Monday, September 13, 2010

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY but I am thinking of Mom and Dad

Yes, another one. As I did my walk this morning on this cool damp morning after a day of rain, I walked with a sense of my age because my clenched hands ache with the onset of a mild arthritis that is bothersome to my painting. I didn't stay on that thought long however. I realized that while I walked on the first day of my 68th year on earth, I was thinking of my mother who sixty-eight years ago laboured to give me birth. I was her first-born child. She was twenty-five years of age. Just beginning a life as a mom. She is gone now, leaving three years ago after finishing well as she could and then her mind clouded gradually until everything became simple and mundane and controlled by others. For those other caring people I will forever be grateful. Most of all for my brother Murray and my sister in law Diane who for love alone gave endless hours to care for Mom when Dad could no longer do that and we he needed to be encouraged as he toughed life alone until he was 93 years of age. On my birthday I have thought of Mom, soft blue eyes, devoted wife, lover of Christ, nurterer to three sons, fantastic cook, proud woman, contented woman, helpful to everyone, concealer of deep inner hurt that had a long history, determined and ambitious and industrious and surprised by successes that came as a result. The woman my father fell in love with and whom he adored changed involuntarily until she barely existed but he understood this process and loved her. He taught his sons about love so that we could come through adolescence, confusion and mistakes to a mature appreciation of our mother. And when she died he taught us again when he said, "Good night sweetheart. I'll be seeing you soon." Six months later he too slipped quietly from us in 2008. And I am experiencing a birthday at this season of my life and trusting still to leave a legacy of good memories for my offspring and grandchildren. May be 68th year be productive.

Day later Birthday Postscript: We gathered at my son Jeff's home. He and Gina prepared a great meal, baked crusted Halibut which he himself caught off the west coast of Vancouver Island, salsa, great green salad (courtesy of daughter Cari), glass of Ehrenfelser. For dessert, Christine baked an egg custard pie and a chocolate pie with whipped cream. Later, everyone sang happy birthday to me, grandchildren crowding in to give me cards and a present from the whole clan. The children ripped the wrapping off because I was far too slow at it. Inside was a portable painting easel, light, easily assembled, in a carrying case - could take this to France or Fiji. This was the kind of soft celebration birthday party that I like - only my son-in-law was missing do to work. Thank you my family.

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