For my entire life the month of April has belonged to my mother. No other immediate family member could claim it like Mom. She turns 70 today, the 10th. It’s what Daniel calls “a big number” -by that he means it’s an important year, it has nothing to do with the size of the digit. But no matter what the number or age, Mom and I aren’t all that impressed with birthdays in general. We like to make a huge deal out of the ones for other people, our own… not so much.
She really never thought she’d live this long. Her dad lasted longer than he thought he would too. She is now five years older than her own mother was when she grew a brain tumour and died, not wanting to leave those beautiful Hawaiian islands that she adored so much. Mom has survived cancer. Twice. Not with all of her parts in tact, but she’s still here. Currently she is dealing with some stomach/digestive issues, but she’s going strong.
She was a woman of her generation, as the saying goes. She had her flaws as a parent but she did a lot of things on instinct, things that went against the rules in her day. She believed, and still does believe, that you can not hold or love a child too much. It was my mom who coined the phrase “why would you want to break a baby?” when asked about child raising. She is unable to see a baby and not want to hold it, no matter its size, heritage, condition, or state of dampness. She was a wonderful nanny and is a pretty fabulous Granny too.
I am convinced that my brother would be much taller than he is now if she had been able to overcome some of her personal problems though. She is unable, to this day, to find and deal with government agencies. We qualified for every poverty-related funding option out there, but she couldn’t locate the offices, so she couldn’t fill out the forms. Also, there’s the fact that she is, most certainly, nuttier than a fruitcake. Genetically, she really didn’t have a chance of being much else. I’m well on the road to it my own wee self elf. But, as I tell Dan, if I’m gonna turn in to a crazy old lady, the type she is, ain’t all that bad.
There was never a day when we came home from school, or now, show up at her house, that baked goods were/are not cooling on the counter. She can throw a cake together with practically no supplies on hand. Although, she always DOES have baking supplies at the ready. For all of her flaws (and really, who among us does not have them?) she did okay with what she was given. We’ll see her Tuesday night, and I’ll get some current pictures for you. Yesterday I suggested she fart around and try to get some phone photos of her home decor. I’ll keep you posted. For now, Happy Happy Birthday to my mother Diane. We love you, just as you are.
In other news, I am on a hand-bashing streak again. There is a bruise just above my right thumb (that I can’t remember how I got), I scraped my middle finger as I left the house today. Then when I stopped in to pick up our To Go dinner I cut the skin of my index finger just at the nail line so badly that I almost couldn’t drive home without bleeding on the food. It’s painful here in the Burrow tonight.
And I couldn’t get to the photo albums I wanted to try and scan. So you get a re-run picture of Empress, me, and Mom instead. I am laughing it off, working through the discomfort, the problems, and keeping everything in perspective. No one died. The hand wounds will heal. The photos won’t go bad. (Retrograde WILL end.)
Yesterday Hanna checked in from PDX. She had gone down to Portland for the weekend, and sent me this.
I had texted her that I’d seen a friend from her school days (Hi Brendan!) and remarked that every time I see this adorable boy I forget how freaking tall he is. (He truly is the sweetest kid, from the most outstanding family, hi Polly and Meghan!) She said back, “how funny was that? I saw some of the Timbers and was just thinking of him!”
Our card today is from The Druid Animal Oracle and it’s one I know nothing about. Let’s see what our message is, shall we?
“Bee ~ Beach (pronounced as Be-ach) ~ Community, Celebration, Organization.
The card shows a queen bee resting on a stone. In the background we see the House of Mead Circling at Tara as it may have looked at the height of its powers. In the sky the noonday sun shines brightly and we see heather (Ur) growing by the rock which is carved with the Ur Ogham.
Beach invites us to celebrate. You may have a special reason for celebration, or you may simply need to celebrate the wonder and mystery of being alive. You may like to enjoy a glass or two of mead, which – if it has been made in Scotland – will carry the scent of heather, and will bring you closer to the spirit of the Highlands. In the Druid tradition there are occasions to celebrate every six weeks or so. As human beings we need to have times when we can come together to enjoy each other’s company. The Bee tells us that we can live together in harmony, however impossible this may sometimes seem. By being at one with the natural world, by paying homage to the sun, by centering our lives around Spirit or the Goddess, we can work together in community.”
Okay wow, that is so perfect for Mom’s day. She loves the summer and being out in her yard, she completely believes in community and the family we put together by our love and our own gathering. Yep, we’ll be celebrating, with Bee and with Mom.