today, April 26, was my mom’s birthday. it snuck up on us quickly. birthday-hospital-birthday is a demanding pattern to weave around, even though it’s as simple as the classic high-low-high.
i woke up feeling so much better this morning, despite the often overwhelming back pain where man and machine took their agonizing time sucking out my spinal fluid -TWICE- last week. luckily, my doctor had the forethought to send me home with some medication for that. a pill pop, a pain patch and a kiss of red gloss and i was out the door with my Garrison grandmother, Phyllis, to go pick up the traditional Light’s birthday cake. we picked the prettiest one and i caught a giggle perusing the artistry and creative licensing maneuvering in the cookie case as the decorator carefully oozed a hot pink “Happy Birthday Denise” across the abundant garden of frosting atop our cake.
Phyllis and i ran a few more errands and enjoyed the misty morning ride. it’s so beautiful here. i always feel so fortunate that i grew up in a place like this. it’s been the same my whole life, just the people get older and the trees get taller. we talked about life a bit during our cruise. i love it when my grandmother tells me about when she was young. like, really tells me. what she was thinking, what she was hoping for. she told me about a car accident she and my grandfather, Bert, had gotten into when they were first together. she told me about how she had never desired to be married but my gramps finally got her to cave. she told me about how they used to always be on the run to the next good time, my dad, Mike, in tow. hunting trips, lake houses, campfires, pond swims, snowmobiles, buckets of fish. the simple, little things. she told me about how much they loved their friends and how there are only just a handful still around. i’ve seen all of their photos before… one of my favorite at-home pastimes is going through the patchwork library of hand-embroidered and cracked leather photo albums she’s lovingly kept up for years. it’s so nice to just sit back and listen to your grandmother just tell you about life, though… like a friend, a mentor, woman to woman. it was a heartfelt soundtrack for the stoic, hazy scene floating past as we drove.
my pain really started to hit me when we got back. i felt terrible because i wanted this to be a special day for my mom and (recurring issue alert) be PRESENT for it. she’s done so much for everyone. she’s always doing that, all the time. it’s been a trying year so far. my Talbot grandmother, Doris, started the hospital trend with a major kidney/heart scare right after the start of the year. she is in much better health now but she has since joined my grandfather, Dick, at the retirement home we moved him into just before the holidays after he was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia. Dick & Doris like to call it “The Resort”. it’s a testament to the upbeat character that runs in my bloodline… the character that i cling to most right now. so, clinging to that character, i enjoyed time celebrating my beloved saint of a mom with that pretty cake, Phyllis’s famous home-cooked sweet and sour chicken and a heaping helping of happy family banter.
i wrote in my card to her that she can look forward to a mommadotta date, on me. it’s the least i can do for all she has helped give us. this awesome life, this awesome family… full of music, full of misty morning rides and photographs and memories of the ones we’ll still be loving forever and ever… the little, simple things.
still aglow from the family gathering, the Tramadol/sugar crash/symptom dump hit me hard out of left field and i took the most amazing nap, Forensic Files droning in the background. the combination gave me weird dreams that i can’t remember now but the feeling still lingers. maybe it’s medicinehead, maybe it’s nerves about tomorrow… results should be in. i mean, the initial blow has already been felt… now it’s just finding out if MS and i are going to make it official or not. i’m still navigating my place in the possibility of this proposed relationship, so (if -worst case scenario- MS checks ‘YES’) putting a title on it will probably actually take shape as another strange form of relief. what’s red and white and black all over? me, in my cocoon, waiting to see which wings i’ll get tomorrow.
so there’s that.
i love you mom. thank you for everything. thank you for being my rock and for not being mad that i’m so nap happy.
and now, here’s a picture of a sweet baby bull.