Tuesday, April 10, 2012

49.

Me. At 49.
Last year when I turned 49, I knew it would be my last with my Mom.  This was before we got any of the really bad news from the oncologist.   I know that sounds very other-worldly.  But just before Christmas 2011, I felt in my heart, like someone had told me, that we would lose her sometime in 2012.

My parents usually hosted my family at their home around my birthday, as she did my brothers and all the kids-in-law.  It was a time for my parents to connect with each family. Mom asked what day would suit and I suggested April 8th, my actual birthday.  Usually, we would get together a week or two or three later, whenever time permitted.

But I knew my Mom had a thing about your actual birthday. It was not my thing, it was her thing. I had for years enjoyed birthday wishes, or cards, or emails  or lunches or phone calls the week or even month of my birthday. So the actual day, especially when it's a Tuesday, was not the key. It truly has become the thought that counts. 

But Mom believed that that day should be special. So when she asked when we could get together for my birthday, I suggested Friday, April 8th -- and would they come to our place?  But Mom thought it would be a great idea if they brought dinner over. I meant to suggest an easy dinner - takeout - and did not want them to go through the trouble. Mom, after all, was going through chemo.  But she insisted.  They brought steaks and salad and I had some fruit tarts in the freezer and we celebrated together. It was a beautiful April day.

I know my Mom was pleased that we were sharing that April 8th together, as it was the anniversary of the day we met. 49 years earlier.  I don't think she thought it would be her last April 8th with us.

I am glad I knew, or I wouldn't have insisted on pictures.  I don't know the last time we took a photo of just my parents and me. Probably at my wedding.  But this is a very treasured shot:
And this year, Dad will have us over for dinner.

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