I took a vacation day to celebrate Mom’s 62nd birthday today. 62 isn’t much of a milestone in the books of most, but to me it sort of was: it was the 5th one to come round since I lost her.
It was a good day, and was the first really warm, beautiful one we’ve had in a long time. I made a new arrangement for her stone with some of her favorite spring flowers, and in the back I added three peace lilies. It probably didn’t turn out as well as something a professional might have put together, but I thought it was appropriate. Besides, she always preferred homemade birthday cards and gifts and whatnot. I forgot my camera, of course, but my creative failures and/or bouts of anti-masculine-traditionalism probably shouldn’t be documented anyway. Since I hadn’t really felt like visiting her for a few years my grandfather, Tuck, had been maintaining her flowers for me. He passed away last December, though, and handed that particular responsibility back down to me. I think the arrangement already there might have been from him, and since it was still in pretty good shape I didn’t have the heart to pitch it; I gave it to my great uncle Teddy (and Mom’s favorite uncle ever), who is also buried in the same cemetery.
Afterward I took myself for lunch at Kublai Kebab, which is sort of a raw bar/hibachi kind of thing, and to a showing of Taken. It was between that and a Wes Craven remake, but since a) Mom wouldn’t have ever wanted to see a horror flick on her birthday and b) I was afraid Jonathan Craven might be as talentless as his father, the Liam Neeson movie won. And honestly, except for the anti-climactic and unsatisfying ending, it was a pretty good movie.
And of course after that I helped myself to the birthday doughnut I always got for Mom.
In all, it was really a great day of celebration. It’s the first time I’ve been able to enjoy the memories of her without being overtaken by the sense of loss. That element is still present, of course, but time and distance do wonders for those wounds that never heal. And I’m finally in the place I need to be.
So happy birthday, Ma!