Celebrating a couple of great gals …

Leo believe in themselves and manage to move forward.  The people born under the sign of Leo have the inclination to be romantic, idealists, leoambitious, faithful, powerful, devoted, generous, honourable, fair and sometimes too brave.  The interests of Leo are aimed at entertainment, children (especially their own).  Leo zodiac sign generosity attracts the friendship of people.

This morning a Facebook friend posted a happy birthday wish to her twin daughters.  As I ‘liked’ it I realized, with a start, that today is also my late mother’s birthday.  Interestingly enough, she was also a twin.  Today is also my friend, Karen’s birthday.

Seems I’m surrounded by Leos.  Not a hardship, by any means.  They’re wonderful people.  Warm and loving and kind.  Always upbeat and smiling.  Totally outgoing.  The description above is certainly accurate — at least as far as the Leos in my life are concerned.

Sadly, neither my mother or aunt are around to celebrate with me, today.  But hopefully, wherever they are, they’re together.  I have no doubt they are, because in life, I don’t think any two people could have been closer than the two of them.

It was like they were attached at the brain and the heart.  My mother would think of something and my aunt would call and tell her exactly the same thing.  Not once in a while.  Dozens of times each day.

My aunt and I were extremely close.  Until I was five years old she had no kids of her own, so she and I spent a lot of time together.  People always assumed I was her daughter.  Logical because she and my mother were identical twins; and I looked like my mother.  Which meant I also looked like my aunt.  So whenever someone would say something to her about me, if we were just the two of us, without my mother, I’d always whisper:  “Don’t tell them you’re not my mother, Auntie ‘Nette.”  Her name was Annette.  I loved the fact we had this secret only the two of us knew.

She was widowed when she was very young (32), and left with a 13-month old daughter.  Needless to say, we were together all the time.  So she was not only my aunt and my other mother, she became my older sister (I’m an only child) and confidante.  And the older I got, we became friends as well.  We had a very special and unique relationship; and I miss her.

Today is my volunteer day at the hospital.  As I walked in this morning I was transported back several years to when my mother turned 80.  She also volunteered at this hospital.  She was here twice a week, Monday and Tuesday.  And her 80th turned out to be on one of her days at the hospital.  I had wanted to make a party for her.  After all, eighty is a milestone.

She didn’t want to make a big fuss.  She wanted to go out for dinner with me, and with my friends, all of whom she adored.  And she was having another dinner with her friends.   I decided something a bit more celebratory was in order.  So, with the blessing and help of the volunteer coordinators and the head of volunteer services, I planned to surprise my mother with a birthday cake, at the hospital, during her lunch break.

There was a teensy hitch when we couldn’t find her, but eventually we did; and my business partner, who came with me to help, and I sashayed into the cafeteria, holding a HUGE birthday cake, ablaze with candles.  The look of shock on my mother’s face was priceless.  So was the enormous grin, which followed.  I wish I had a photo.  It would be fun to be able to share it with you.  I see it as clearly as if it was happening right this minute.   It is engraved in my memory, forever.

For a brief nano second this morning, as I walked through the front door at Mt. Sinai, I felt a bit sad.  But just as quickly I found myself smiling.  It’s kinda nice to be here, today, on my mother’s birthday.  It’s taken me back to a very happy time.

How lucky am I to have had not just one, but two, such fabulous women in my life.  I may just have to have a piece of cake later on …

That’s definitely what my mother and aunt will be doing.

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15 thoughts on “Celebrating a couple of great gals …

  1. I’m celebrating a great gal today, too. It’s my sister’s birthday. She’s a year younger than I am, and we are very close. I feel very lucky to have her in my life. I can only imagine how much you miss your mother and your aunt.

    Speaking of 80th birthdays, have you seen Oliver Sack’s “The Joy of Old Age”? It’s a lovely perspective on aging (making it something to look forward to!). http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/opinion/sunday/the-joy-of-old-age-no-kidding.html?_r=0

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