If my Dad were still alive, he’d be celebrating his 84th birthday on Sunday. He died nearly 20 years ago.
My Dad was born on May 13th. Sometimes his birthday fell on the dreaded Friday the 13th, and sometimes his birthday fell on Sundays, which were always Mother’s Day.
As my Dad’s birthday approaches, I cannot help but think of my Mom. And this year, as Mother’s Day approaches, I cannot help but think of my Dad.
Thankfully, I can spend Mother’s Day with my Mom, because she is still alive. That is I could spend the day with her but I won’t because – well, I’ll get to that in a minute.
As awful as this may sound, I am grateful my Dad died before my Mom. I am grateful it was not my Mom who left my Dad behind.
My Dad would be a mess without my Mom. He was always a mess when she traveled to Nova Scotia for the summer. His spirits wouldn’t lift until he was up at the Shore with her and/or when she returned home.
As a kid, I left for the Shore when my Mom left for the Shore, but when I was older I had to stay home and work. I didn’t like staying home, while my Mom was gone. My Dad missed her greatly, and he spent the summer sulking. I spent the time anxiously waiting for the day he flew up to be with my Mom the last two weeks of the summer.
I do not mean to give the impression that the love between my Mom and Dad was so immense that the two could not be separated, I simply mean my Mom was my Dad’s rock. Regardless of the trials of marriage, my Dad needed my Mom.
Typically, my siblings and I spend some part of Mother’s Day weekend with our mom (Mum). For the past several years, we’ve spent time at Mum’s house doing yard work, painting, small repairs, etc. One year, my siblings and I painted two small bedrooms. Another year, I mutilated the hedge trimmer cord with the hedge trimmer. I mean, I helped trim her hedges.
Once the work was completed, we would order pizza and eat ice cream. (I come by my ice cream addiction honestly – genetically, in fact.)
April 30th of this year, Mum sent an unsolicited email out to her kids: “Just in case you were planning to be the usual busy bees on Mother’s day, there are ballgames that weekend, and mother won’t be home and can’t think of any jobs she needs done, anyway.”
Recently, I called Mum on the phone around 9:30 in the morning to let her know about two events taking place at the boys’ school. When she answered the phone, I asked her what she was doing. She told me she was getting ready to head to Women’s Fellowship (or Plymouth Circle).
I asked her when she had to be at the church, and she told me 10am. I told her I had better hurry up then, eh? She agreed.
I mentioned the event that was taking place on a Monday, and she said, “Oh, I am playing Bridge that day.” Then I mentioned the event that was taking place on a Friday, and she said, “Just email me all the information for both days. Please be sure to include directions to the school, too. I’ll pull out my maps, see how to get there, and I’ll let you know what I decide.”
Mum impresses me greatly in so many ways. First, I appreciate the fact that she is active and prefers to have information sent via email, so she can get to it when she has time. Second, I envy my Mum’s map/direction skills. This ‘old lady’ really knows her way around a map – she doesn’t need no stinkin’ GPS. Frankly, she finds her way around way better than her daughter (the one who is sitting here fumbling through her early 40s). And third, her nickname is priceless and says so much: Lead-foot Len. (She’s not your typical old lady driver.)
I mentioned my Dad would be celebrating his 84th birthday if he were still alive. Let me also mention, Mum is celebrating her 80th birthday this year. This lady is celebrating her 80th birthday this year, and she does more in a week than I do in a year two years.
I love spending time with Mum and my siblings. I am sorry our typical Mother’s Day weekend is atypical this year. But, I am immensely grateful that Mum will enjoy her day at the ballpark, watching the Gwinnett Braves play against the Toledo Mud Hens. More importantly, I am immensely grateful that Mum is actively living her life and living actively. You rock, Mum!
Go G-Braves! Go Mum!
Happy Mother’s Day!
P.S. Happy birthday, Dad. I miss you.