gower Shepard on her 95th Birthday
with Barbara, Gary and Steve Shepard
First and foremost we celebrate Mom today for being a caring parent of her 6 children to whom she has been, and continues to be, an emotional and spiritual guide. She has had one or more of her children living with her for the last 73 years, ever since the day their first child Gary was born in 1946. Their kids have come and gone numerous times over all those years, but through it all mom and dad created a loving and generous home where all felt welcome.
We also celebrate mom on her birthday today for being devoted to her whole family. Their home in Anacortes was the place her mother Nola Shannon Gower spent the last few years of her life until her death in 2004. And before that theirs was the home for Dad’s mother Bura Davis Shepard for the last years of her life until she passed away in 1986.
And of course we celebrate the fact that Mom has made it to the age of 95. That doesn’t happen by accident. You don't get to be 95 without taking good care of yourself and living a healthy, wholesome life. We don't know what God has in mind for the future of our dear mother, but we do know that by the grace of God she will be well cared for, in this life and into the next. For now we joyfully have her with us for yet another birthday, and we continue to cherish every day that we are blessed by her presence.
- - -