Monday, January 16, 2012


This day of Thomas' 18th birthday was much like the day he was born - 
one of the coldest days of the year yet sunny and beautiful.

This day is bittersweet for me - as I wrote to Thomas in his card.  Bitter because I know our time
together will be less in the years to come and I will miss him - we all will miss him.  He is the spark of our family - so often eager to play with his younger brothers and sisters with genuine enthusiasm and joy, helping out with the household chores whenever asked, sharing his views on the Bible which sometimes found he and I nearly debating in recent years, and simply enjoying his company throughout the days.  I will miss the early mornings when he is usually the first to come down and join Mike and I at breakfast time.

It is a sweet time because I am so happy for the gift that he has given me - the privilege to be his mother.   From the very beginning he taught me trust and patience as I wondered how I would ever get through each day during his first few years.   (No, he was not an easy baby nor young child - but I am sure too that I had much to learn about being a mother.)
He has taught me much about faith as he has grown in his own beliefs.  

 Thomas has also let us share in his accomplishments of following his passions - theatre and music.  From such a young age he would put on plays and puppet shows and then began acting with small theatre companies at the age of 7 and has not stopped.    Now in the middle of the college admissions process, he is another step along the path of using the gifts God has given him.

It makes me happy to watch the tender Thomas, the one who is sad when he thinks about the possibility of leaving his baby sister when he goes off to college and missing so many of her "firsts".   The responsible Thomas that wakes himself in plenty of time to get off to work by 7:00 am and makes to-do lists each day.  

It is ever so sweet to think of the man he has become and the new life that he will shortly embark on as he makes his own way apart from his family, while remaining still so very much a part of us.

Here is a poem Thomas wrote last night and shared with me this morning ~

Prospects Of Hope - Jan. 15th 2012 - 18th Birthday

A new dawn breaks
O'er past horizons,
A dream of old reborn to the world.
A journey and a destination,
The beginning now behind me.

I look to the North:
I see the True Soul,
Speaking, serving, ruling.
To me, for me, over me.

I look to the South:
I see the Prism of Light,
Cascading in a multiplicitous form.
Shadowed, but soon revealed through love.

I look to the West:
I see the Stage
A lit with ravens carrying clovers and thorns,
But they all scatter as I draw near.

I look to the East:
I see the Black Dawn rising
Over pyramids of song,
And I hear the dragon stirring.

Beneath me lay crushed bones,
And above me shine stars without fault.

What an epic I shall write.


  1. What a handsome boy, and he sounds like a wonderful human being. Good job and happy birthday to your son!

  2. I'm don't really know poetry that well, but I really like that poem, especially the line, "ravens carrying clovers and thorns".

    You've raised a great son. Happy birthday, THomas!

  3. My oldest daughter will turn 18 this year...although she doesn't have any plans for college (she has a web-site that is her job right now) I can she is growing and changing each day.

    I got married when my sister was 6 months old and I remember those feelings of all the firsts I would miss with her. I would come home to visit and it was like she had grown over night.

    The poem is beautiful you can see all that he hopes to do in


    1. Hi Renee,
      So neat that we both share children entering a new phase of life. Thanks for your thoughts, Tonya

  4. so special. this is right around the corner for us. thank you for showing me such a lovely, gracious way of getting there.

  5. Oh Tonya. I am so teary after reading this- thank you for your beautiful thoughts on motherhood, on raising a now grown child! I cannot imagine how you are feeling now- I think of being in this place in about 8 years- the mingling feelings of pride, joy, and sadness a parent must feel! Happy, happy Birthday!
    And The poem Thomas wrote is so beautiful and powerful and thoughtful- clearly he has given growing older a lot of thought!
    Good luck, Thomas with the journey ahead! May you always find your way home again!

    1. Oh Melanie,
      I have shed many tears lately... mostly because I know how much I will miss him. I love what you wrote to him about always finding his way home - I will share it with him tonight. Thank you!

  6. Finding myself at this stage in my life, seeing my oldest almost reaching this milestone...November is not so far behind.

    Happy Birthday to your son Tonya. It is an epic indeed that he could share his thoughts so profoundly.

    May he continued to be guided inwardly as he has been shown by his mother.

    Happy Birthday Thomas!


  7. Happy Birthday! what a beautiful poem and what an amazing young man!

  8. my third child ( Elijah)will also turn 18 this year. It is somewhat easier as his two eldest sister have already forayed into the adult world but still..
    Your son's poetry is wonderfully mature! I sense he has studied North American Aboriginal spirituality - I work at a Native Cultural Centre and his use of the four directions was beautiful!

  9. A very happy birthday to your son! My eldest will be 11 this year...and I truly feel as though she was born...and I blinked and here we are! I know, Lord willing, that 18 will be here all-too-soon. :)

  10. A belated happy birthday to your son! His poem is so very beautiful.

  11. Tonya, my eyes were washed with tears as I read this post...You so beautifully put your feelings into words, and you made me realize how short a time we have the privilege of sharing so much time, and so much love completely surrounded by our children. They certainly are a wonderful gift. X

  12. What a wonderful gift from the Lord to you and your husband (all your children are). Funny, he sounds so much like my oldest (who will be 19 in a few months)...I almost thought you were writing about my son (kidding, but you get the idea). The time is bittersweet for sure. Happy (belated) birthday.

  13. Happy belated birthday to Thomas. He is a wonderful, talented young man!