Monday, December 15, 2014

happy birthday, mum

Today would have been my mother's 80th birthday. She was the most unsentimental of women, so there probably wouldn't have been a huge 'do.' She thought cards were a 'gimmick' and didn't think much of them - although she did appreciate a nice hand made one (appreciate in the sense it didn't go straight into the bin and be displayed on the mantelpiece for a few days); she had no time for gifts of stuff she didn't want or need; and eating out in restaurants was a 'waste of money' - a home cooked meal was far better at a fraction of the cost, she always said. 

So today would probably have involved my wife and I badgering the children into producing some cards and driving the two-and-a-half hours to visit her in the nursing home with presents of thick socks and maybe a new cardigan (perhaps even some of the thick flannel nightgowns she liked). Jacob (12) has become quite good at baking cakes - he made the one for his brother's recent 18th birthday - so we could have got him to make one and stuck a few candles on it and sung (badly) happy birthday in the day room and then shared the cake with some of the staff and some of the other residents (checking carefully first that their swallow was ok and they weren't allergic to anything). Mum would have smiled at first to see her increasingly large grandsons, but after a few minutes she would have yawned and said she was getting tired and suggested that we should be on our way as we had a long drive home. I'd have protested that we'd only just got there. She'd have said no one forced us to come. And grumbling I'd have packed everyone back into the car, muttering sotto voce to the wife how disappointment it all was. 

How I wish it was happening today. Happy birthday, mum.

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