Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 19, 2014

Once-Ordinary Days

The longer we live, the more that the days on our calendar take on certain significance. All it takes to forever change a once-ordinary date on the calendar is for something beyond the ordinary to happen. For example, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941 as “a date which will live in infamy.” September 11 is to our generation what December 7 is to what Tom Brokaw described as the greatest generation.

Certain dates on our personal calendars are also set apart because of some happening that is of significance only to us — perhaps a birth, death, anniversary, graduation, tragedy, or whatever. Every person that we meet carries with them the joys and pains associated with certain days on their calendars, once-ordinary days forever changed by the stuff of life.


Today is one of those bittersweet days on my personal calendar. Today would have been my mother’s 80th birthday. My beautiful mother observed her 75th and final birthday in the hospital, battling cancer that was diagnosed only days before. She never left the hospital. Two weeks later my mother died quietly in her hospital bed, surrounded by family.

My mother’s death was unexpected in more ways than one. Because her mother had lived to be almost 102 years-old, we always assumed that Mom would also have a long life. Instead, she was the youngest in her family to die. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and give thanks to God for her influence in my life. Her death rattled me and reminded me that there is so much I will never understand about God’s ways and purposes as long as I am on this side of heaven.

So, for me, there are three days in the month of May that will always cause me to be a bit more pensive. Mother’s Day, my mother’s birthday, and the date of my mother’s death will always be filled with a measure of sadness. But, these days also remind me of how fortunate I am to have had such a wonderful mother. Her sweet memory is forever stamped not only on these once-ordinary days on my calendar but, indeed, on every day of my calendar. I miss her still. I grieve with hope. I know I will see her again on a yet undetermined day on the calendar when I draw my final breath.


  1. Pastor,
    You are in my prayers today as the memory of my mom lingers. We have great rejoicing ahead. Love you brother.

    • Thanks, Bruce. I am thinking of you as well as you grieve the loss of your mom. We do indeed have great rejoicing ahead. Love you and appreciate your friendship.

  2. A wonderful tribute to your mom, Omar. I sure understand. My mom’s 4-year battle with cancer ended when she was only 68. That was 20 years ago, and it’s still hard. I look forward to a sweet reunion with her and other loved ones one day.

    • Thanks, Pam. What a blessing it is for us to be able to grieve with hope and to live with the great assurance of a sweet reunion in heaven.

  3. Great article Omar. An excellent reminder to those of us fortunate to still have our mothers to remember to never take things for granted. I pray God to continue to grant you the hope and peace the we as believers share.

    • Thanks, David. I remain grateful for all of the years I had with my Mom.

  4. Your mother smiles down on you daily Omar – and now she enjoys being with you wherever you go – and experiences everything you see and do as it happens. I know I look foward to this with my own wonderful children. Death won’t stop me being a part of their lives and influencing them as they take steps through their lives; just as your mother is still an influencial, and loving part of your life.

    • Amen, Jackie. According to Psalm 30:9 even our dust can continue to praise God and tell the world of His faithfulness. I, too, want to write a good script for my dust — so that when those who survive me think of me, they are inspired by my example to praise and serve God.

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