Let there be cake and lots of it …

Last Saturday was my mom’s birthday. Unfortunately she’s not around so I couldn’t celebrate with her.birthday cake She loved birthdays. Unlike most women who, once they’ve turned 30 or 35, don’t admit to how old they are, my mother told you before you asked.

She was proud of it and gloried in the fact that no one ever believed her because she looked, and acted, so much younger. She was a spunky one, full of piss and vinegar. She didn’t mince words, that one.

But she was also sentimental and her favourite cards, for all occasions, were the mushy ones. And she saved them all. After she died I think I found every birthday, Continue reading

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What really matters …

Sometimes it feels like we spend so much time on the things that don’t birthdaymatter we lose sight of the things that do. I was reminded of what really counts last Sunday.

It was my birthday. I don’t make a big deal of it. I never did. My mother used to tell me that even as a child I Continue reading

Ninety-two years ago tomorrow …

Tomorrow’s my mother’s birthday.  She loved celebrating her birthday.  Even when she got older.  Especially when she got older.  She delighted in telling people chocolateher age; and loved their reactions.

Because no one ever believed it.

She looked considerably younger, but I think the main reason everyone stared at her in disbelief was her ‘spirit’, which was probably about thirty years younger than she was.  At least.  Her zest for life, her curiosity, her willingness to try new things, her open mind, her determination, her sense of humour, her giggle, the twinkle in her eye, her energy, her positive attitude all kept her young.

One of her greatest pleasures was eating chocolate.  You could see the look of rapture on her face the minute she bit into one.  And to her, it didn’t matter — it could have been a handful of chocolate chips or a candy Continue reading

There’s no escaping it, that’s for sure …

Well, we can escape it, but being dead doesn’t seem like a good alternative to me.  Wondering what the hell I’m talking about?  Come on, think about fathertimeit for a nano second:

Aging.

Getting older.

Watching the years go by.

Blowing out the candles.

I have written about this subject before, but there have been a trifecta of ‘events’ in my life recently that have compelled me to write about it again.  Sometimes the Universe sends you such strong Continue reading

Day 341. Superhero Teams

About a month ago I blogged about a school play I went to see, and how fabulous it was. My friend’s seven year old grand nephew, “G”, was in it. The kids were traceyjust TOO cute. But what had also struck me was how involved the mom’s were. My friend’s niece, for example, worked on the sets, costumes and make-up.

A hell of a lot of work.

She was tied up with it for months. With a full time job, another kid and a household to run, there’s no way she could have pulled it off without her husband’s cooperation and help.

Last weekend they did it again.

This time it was the baby of the family’s birthday. “E”, who is “G’s” younger brother. He turned four.

A few years ago, busy parents took the birthday boy or girl, and four or five of their friends, to Chuck E. Cheese or McDonald’s for all the junk food they could consume in a few hours.

Perfect for busy, working parents because it meant no fuss, no muss, no cooking or clean-up. Somebody else’s problem.

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Day 325. Star Light …

When you were a kid did you always make a wish before you blew out the candles on your birthday cake?  Maybe I should re-phrase that?  Do you remember your wisheschildhood?  Oh, come on, don’t pout.  I’m only joking.  My own feels like it was a million years ago.

Do you remember what you wished for?

Did you wish for a baby sister or brother?  Or for the sibling you already had to magically disappear?  Did you wish for a particular toy you wanted really badly, but your parents said you couldn’t have?  Or a shiny, new bike?  Or a pair of figure skates?  Or for your mother to let you eat chocolate cake and french fries for breakfast?

And what about when you got older?

Were your wishes more grown-up versions of your childhood requests?  A baby of your own?  A shiny, new Continue reading

Day 289. Mixed Feelings

“Life at best is bittersweet” Jack Kirby

Normally I probably wouldn’t have used yesterday’s WordPress Daily Post as inspiration for a story. “Bittersweet Memories”. “You receive a gift that is bittersweet photosand makes you nostalgic. What is it?”

It is a bit too melancholy for me. But I was at the hospital volunteering when I read it; and it instantly conjured a memory for me.

When my mother moved to Toronto she knew no one, other than me and my closest friend. When I was growing up she was a hospital volunteer. It was always something she enjoyed doing, so she told me she planned to do it here, as well. It would not only give her something to do, she figured it would also be a good way to meet people. So she signed up for two days a week, Mondays and Tuesdays.

She moved here when she was seventy-five. By the time she turned eighty, she’d made quite a few good friends. I wanted to make her a party. Eighty is, after all, a milestone. She didn’t want a party. She said she’d prefer to

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Day 228. What’s Next?

I ‘celebrated’ my birthday this week.  On Wednesday.  I waited until it was safely over to mention it.  Hate making a big deal of it.  And not being such a lover of either attention or sweets, birthday cakemy preference has always been to avoid the cake and candles bit.  Especially now.

With the number of candles I’d need, once they were lit, it would look like a minor forest fire.  And I don’t honestly know if I still have the lung capacity to blow them out.  At least all at once.  Call in the fire fighters!

Never mind.  It was grand.  And it turned out to be a two-day affair.  Some work in the morning, some pampering in the afternoon and dinner with a friend on Wednesday.  Work during the day on Thursday.  Dinner, drinks, jazz and blues on Thursday night.

Several blog posts ago, I wrote about Errol Fisher, a local singer, I’ve enjoyed for years and years.  Well, lo and Continue reading

Day 207. Counter-Intuitive

A Post on Sow, Sew, So yesterday reminded me I have a birthday coming up this month.  It also reminded me I have to renew my driver’s license.  This year I also have to have a new jailphoto taken.  Oh noooooooooooo!

Oh yes.  And I’ve got to do it, pronto.  The notice has been sitting on my kitchen counter for a couple of months.

Yes, I’m well aware I’ve been putting it off.

Don’t put your hands on your hips and tell me to stop procrastinating.  Don’t shake your finger under my nose.  Don’t warn me of the pitfalls of letting my license lapse.  Before you chastise me, go look at the photo on your Continue reading

Day 124. Enjoy It!

Even as a child, I wasn’t crazy about my birthday. Unlike most kids, I was never wild with anticipation as THE day got closer and closer. Not even the prospect of gifts particularly Six Lit Birthday Candlesexcited me. Or parties. Or cake and ice cream. I have no clue why. Ridiculous, I know.

Maybe even at three years old I wasn’t crazy about the idea of time marching on. Who knows. Bet a therapist would have a field day with this one. All I know is, nothing’s changed.

Unlike my mother, who celebrated each and every birthday she had. Yes, she celebrated each and every year she was blessed with ‘living’. Not that she liked getting old. Staring her mortality square in the eye. She just didn’t dwell on it. What I’m about to say may sound like a fragrance commercial or a Hallmark card, but I’m saying it anyway. Because, in my mother’s case, it’s absolutely true (as anyone who knew her can confirm). It defined her and all she stood for:

She defied it. When she looked in the mirror she saw a woman much younger than she really was. She saw a woman with the spirit of a forty year old. And the energy. And the enthusiasm. A woman filled with the joyful anticipation of what each new day could bring. Would bring. Because she willed it so. She’d tell you how old she was, before you asked. To her it was an accomplishment to be proud of.

Vain as she was (and I don’t mean this in a bad way), she NEVER shied away from saying “I’m 75”. Or 80, or 84. I think she

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