Happy Birthday to Me
Yes, my birthday is soon. To celebrate, I’m going out to eat. For those of you who know me well, you know how seldom that happens. My sister had a German Chocolate cake from the market in the fridge, so I ate a piece of that. Two celebrations. Woot!
A few days ago, I drove over the hill to see my mother. She has lost her hearing. The difficulty in communication is an added burden to those she already faces at 98. I see this wearing away at her. There are many moments now that aren’t lucid. I listen as she talks to herself in a sing-song voice as if she’s telling a story to a young child or singing nursery rhymes. Then she’ll take a nap and wake up her old self ready to play cards. She still beats me half the time. I know these moments we have left are precious.
One thing that really brings it home is giving up our nightly sessions of M*A*S*H and a root beer float. This has been going on for more years than I have fingers and toes. Mom can’t hear the tv at all, no matter how loud you turn it up, so my sister has put away the set that plays the dvd collection of Mom’s favorite show. Mom couldn’t see across the room either. It was time, but a sad harbinger of things to come. Time is running out.
I will mourn her absence, but not her passing. There is little joy in her days now, mostly pain and fatigue. She has lived a blessed, and long life, seen her great-grandchildren and played more hands of rummy than can be counted. I wonder when I hear her sing-song in the morning, if she isn’t talking to my oldest sister who died at the age of thirty-one. They have much to catch up on.