Saturday, October 28, 2006

What a Moment!

I've been neglectful of my blog recently because I have been again out of town, in the Pacific Northwest, on a mission. I have come without child, and return again tomorrow. The purpose of the visit was twofold. First, my Mama turned 60, so I went to surprise her for her day. Second, my sister in law is having a party at her new house in Seattle for Halloween. The Husband had to come up for business reasons, so I wrangled a little visit myself for the weekend. The party is tonight.
The best, however, was surprising my Mama. She has had her knickers in a twist about her birthday for about the last year. Somehow, turning 60 hit a few panic buttons for her, and made her feel old. Between her doctors telling her along the way that due to her disease she'd never see 60, and knowing that people who work in hospitals characterize anyone over 60 as "elderly", she's been subconsciously battling the concept of BEING old. Like death is right around the corner for her. The truth is, with the disease she has, death could very well be right around the corner. But probably no moreso than it has been for the last 5-10 years. The truth also is that she could live to be 70 or better, it all depends on fate. She could die of something completely different than rheumatoid arthritis or its complications. I could get hit by a car or my plane could go down tomorrow. We never know. The best we can do is to enjoy each day, and not obsess on how we can outfox the Grim Reaper.
So anyway, Mama was having a hard time. She had been working on herself to pull out of it, had been feeling like it would be alright, but told eveyrone she wanted to do nothing special for her birthday, no dinners or visits or presents or anything. She just wanted to pretend it was any other day, and get on with it. But the day before the birthday, she was entirely fit to be tied. Just all in a dither, couldn't figure out what to do or not do, thought about going out of town just to get out of town and be doing something somewhere else instead of sitting and WAITING for her birthday to come and go. This was the day I was to arrive. My sister and I hadn't told her a word about me coming, and were lying enough to get kicked straight to some ring of pergatory if not hell, in order to create a plausible theory for where I was and what I was doing. We talk at least once a day if not more, so avoiding her was tricky. I got to Dallas and heard she wanted to go out of town, so I told her she couldn't, as her gift was being delivered to her house between 5 and 8 that night. She wanted me to see about having it delivered some other time, or having someone else sit and wait for it instead. I told her that it had to be her at home, and that I ask so little of her, couldn't she just be there this once? The knife slid silently into her heart and turned 90 degrees, as she realized it was true, I didn't ask much. So she promised to be home.
My sister picked me up from the airport like a trooper, and drove me over to Mom's house. We saw her, in her yard, at 5:30 pm and freaked out. WHAT IS SHE DOING IN HER YARD?!? She's NEVER in her yard at this hour! We whipped the van around and went the other way, until the coast was clear. Whew! She went inside. I got out of the van and casually walked up the street to the house, and called on my cell phone. "Hey Ma. What's going on? Whatcha doin?" She said she'd just come in from getting the mail, what was I doing? I said I was just hanging out, catching a bit of fresh air. And by the way, I had confirmation that her present had been delivered, just outside her garage door. Could she go look? I was walking up the driveway. She opened the door from her house to her garage, and claimed nothing was there. I said, "No, not INSIDE the garage. OUTSIDE. Look outside." She looked through the windows in the garage door and saw my toothy grinning face staring back at her. "WHAT THE FUCK? Is that YOU?!?!" I said "none other, Mama." She came FLYING out of the front door of her house, grabbed me and hugged and kissed me about 50 times. My sister parked the car, waving madly, and we got the boys and my stuff out of the van and into the house. She was so happy, to have her girls there with her.
For her birthday, she got coffee in bed, a little bit of shopping, a Dick's burger for lunch, and dinner out at Anthony's, a wonderful seafood restaurant. Then, a trip to an old historic hotel for a cocktail after dinner, and posing for a ton of opulent pictures in the lobby. Never once was she sad, anxious, or upset about her birthday. It dissolved as she appreciated what she does have in her life, and how much she is loved by her girls.


Our mother is beautiful, she is strong, she has conviction and isn't afraid to tell you about it. She's graceful, loving, and giving. She has friends who love and cherish her, daughters who would die for her, and grandchildren who think she has hung the moon. Who cares which birthday it is?

3 comments:

Bimbo said...

Happy birthday to her. How good of you to surprise her!

stefanierj said...

That's the sweetest thing I've seen in a long time.

Did your mom really say Fuck? :)

Trasi said...

Um, yes. She really said fuck. Which made it all that more funny!