My sister Maxine, a winter Texan, called last night and reminded me that a year ago yesterday, our mom passed away. I had realized she died in January, because it happened about the time my daughter and I had planned to fly to visit Maxine in her winter home. Instead, she came up here and we buried our mom. But I hadn't given a thought to the exact date.
I'm awful about dates. I can't tell you a single grandchild's birthdate: I know what months they were born in, and I always remember that my oldest grandchild, Arick, was born on either the 5th, 6th, or 7th, because he was one day away from my dad's birthday. But the only birth dates I really know are my parents', my husband's, and my two kids. Of course, my parents are both deceased; so I'm sure those dates will soon fade from memory.
I don't make a big deal of birthdays, not even my own... except that the year I turned fifty, I asked for a surprise party. My poor husband couldn't think of anyone to invite, so that was pretty much a failure; but he did try. I asked him, "What about all my old aunts and uncles?"
My mom, who lived on our property in a mobile home at the time, took the cue and had a second surprise party, and that time it was a surprise! There were aunts and uncles, (all dead now) and a couple of cousins. It was great, and just what I had in mind.
When Cliff turned fifty the next year, I held a surprise party for him that was very successful, with over fifty in attendence. People he'd worked with at various jobs were there, and a few of his relatives. He still talks about it; it was the only real birthday party he ever had in his life.
We threw a birthday party for my mom when she turned ninety, at the nursing home. There wasn't a huge turnout, but it was touching how far some people came to give her their regards. Our son and his family came for that occasion, from Georgia. This shot of Jim and my mom was taken at that time:
Mother hadn't seen Jim for a few years, so it was a happy event for her; she got to meet Jim's wife and his youngest child for the first time. She really went downhill shortly after that, so I'm glad we had the party when we did. The nursing home she stayed in was far better than average, but I do hope I'm spared having to be in such a place if I get to the point I can't wait on myself; because there just isn't enough staff on hand to take care of people who are immobile. Most of the employees there did their best... but the patients are so needy.