It's 49 years old today, this simple token of love, pieced together with childish determination, eager little hands, and sticky paste-in-a-jar. The card is a bit worse for wear, edges worn, sepia stained, red ribbons hanging on for dear life. The raggedly cut heart is a bit bruised, folded and frayed along the edges. But it still holds tight.
The little boy is now grown, 58 years old. He wears his mama's shade of hair, as do his daughters, and many of his grandchildren. Those childish hands are now big and strong, and craft all things made of wood, and mend other pieces to share with others.
And the mama of three, who did her best with what she had, spends her days trapped in a hazy world of shadowy confusion, her mind long dimmed, shut down by the tragic, dreaded disease. He now lives far from her, but she remains a vital part of him.
The card has faded over time. But his childish love has morphed into something faithful and substantial, a gently fierce determination that mama is cared for in the absolute best way humanly possible. And the little boy, now a grandpa, prays that God will soon welcome her home to His healing place of heavenly rejoicing.