On Mallory’s 35th Birthday

Happy Birthday, Mallory! 

Mallory, who is my first child of my Octane Trio born in the gas pump years 87, 89, and 93, keeps the joy alive with her frequent texts that make me smile.

Mallory, whose texts are treasured moments I don’t take for granted. Ever.

Mallory, who 1,328 days ago turned her life around and got back about the business of living.

Mallory, who most evenings sends her siblings and me a picture of the final Jeopardy clue now that we have Roku and don’t have means to watch at the same time like we used to, who’ll say “I got it before they even finished the clue,” and who’ll give us an extra hint, calling out the key word or the date as the dead giveaway. 

Mallory, whose knowledge far surpasses my own in every category except perhaps Famous Poets or 19th Century American Authors. 

Mallory, who keeps us all updated on what she’s reading – something I believe has steadfast roots from her childhood, when we’d pile up in the bed and read books for hours on end – from picture books to chapter books through the years

Mallory, who at 35 years of age, still engages people in conversation about the “chapter book” that she is currently reading (and says this with a straight face) texts: 

I’m reading a chapter book on my Kindle now that has a “Murder on the Orient Express” feel to it. Very engaging. 12 people get snowed in at a very hygge old fashioned inn in NY and there is no service and they lose power. Someone dies and it looks like an accident and police can’t even get there, let alone be alerted that there’s been a death and that’s as far as I’ve gotten but I know there is going to be another murder! The characters are interesting! (I wonder: does she not realize that she, too, is an interesting character?)

Mallory, who’s a people-loving extrovert (I honestly don’t know where she gets that). 

Mallory, who never meets a stranger, while I smile at folks but secretly can’t wait to be back home on the Johnson Funny Farm, surrounded by pine trees way deep in the woods, just me and the dogs and my husband and the wildlife.

Mallory, who is richly descriptive about things, who texted me when she recently had Covid: 

So at this point in my Covid infestation, there’s still some physical sickness, but the mental fog I’m feeling today is terrible. Do you know that feeling similar to deja vu, but not deja vu where for like 2 seconds you feel like you’re not real? That’s the constant feeling I’ve had all day.

Mallory, who takes the time to tell others that she loves them every single day – who sent me this text just recently, out of the blue, just because:

I know we all fall short every day, but Mom, the more I think about everything, the more you amaze me. After everything you’ve been through with us, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have a mom that shows love and grace and compassion! You’re literally the best mother in the world! (I’m not, I know I’m really not the world’s best mother, but how sweet of her to think so and take the time to text me that she thinks so…)

Mallory, who is also kind and compassionate and literally the best sister in the world, who joined hands with her brother and me in leading us to help her younger sister through a tough time and who keeps the hope alive and prays through scripture, sharing:

Mom, I have gotten signs of hope all day through songs and pictures (the hope of transformation) when I passed a memory on my way home, a reminder that I am no longer where I was, I am driving MY car to my HOME. In little ways today, I feel very hopeful. Jeremiah 29:11. Joel 2:25. Hope!

….and later 

Mom, I just got to TJ Maxx…this is the song that the violinist was playing when I got here……And now I’m crying at the TJ Maxx

Mallory, who calls her grandfather and talks with him, who tells me about their conversations: 

We talked forever! He hasn’t been watching Jeopardy and I read him all the finals and let him guess. We talked about those guilty racists from Brunswick in the Ahmaud Arbery case, we talked about Brian Laundrie, the Holy Bird from Amsterdam, I mean everything.

Mallory, who believes without a doubt that she is a champion (and I have to agree that she is one of my 3 top-notch champion kids):

Mom!!! I got a new phone today! I got service with AT&T. This is your champion daughter btw

Mallory, who loves to read and relax sometimes: 

I tried to tell work that because of my massage and chapter book reading afterwards today that I’m too relaxed to be here 😆

Mallory, who is always precise when I tell her I’ll call her right back: 

Ok. I have to hop in the shower in exactly 39 minutes. 

Mallory, for whom I thank God every day as I do all of my children and grandchildren, praying in my electric blue RAV4 prayer chamber to and from work and ceaselessly throughout the day for their health and safety,

Happy Birthday, Mallory! I’m so blessed God gave me you – you, who bring laughter and joy and love every single day. You are a miracle, and I love you!

Mallory, who is a cherished blessing!

Mallory, who is a cherished blessing!
With grateful thanks to Two Writing Teachers ar Slice of Life for encouraging writers!

4 Replies to “On Mallory’s 35th Birthday”

  1. The happiest of birthdays to your beautiful Mallory! (Is that a Poe shirt? Comprised of The Raven? Love!). Such a sparkling, compelling tribute, Kim. Your love for her echoes in every line. It is palpable. After reading her texts (they are riveting) I believe she should write a book. -Jeopardy! My oldest used to text me the final Jeopardy response before the song was halfway done. Not so much since baby girl Micah arrived – he has his hands full. I celebrate Mallory with you today – this lovely girl with this brilliant mind – and right beside you, I return thanks for every blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim,
    I’m all teary-eyed after reading this loving tribute to Mallory. You really are an amazing mother, friend, human, so listen to Mallory because she is a wise young woman, and the world is a far better place with you in it. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glenda,
      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for those sweet words. Her transformation is nothing short of a miracle, and every day is a gift. I’m listening to her more and more – the good Lord uses her in powerful ways. I agree with Fran – she needs to write a book and share her story with others so they know that there is hope and that God is still in the miracle-working business! I always appreciate your words, my friend. We are all in this life together, and your encouragement and friendship means so much to me. Thank you.


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