Today is Mother’s Day. By all accounts our family enjoyed a topping celebration of the day with my mother at her retirement residence (or what she fancifully calls the “Nut House”). I had originally proposed to bring Chinese take-out food for lunch but my sister suggested instead that we rally mid-afternoon in the upstairs lounge of the retirement residence for cheese, crackers and wine. Our contribution switched to crudités. It all worked out perfectly. The lounge, complete with a fireplace, is welcoming and intimate, lovely views through numerous tall windows, suitable lounge chairs, even a wet bar.
Though we hadn’t taken the precaution to reserve the lounge for our small event, there was no complication. We had the entire place to ourselves, just an intimate family gathering of five. We were however later joined by a complete stranger (Johanna) whom my brother-in-law met when dipping outside for a smoke. She is Canadian but most recently hails from Durham, North Carolina (which was the spark for the unsubscribed acquaintance, given our winter sojourn in South Carolina). Her sparkling personality and quick-witted humour afforded a welcome contribution to our private affair. Her grandmother lives in the retirement residence. Our interloper was there with her mother to visit the old lady.
“I found her learned without pedantry, lively in conversation, pure in sentiment, and elegant in manners.”
Excerpt From: Gibbon, Edward. “Memoirs of My Life and Writings.”
It was proof of Johanna’s magnanimity that she did not complain about or even comment upon the discovery of soap suds in her wine glass which I thought I had thoroughly cleansed and polished at the wet bar. In fact so agreeable was she that she condescended to have another glass of wine which she conveniently carried with her upon leaving our gaggle to rejoin her family.
Last evening I had hastily prepared a poem for my mother in lieu of a Hallmark greeting card. I gave the printed copy to her upon my arrival. She became tearful towards the end when she read something to the effect that her children’s love would endure to the end (a choice of word made only for rhyming purposes and certainly not with philosophical intention). As I afterwards remarked to my sister, old age invariably stimulates weeping. In any event it seemed to sanction the success of my prosaic literary endeavour.
Happy Mother’s Day!
There aren’t too many people in this crazy old world
Who can happily say that their mom’s still a-twirl
Especially when approaching the age of ninety-one
You’d hardly expect her to be such a one!
But Lindy and I have a mom who won’t quit
Who loves to complain and carries on as if
There’s no end to life and no stopping the train –
It’s full steam ahead, come sun or come rain!
As for mothers you’re the best – at least the best we’ve ever had;
It’s impossible to say anything about you that’s bad.
We’ve learned all the secrets that you used throughout life
To be a great mother and an equally perfect wife.
So here’s to our mom, our favourite consort and friend,
The one we both love from beginning to end.
May you continue to be just the same as before
And we’ll go on loving you for ever more!
Though indisputably my mother is “showing her age” she still has an alert sense of humour. When she mentioned something she wanted done if she dies tomorrow, I jokingly asked that she defer her death until next week because I have upcoming appointments for the next couple of days. She unhesitatingly responded with a laugh! While it hardly seems possible it is only recently that I have come to see my mother as a regular gal. Perhaps I have unwittingly stepped into the shoes of my late father who, as I now do, regularly reminded my mother that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Whatever the reason we are developing a relationship that we certainly never had before. I now think of my mother foremost as a true friend.