As many of you know, yesterday would have been my mom’s 62nd birthday.
I miss her.
Last year she had been in the nursing facility for just a couple of weeks when we all went to see her on her birthday. We brought a chocolate cake and sang happy birthday to her. She sang along with us at the very end “…Happy Birthday, dear Nora, happy birthday to you!” It was pretty freakin’ cute and we all laughed.
Then we fed her some cake. She loved chocolate so we never denied her that pleasure, even at the end. Juniper was feeding it to her and mom bit down so hard on the plastic fork that it broke. We had to find her a regular metal fork. Then we left. It seems like it was just a regular day. I know I didn’t really think about it possibly being her last birthday, maybe my dad or my sister did. I don’t know if it would have made much difference if I had thought of it that way.
The reality is that any birthday could be our last. I think if there is any lesson I have really, truly learned this year it is just that: we are not guaranteed a single day more. None of us. I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing that it has taken me 43 years to really “get” this. The real question may be – now that I “get” it, what do I do with it? How does that in the bones understanding change my life? Or does it change it at all? (This conundrum will be discussed at length in an upcoming post – check back soon! ;-))
Back to mom ~ she went to dinner with my dad and sister last night. Her favorite restaurant on her birthday. I celebrated her in a different, yet no less enjoyable or significant way. I was at S’s annual Pirate Party with 14 of the most amazing, inspiring, hilarious women I have ever had the privilege to spend an evening with.
S and her friends have met once a year for the Pirate Party for at least 30 years. I have been a regular invitee for maybe 10? Maybe more. The detail is of no matter. What matters is the caliber of the women, the fun, the jokes, the stories, the life in that room each year. The sparkle. Ahh, the sparkle!!! Seems fitting to me that on what would have been my mom’s 62nd birthday I was able to be in a room with these women who knew her through me, and who, just by being there and bearing witness to each other, provide sustenance and laughter to the Nth degree. We eat great food, drink wine and champagne, tell dirty stories and stories that make you cry and laugh and snort all at the same time (some kind of comedic holy trinity, that one) and emanate so much divine motherly feminine power and joy and hope and wisdom it is intoxicating. It was the perfect place to be.
It was the perfect space to remember my mom on her birthday. My mom was a pirate at heart.
I am a pirate.
Maya will be a pirate.
And so the line continues…
I love you mom. Happy birthday.