My mother would have been 88 today.
I took the day off and streamed the first few episodes of the last season of Grace and Frankie, because we both loved it and she didn’t get to see this final season.
At one point, I was thinking about birthdays past and how it got harder over the years to come up with presents for her. As she lost more of her sight and mobility and the list of things she could eat got smaller and smaller, the defaults became DVD’s, books on CD and jewelry I made for her.
But then I remembered the year she turned 43. We’d been on vacation in England and the days blurred together as we drove from village to village, seeing the sights and staying in bed and breakfasts. Aware that her birthday was the following week, I’d bought her a beautiful necklace at the Wedgwood factory.
Fast forward to early evening on a busy day of touring. We stopped at Wimpy’s for a burger and chips. After dinner, we ordered ice cream sundaes and when they arrived at the table, my mother began to sing:
“Happy birthday to me!”
That was her subtle way of telling me I’d forgotten her actual birthday! I felt so bad but it made for quite a laugh.
We continued to laugh about that for decades.
Here are a couple of pics of her taken on that English vacation:
A few weeks ago, I finally went through some paperwork I’d found in her desk and sent home to CA to review. Among those papers, I found an obituary she wrote for herself in 2007. You can read it here.
So, Happy Birthday, Ma! It’s gotta be quite a party up there, with Grammy and Grampy, Nick and Judy, Flo and Arthur and all the other friends and relatives waiting to celebrate you.
Dean and I ate Italian in your honor.
Love you and miss you.