June 26, 2005
Mom's party went off very well. She turned 70 on Friday, and was born in 1935 - the same year as Elvis. We like to remind her of that every chance we get.

To surprise my mother, you have to be 14 steps ahead of her. After raising 4 sons and a daughter, as well as partially raising 8 grandchildren, she's been around a time or two. My mother has what we refer to as 'antennas'. She can pick out a deception quicker than anyone I know.

When we decided to go ahead with the party, I had to call a friend of hers that she had originally made plans with. The lady was not in the phonebook, so I had to pick a time they'd be out of the house so I could sneak in and find the number. I got the number, and thought all was good until last weekend, when Mom said, out of the blue - 'Why were you in my house when I wasn't here two Saturdays ago?' I looked puzzled and came up with the first thing that came to my mind - that my stomach was acting up and her house was my emergency pit stop. Turns out her neighbour, probably meaning nothing by it felt the need to let her know I'd been by.

We had the party at my brother's house. It's where we often have dinners, so asking her to come over wasn't the problem. The problem was trying to delay her until 6pm so the guests would have a chance to arrive after work. Or to try and keep it the same as any other birthday so she wouldn't get any ideas through the day.

I called her in the morning to find her pretty feisty and in a bit of a mood. You see, my mom has fairly progressed osteoporosis. She has a considerable amount of chronic pain, and some mornings are rough. On top of that, she has emphysema so coupled with the humid days, summer is no longer her friend the last few years. She said she was planning to go to my house during the day to do some gardening. Mom, I said, it's your birthday....don't worry about anyhing with me! Don't go over there...I want you to stay home and enjoy the day! Really I was more concerned that she'd go over and somehow open the fridge to find the large macaroni salad, greek salad and cake. But no, she had it in her head she was going over.

Then she said she planned to go to my brother's for 4pm. Why should she wait until 6? When has my brother ever had a problem with her going over early to play with the kids? She knew my niece would be home and there was no amount of talk that could change her mind. I left work early, to try and at least beat her there.

I had the 'Aunt Bus' going and had to pick up her elderly sisters (my mom is the youngest), before the 1 hour drive out to my brothers. We got there at 3:30 and got all the chairs set up. Just in time for her to arrive early. So instead of 'Surprise! Everyone's here', it was more of a 'Surprise! Here's a bunch of chairs!' Even still, she was surprised and feeling a bit silly for pushing the issue of coming early. The guests arrived about an hour later, and she was able to greet them all one by one, which probably was better for her in the end. Her breathing wasn't great as it was, and I think we all realized how much she is aging lately.

We had about 40 guests overall, and all but one of my brothers showed up. I wish so deeply that he could put aside his ego and realize that our parents were human. Yes, they made mistakes but who hasn't. His reason for not coming was that his daughter had a baseball game. I think at 16 years old, his girl could have gone without her Dad at one game in her life, or even 1/2 a game. From what I understand though, my other brother had called him on it so time will tell. Of course, he still couldn't seem to find the time to make a call either. I guess even cell phones don't work at baseball diamonds.

We talked of some of her other birthdays....like her 25th, when she and my uncle were kicked out of a local restaurant for being disorderly. Having been told there was no floor dancing, she and my Uncle kicked off their shoes, jumped up on the table and began to dance. The way they saw it, they weren't breaking any rules, but I guess the manager had other thoughts.

Or her 5th birthday, when she jumped off a chair and impaled her chin on a fire poker. Her Dad had to bundle her up and take her on the tram to the hospital in the next city, but she was just excited to get to go on the tram for the first time, she completely forgot she was actually hurt!

But it was a good night, made better by the great turnout. I had to leave
early, given the golf tournament the next day, but she apparently stayed until nearly 1 am! I don't remember the last time she and my Dad stayed up that late. She's been pretty quiet the rest of the weekend, but something tells me this was one of the best birthday's she's had in a very very long time.

Above is little photo comparison of her great-grandaughter on Friday night and Mom at the same age in 1938. Family resemblance? Naaaaah.....

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

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Turning thirty and a half
  • July 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006

  • The WeatherPixie